Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween!  Here's a creepy spider that I played around with a bit in Photoshop to make it a bit more creepy.  The color of the spider is natural though.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014


The Sedum was quite popular this year most likely because things stopped blooming early due to the drought.  I got a surprise when i looked at this photo of a Viceroy butterfly, there was a small bug of some kind flying in to the right of it and it was even in focus though in shadow.  You can tell this is a Viceroy and not a Monarch due to the markings on the lower wings.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Our first small frost over night.  Winter is coming.  Thinking warm thoughts instead with these wildflowers I saw and photographed on a walk one afternoon.  These are wild Purple Clover.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Fall in Kansas is not as lovely as some places that get all the vibrant reds and oranges.  It can be lovely in it's own right if only for a short time before all the leaves get blown off in our usual high winds.  Last week our Oak tree in the side yard was looking rather lovely in the late afternoon sun.

Monday, October 27, 2014


It was quite dewy on Saturday morning.  I took a few photos of droplets on things and liked this one best.  The droplets made this leaf look like it was covered in jewels.  So some sparkly goodness to start off the week.  :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014


This is an image of the locomotive 353, the one I get to help fire on, as it passes by the roundhouse on it's run around the grounds of the Western Minnesota Steam thresher's Reunion.  In through the door you can see the Porter engine which is a tank style engine meaning it carries it's extra water over the boiler and not in a tender on the rear.  I have fired on this locomotive as well but it currently needs some serious repairs which I hope it will receive some day and be back in operation.  The cab is a bit small and cramped as compared to the 353 but it is still a fun engine to fire.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I was playing trains for the last time this year, hardly seemed like Fall with the lovely weather.  This is an image from last weekend of some late season grasses at sunset out at the Geary State Lake area.

Friday, October 24, 2014


We are having quite lovely weather.  This is an image from summer when a Silver Checkerspot butterfly was visiting my Gazania flowers.  I actually saw a Red Admiral today but was not able to get a photo but butterflies are still around.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I was out walking around the yard yesterday afternoon and I saw this guy sitting in the Sedum.  The grasshopper stayed rather still so I was able to get this macro image of him.  I used this for my last B&W challenge photo and processed it in a way to give it a bit of a dreamy feel.  If you care to check it out it's at the link in the About Me section at the right of this Blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


This is another view of Boulder Falls in Colorado that I took in late June.  The water was flowing quite strongly due to a lot of rain in the area in recent days.  I used this photo for my B&W Challenge today and I thought it worked rather well in B&W.  You can take a look at the link in the About Me section on the right of the Blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I was out in the evening on Saturday doing some photography of various things.  I saw this grass highlighted by the setting sun.  I liked the details it caught and the way it made the grass kind of sparkle.  I used this image for today's B&W challenge image as I thought it converted well.  As always, if you care to look you can check it out at the link in the About Me section on the right of this Blog page.

Monday, October 20, 2014


The Robins have been enjoying my pond lately.  Mostly drinking but I observed one bathing in one of the streams as well.  No wonder birds don't seem to use my bird bath much when they have a big bird bath to use with running water and everything.  LOL  Anyway, captured this one in between drinks from the stream.  I used it for Day 2 of my B&W challenge and that version can be seen at the link in the About Me on the right.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


This is locomotive 353 at the Western Minnesota Steam thresher's reunion pulling into the station.  I am just about to start my shift as Fireperson and took a few images as it pulled in.  The smoke coming out the stack is very dark at this point because the steepest hill on the track is just before you arrive at the station and you cannot open the firebox door to add coal because the cold air hitting the hot parts inside causes warping and lots of problems like leaks.  So when we get to the top of the grade and the engine is not working so hard and pulling colder air in we can begin to put coal in because it uses a lot as it is working up the hill as well.  What you are seeing is the small particles blowing out the stack from the fresh coal which will fall back to the ground and not remain in the air.  That's what gets your clothes dirty when you ride the train.  :-)  
I have also started another B&W project and this is the first photo in it.  If you care to see that version it is at the link in the About Me on the right of the Blog page.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


A couple of weekends ago I had to go to a conference in Wichita, KS.  I left the house at a time when I should have made it to the conference on time but instead i ended up being late due to a highway detour.  The detour was made worthwhile though because I was able to view this beautiful sunrise.  Because we have been so dry there have not been clouds very often either so sights like this are few and far between.  We do get a few great ones though.

Friday, October 17, 2014


So I have a story to share about how disappointed I am with Pentax Repair.  I shared this over on G+ today too so if you read it there sorry for the repeat.  It was 5 weeks ago yesterday that I sent my camera off for repair and it's not been fun without it, I was having to use the one I replaced and I replaced it for a reason.  Anyway all it had wrong was a cracked LCD screen and they wanted over 500 dollars to repair a 32 dollar part I can get off  Ebay but we didn't really want to tackle.  I didn't even find out until just yesterday that it would cost so much, 5 weeks for an estimate!  So through Wolfe's Camera in Topeka Kansas  I ended up with a new updated camera body.  I don't think they even usually sell just bodies like they did but they were very nice to me and gave me quite the deal on it as well even though they really didn't have to they were just the ones who helped send the camera off.  I guess it's just the small shop mentality instead of the big conglomerates and it was very nice to experience it.  I highly recommend Wolfe's Camera in Topeka if you are ever in the area.  So now instead of my lovely blue K-30 I have a lovely red K-50 which I am looking forward to getting out and using.
Hope I didn't bore you but I am so disappointed in Pentax a brand I have used for 30 years.  The cameras are still good but I really hope nothing ever happens to this one.  Anyway, if you have read this far, these are some golden Mums blooming in my yard right now. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I was out photographing these lovely sunflowers one afternoon.  I was capturing them mostly for the light and the lovely background bokeh.  When I looked at these photos later on my computer I saw that in this one I had captured a bee in flight above them and that it was actually in focus as well!  Sometimes it is about luck.  :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


This was a cool moth that I saw this summer hanging around on my way into work one morning.  When I Googled it I found it's commonly called an Army Camo Moth but it's actyal type thanks to someone on G+ is a Hawk Moth.  I thought it's color was very fitting for our area with Fort Riley located here, an army post.  :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


This is an image I got of a Red Tail Hawk that had been searching for prey in the brush are behind where I work.  I got this image as it was taking off from the tree it had been perched in.  I'm not sure if it just got bored or finally found something worthwhile to go after.

Monday, October 13, 2014


This was the last day of my B&W challenge on G+.  This is the image I used and you can see the other version at the link in the About Me if you like.  These were some leaves in the drizzly rain we had yesterday at the railroad.  The droplets clung very nicely to them and I loved the sparkly background it gave them too.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I was away for most of the day today playing miniature trains.  This is one of the 12" scale Ottaway engines that I get o operate for some friends outside Topeka, KS.  It is seen here sitting in front of the water tank where we pick up passengers and add coal.  This is the color version of my B&W Project for day 4.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


This Monarch butterfly was traveling through my yard last week and feeding on the Zinnia blooms to get some nourishment for it's trip.  It was a late traveler and not many of it's preferred flowers left due to the dry weather we have been having.  We finally got some rain these last 2 days.  I used this photo for the 3rd day of my B&W Challenge because I thought it's patterns would work well.  You can check it out and see if you agree with the link in the About Me section on the right of the page.  :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014


So it is day 2 of my B&W project and I thought my Gazania flower would make a lovely subject.  They are so lovely in color as well so had to share that one too.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I'm doing a B&W 5 day project over on Google+ .   My photo for today was this one and I thought I would share the color version here.  If you are curious what it looks like in B&W you can just click the link on the Right Hand side in the About Me section and visit my G+ page.  This is an 1880s stone house on our property that has quite a lot of character.  i do need to trim brush though before it's totally overgrown.  :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


This is a lovely female Tiger Swallowtail butterfly that was feeding on my sunflowers late one afternoon.  The blurring on the right side was caused by something that was close to the lens and I liked the effect so left it in.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


This was a photo i took at the annual Bi-plane Fly-In held this past June in Junction City, KS.  This is a beautiful 1936 beech Staggerwing.  It was in pristine shape and one of the few bi-planes that made it due to bad weather that weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2014


This is a quite large Garden Spider I saw and photographed one day.  They are quite large and I am thankful i have not walked into one of their webs yet.  I posted this on G+ today as well and there was some discussion on the type but it really is a Garden Spider as can be seen from this info:

Sunday, October 5, 2014


This is our Cumbres & Toltec excursion train as it headed into the Aspen groves that are along the line.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014


This is a storm front that was moving in just south of Hawley, Minnesota one evening when we were there.  This photo is appropriate due to the fact that we have actually received a bit of much needed rain recently.

Friday, October 3, 2014


This is called an Obedient plant.  It blooms in the fall and was a volunteer in my garden.  It spreads fairly well too, it's over taken one corner of the garden.  I like the spikes of flowers it produces!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I was able to witness a very few Monarchs come through my yard this year.  I saw a couple in the woods and then several on this Sedum that has been popular with butterflies this fall.  I was able to capture these two at once.  I've planted more Sedum in the hopes of attracting them and hopefully helping that their numbers don't decline even more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Hello!  Mr. Mantis and I want to wish you a happy first day of October!  Can't believe it is October already and that summer is officially over.  Where does the time go any more.  Found this guy walking on the railing of my porch one day a week ago or so while I was out watering.