Saturday, October 31, 2015


Happy Halloween!  I took this image out at the railroad I volunteer at last weekend and thought it was appropriate for me and the day.  Look at the headstone names.  :-)  Also, we got rain!  Not just a tiny sprinkle either.  Still not enough but better than those barely sprinkles.  Be careful out there tonight if you are Trick or treating!  Don't do too much mischief either.  ;-)

Friday, October 30, 2015


We have this variety of Sunflower in Kansas but I shot this particular example of it in Minnesota.  This is called a Sawtooth Sunflower because the petals resemble a circular saw blade.  Here's hoping we get a decent amount of rain but I am not holding my breath.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


So we had our first cold night and fairly chilly day.  Winter is on it's way.   I mentioned several posts ago that one of the only good things about getting up early to go to work is the beautiful skies I get to see but don't get to photograph.  Well,  I made time on a couple of occasions to try and get an image of the Planet Convergence that was happening this year in the past couple of weeks.  I think at one point they were a lot closer together than I ever saw them but I obviously did not get that.  I did however, get this image.  My first tries did not turn out well at all.  I was surprised to see how much they moved during a long exposure but afterwards when I thought about it, it does make sense since they are much closer than stars.  Anyway, on Monday, it was clear out and I tried again with different types of settings and succeeded.  I liked how the star patterns from only reflected light were created by my lens.  I believe the brightest one is Venus.  When I look at this image I am reminded of a line from a song by Paul McCartney and Wings, "Venus and Mars (and Jupiter) are alright tonight".  :-)  I believe Venus is the one that looks most star-like.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Well Autumn is here, have to bring in plants today because we are supposed to get to freezing for the first time.  I'm a bit surprised it waited this long to happen.  Today's image I got a couple of weekend's ago when I was out at Milford Lake.  I was pretty happy with the images I got because i have limited capabilities due to not having the big birding lenses and the fact that the birds are a bit skittish and won't let you get too close.  In fact I got this Cormorant in flight because it had taken off from the water because it thought I was too close to it.  I was happy it turned out nice and clear even though I was tracking it as it flew past.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


When I was in South Dakota I saw this grass in a couple of different locations.  The heads on it reminded me of the feathers on an arrow.  I tried to find it on the internet to see just what type it is but it was surprisingly difficult. I found it on a couple of sites that were not anything official where they called it "Flat Grass" and that may be it's name as it is a good description.  I'm still trying to find an ID.  I like the look of it a lot no matter what it is called. 

Monday, October 26, 2015


Pretty chilly out again today so really feeling like Autumn.  On Saturday at the railroad I help at east of Topeka they have a pond there that usually has something interesting to photograph.  As I was walking along the edge I would hear this "eep" noise and then there would be several splashes.  There were a great many frogs sitting on the bank of the pond and then jumping in.  It was comical to hear that noise they made.  Sounded almost like a person being surprised.  At one spot there were all kinds of tiny frogs, only 1 to 1 1/2 cm long hoping all over the place.  I was able to get a few who sat still long enough for a photo including these two that were hanging out on a leaf from the Poplar tree that grows beside the pond.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015


I saw my first frost today on the roof of part of our house.  I hope my plants are OK, I wasn't aware it was supposed to frost.  For today's image I am going back to the Cumbres & Toltec railroad, my favorite that is located in Colorado and New Mexico.  I caught this image of the train up near Cumbres Pass as it was crossing a very small trestle.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Cooler out today so feeling more like Autumn.  I haven't posted a sunrise image in a while.  This a lovely one I was treated to on the way to work one day in September.  When the time changes I hope to see more like this.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Well that was such a worthwhile 100% chance of rain we had.  Didn't even wet down the whole deck on the house.  Sigh.  We haven't had a decent rain since, what, early September?  It's been so long I can't even remember the last time.  Anyway, today's photo I decided on a nice pop of purple color.  This is Dakota Verbena growing on Konza Prairie that I shot quite a while back.  This wildflower is usually a Spring variety but there is an area on a hill out on the Konza where you can find this blooming almost all through the warm season.  It doesn't grow very tall there but is almost a constant bloomer and a nice spot of color when everything else is turning brown.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


So I don't usually share 2 bird images in a row.  There is a theme over on G+ called Bird Poker and I actually had this image that fir for it today.  Plus I liked this shot and the bird and I am hoping to find out what it is.  The red eye and the white bill are similar to a Coot but the birds I have seen that I knew were Coots were lighter in color and did not have the white feathers on the butt.  :-)  If anyone knows what this is, I'd love an ID in the comments.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Two weekends ago I headed out to Milford Lake and the pond area there.  I was scouting for a nice place to take photos.  While walking around the pond I saw some birds out in the water one of which was white and different than the others,  Sure enough, it was a Great Egret and I was able to capture it!  The first time one has been close enough to give me a fairly decent image.  I titled this one Holding Court because it seems to me when I look at this that the Egret is presiding in a court over the geese.  Gives me a smile.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


One of the advantages of getting up early in the morning is seeing cool things.  I saw Mars, Jupiter and Venus all lined up in the sky.  One of the many disadvantages is not having time to photograph what I see.  Ah well.  Today's image goes back to Minnesota and the friend's home that has the train I shared on Sunday.  These are Aspen trees in his yard and you can sort of see the track running along in front of them if you look closely.  I played with the image a bit doing an infrared treatment to it and a bit of toning as well.  I liked the results so here you go.  :-)

Monday, October 19, 2015


Well, this is more like the Kansas Fall I remember, windy!  Ha.  Anyway, still great for working outside.  This is an image from last summer.  This lovely Buckeye Butterfly was visiting some plants and I was able to get a shot.  I did not see many at all of this type around this year.  Very sad about that.  Love these, the patterns on the wings are very pretty and do remind of eyes.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Another beautiful Fall day.  I am beginning to sound like a broken record but we have been lucky this Fall with some really gorgeous days.  My image for today goes back to a beautiful summer day in Minnesota and a friend's railroad.  He has a collection of beautiful 12 inch scale locomotives of which this is one of them.  This one is a Challenger type, articulated 4-6-6-4 wheel arrangement.  It is quite something to operate when the front of it goes on forever yet can negotiate some fairly sharp turns due to the articulation.  Here I caught it after it emerged from the tunnel being operated by the owner's best friend and cohort on his operation. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Well, it's really going to feel like Fall today with highs only in the 60s.  I took this last year at this time after a hike in the woods near where I live.  I found it on the path back to the car.  It was quite small, maybe one and 1/2 inches long and I thought the spiky texture was interesting.  I am trying to get an ID but will have to see.  

Friday, October 16, 2015


Got a bit chilly out this morning but still a lovely day.  Frost is coming soon I bet, we weren't too far away this morning, 39F on my way to work.  Today's image is a spring one that I have had for awhile.  It's a beautifully colored Iris and a different color than I usually see.  There was a house just down the road from where I work that had lots of unique Iris but has since been bought by the Cable Co and they mow everything down.  Very sad but at least I have photos of them.  TGIF

Thursday, October 15, 2015


This has been the best Fall weather I can remember for a long time.  Usually we go from Summer to Winter and skip right over Fall.  I was outside on Monday afternoon trying to photograph a little butterfly that was being very skittish.  I then saw this big ole Bumble and it was quite accommodating for me and let me get up nice and close and just continued to move around this Marigold bloom. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Another lovely day.  Really would like some rain but you can't beat the weather these days.  Speaking of which I was working outside on Sunday around my pond.  I was cleaning out some old Lily pads and happened to look up and spotted this sight.  It cracked me up so I had to go get my camera and take a few shots.  I have no idea what prompted this, I know I see the frogs out of the pond and in the garden a lot but this was the first time I had seen anything like this.  I was thinking I just had to title this shot, I've Been Sitting On the Railroad.  :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


It was such a lovely cool morning today of the type where you wish you could just sleep but no, had to get up and go to work.  It's been lovely in the morning though with getting to see Venus and Jupiter in the sky.  For today's image, I was sitting at my computer desk on Saturday and looking out the window at the blustery morning.  Leaves were blowing off the Black Walnut tree almost like rain and giving "Fall" it's name.  I tried to capture what it looked like and this is the result.  I think I did OK.  :-)  Best viewed larger by clicking on it.

Monday, October 12, 2015


It's a beautiful day!  Wish I had had the day off to be outside.  This image is appropriate because I wanted to be off enjoying the day all day instead of working.  I took this at the Huff and Puff Hot Air Balloon meetup in Topeka, KS last month.  It was neat to be able to see hot air balloons up close and in flight. This was a rather colorful one and I was bale to get it with it's burner going.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Well, we are going to be warming up to 90F today and only for one day.  The weather has been like a yoyo lately.  Weird.  For my image today I decided to use one from the archives.  I had been looking for some other shots and found ones from a trip out to Colorado a few years back to the Durango & Silverton.  We had ridden the train the day before and then we were photographing it the next day and went on a tour of their Roundhouse.  This photo was taken as the train was coming off the famous High line and entering a cut on it's way back to Durango.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


A beautiful day here in Kansas.  Cool and clear.  This is from several weeks back when I was at the railroad I help at outside of Topeka.  This type of mushroom seems to grow in this same spot every year, I photographed some last year as well.  They look like the type out of a fairy tale.  They are quite tiny as you can possibly tell by the moss on the right hand side, maybe 1/4 inch across the cap.  There was quite the large group of them this year, I guess the weather was just right for them.

Friday, October 9, 2015


So we missed out on the rain once again and my collection tank is just about empty.  Sigh.  No rain in the forecast for a while either.  At least it's cooler out and I don't have to water every day.  So today's shot actually goes back to a much colder time.  I took this shot out in the snow, hence the white background.  I had bought these flowers to brighten up the house and decided to do a bit of an artsy shot with them so took a few outside on a sunny day after a snow.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Warming up for a day to almost 90, then back down to 70s.  Kind of crazy.  Our rain chance keeps dropping too, sad about that.  Today's photo is of a Monarch Butterfly that I was able to capture this Fall as it took advantage of all the Sunflower blooms on it's travels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


So we are warming up a bit today.  The cooler weather has been nice for working outside.  For today's image I went back to an older one I had.  I shot this in Rocky Mountain National Park and I thought it turned out really well so not sure why I never shared it before.  I miss the mountains and Colorado.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


So we are going to be warming up for a few days.  We really need some rain.  My collection tank is the lowest it has been all this past season.  It will be out if we don't get rain in a couple more waterings.  Today I thought I would share a lovely Painted Lady Butterfly that I captured on an Autumn day on blooms of Missouri Goldenrod.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Yesterday I was outside watering some plants.  The hubster was helping me fill air on my car tires and he saw a huge Praying Mantis by the front tire.  I did not want to harm it when I backed into the garage so I got a piece of wood and got her to climb onto it and then set it down in the yard and ran to get my camera.  She had stayed there and was very content to pose for me.  She even let me touch her front feet, yes I am weird like that.  :-)  It is a female one and she had to be a good 6 inches long.  They are such cool creatures with alien looking faces.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


So my image for today goes back to my favorite tourist railroad.  This is from the Cumbres & Toltec railroad which runs through south eastern Colorado and north eastern New Mexico.  It crosses over the boarder between these two states several times.  This image is of one of their locomotives sitting at the shop in Chama, New Mexico.  The railroad keeps several of their locomotives warm and ready to go in case another scheduled one has some type of problem.  They can switch in another one fairly quickly and be ready to go. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015


A chilly one this morning eh.  :-)  This is from early this summer after some rains.  These odd little mushrooms were growing in the wooded area behind the house.  All I could think of was there is a fungus among us!  LOL  Not sure what they are.  Hoping for an ID from a guy on G+ who knows his fungus.  They were cool looking though.

Friday, October 2, 2015


Since it is really Autumn now and going to be cold for a bit, lows in the low 40s, I thought I would post an Autumn flower.  This is Autumn Sedum.  The butterflies enjoy it quite a lot on their travels through the area.  This is what the blooms look like in a macro image.  The style of this was inspired by a photographer on G+ whose soft focus flower images I enjoy quite a lot.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Welcome to October!  Wow, where has the year gone!  Less then 90 days to Christmas.  Sheesh.  So the photo.  :-)  I was out shooting a Sunflower field that a friend told me about.  It was getting past it's prime but there was still some life left in it.  I was photographing this Sunflower that was beginning to droop.  When I was home and looking at the photos I was surprised to see that I captured these 2 Cabbage White Butterflies that were flitting around among the Sunflowers.  I was even more surprised to see they were in focus!  Teehee.  That was a lucky shot but I shall take it!