Thursday, December 31, 2015


Well, here we are at the last day of 2015, Happy New Year's Eve!  Let's hope next year is better than this one has been at times.  Especially the way it ended with all the stress.  At least we are ending it on a sunny day.  I have been rather uninspired to shoot photos lately except of birds and some of those have not been my best shots.  :-)  I have been looking at old albums and reworking some images and this is one of them.  This is Waggoners Bridge that I shot in Pennsylvania a few years back when on an outing to shoot covered bridges with my brother.  This one is privately owned and one of the more picturesque that I shot that day with the waterfall in the background that can be viewed underneath it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


It's all dreary out again.  Apparently we can't have a sunny day two days in a row lately.  Doesn't feel so cold when it's sunny out.  I'm thinking of warmer days of course so decided to brighten up the day with a lovely butterfly.  I captured this guy sitting on the Mickelson trail in South Dakota.  I tried to look up what kind it is on a few websites of common butterflies for SD but apparently it was a traveler as well as I could not find it.  It's wing and head shape and even some markings are very Monarch like but it is definitely not that.  I thought it was lovely though so still sharing.  Hopefully I will get an ID from someone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Wow, I forgot the sky could be this color!  It's been a while since I have seen a blue sky, how nice!  I have solar LED light decorations and they have not been able to charge up for days.  Because it's so nice out I can post this moody image I shot a few weeks ago.  I saw this lonely tree on some farmland a bit to the west of here and the way the rays were coming through the clouds thought it made for a neat image.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Well, winter has arrived with a vengeance.  Snow and highs in the 20s this week.  Yuck.  We have been quite spoiled with our 50 degree weather.  I knew this had to come at some point but not very happy about it.  At least it's not going to be the possible 11 inches of snow that they were predicting.  Anyway, I was at the in-laws this past weekend.  They were feeding the Blue Jays peanuts and I was able to capture this one with it's prize.  Not the best shot I have ever gotten but I thought it was cute.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


Winter is on it's way today.  We are looking at highs in only the 20F for the rest of the week.  I knew it was coming but not looking forward to it.  So, of course, I am dreaming of Spring.  This is an image of a Swallowtail Butterfly on my Lilac one spring.  I wish Lilacs lasted longer, they are great butterfly magnets and they smell so wonderful.  I believe this is a Black Swallowtail which are supposed to be the most numerous in Kansas.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


So moving on from my holiday celebration. I thought I would share a bird that is looking rather festive.  This is a Cardinal that I shot sitting fairly close in a tree that posed rather nicely for me.  I get quite a few pairs that come to visit my feeder each day.

Friday, December 25, 2015


Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate and merry Day to everyone else.  Hope you have a great one!  This is my Christmas tree and village and American Flyer locomotive.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Well, it's almost here.  I am continuing on with my holiday celebration.  I shot this last year at this time in Saint Joseph, Missouri.  They decorate the park every year with different displays that you drive through the park to see.  This one was of particular interest to me.  :-)  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Yuck, what a dreary day out.  It's currently raining and I am glad it's not snow but we have had so many dreary days lately.  My image for today will brighten things up a bit I think though.  I shot this last year at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City.  This was their tree in the main entrance hall which looked quite lovely with all the marble.  I got lucky that there was a low amount of people around but I did remove about 3 people from the background.  :-)  I processed it with an HDR effect because it was rather dark in the hall and wanted to bring out details.  We have been to this museum several times now.  They have a lovely presentation and it's a great building as well.  I highly recommend it if you are in to art. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Well, it doesn't feel much like the Holiday Season outside these days though yesterday was rather chilly with no sun.  Today it's supposed to be around 50.  I like it but worry about when winter will actually hit.  So anyway, continuing on with my Christmas time celebration.  This is an image I shot in Saint Joseph, Missouri last year one evening of a very festive looking home.  It's a beautiful large home to start with and then the way they decorate at Christmas is just gorgeous.  They have a decorated tree in every window that you can see from the road.  I took this image from alongside the road because I didn't want to be too intrusive.  I liked the perspective of it up on the hill.

Monday, December 21, 2015


We had rain and thunder again last night.  How weird for this time of year.  Since it is Christmas week I decided to share a photo a day in the holiday spirit.  This first one is one I took last month during the ice event we had.  I have a beautiful Blue Spruce, which I hope I won't lose to road construction and is quite a sore spot with me but that's a whole other story, that I love to use as a model.  I hung this ornament on it during the ice event and shot this image.  I like how the colors of the ornament really pop and the ice adds a lovely effect as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Wow, only 5 days till Christmas!  It sure doesn't seem like that or feel like that with the temps going up to near 60 F today.  I'm not fond of the wind, 30mph gusts kind of stink.  Anyway, my image for today is from Minnesota and one of the 12 inch large scale steam locomotives that some friends own there.  This is their Challenger style locomotive.  It runs on wood, Oak, and certainly heats it up enough because this image is of it "popping off" as we say.  The pressure has built up to the safety level and so the pressure relief has opened to let the excess get out.  Usually you would run these locomotives on coal.  I love the smell they produce with the wood fire though, quite nice.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Going to be a beautiful day today!  I just hope it's not winter in March.  This is an image I got earlier this year when we were having a good amount of rain.  Mushrooms were popping up all over in people's yards.  I had some but not as nice as this pair.  Some of the ones I saw were huge like these two.  They had to be at least 5 inches across each at least.  I decided to process them in a sepia tone and liked the result.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Well we had blue skies again so yay.  Saw a few flakes of snow yesterday.  Had me dreaming of Spring again which is where this image comes from.  We are supposed to be warmer again for a few days.  Anyway, I played around with this image a bit as you can see.  It's a Daffodil from my garden and I did kind of an ink/artsy effect to it.  I like to play around which is why I call my little efforts MPG Photo Creations.  :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2015


So started out cloudy again, we only get one full day of sun?  Much colder today too, guess we are really in winter now which I guess is not wrong but...  :-)  So this image I was able to get in late summer in an area across the road from me where there were several Thistles blooming.  This female Black Swallowtail was flitting around and enjoying the blooms and I was able to capture it while it stayed still for a moment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Finally a beautiful sunny clear day!  Lovely if a bit cool but that's more normal for this time of year so it's all good.  :-)  My image today is from our trip a couple of years back to Yellowstone National Park.  I love it there, so unique and beautiful.  This is a view of the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone.  This is a bit of a long exposure with a neutral density filter to give the falls a more milky look.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Well, the dreariness continued into today.  Tired of that, haven't seen the stars for days, or the sun either.  But then.... What is that yellow ball I saw?  What color is that sky, is that blue?  I forget.  :-)   At least it's warmer out than when I shot this image a couple of weeks ago.  These are drops of ice hanging from the branch of a Mulberry tree.

Monday, December 14, 2015


So that was quite the rain we got over the weekend.  Thankfully it was rain and not snow!  We would have been snowed in for days!  I'm thinking of summer again.  I got this image in early summer of a Hover Fly on some Thistle blooms.  The blooms were very popular with the bees as well.  I was pleased I got such good focus on this, especially in the eyes.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015


We've been getting a good amount of rain since last night.  I am thankful it is in rain form and not snow!  We had a thunderstorm last night, that was weird in December.  This image is from back in September at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion.  I took this one cool morning before my shift of former Soo Line locomotive 353 starting out after picking up some passengers.  With the cylinder cocks open to let out moisture and steam and the bell ringing it's a bit loud, check out the kid on the left.  :-)  

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Dreary day out today.  We are supposed to get rain.  I took this image on a day like today but hopefully we will avoid the ice this time around.  This is an old rural school near where I work that I think would make a cool home.  Someone does own it and they keep it up, the roof is not that old and the grounds are always mowed.  I always wonder why they aren't making it into a home.  Anyway, I thought it looked lovely in among the icy bushes and tree. 

Friday, December 11, 2015


Probably our last warm day for awhile.  It looks like it will be getting colder and more normal for awhile at least.  So due to that I thought I would share a summer image of one of my Rose of Sharon blooms with a ant taking a stroll on it and probably enjoying some nectar as well.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Another lovely day in store for us, in the 60s.  Not sure this is good, we will probably have snow in April.  Anyway, this is an image from this past spring.  This is a Honey Bee enjoying the Apricot blossoms in my neighbor's yard.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


This is an older image that I got in Yellowstone National Park.  This is a Pelican that was coming in for a landing one evening on Yellowstone Lake.  I was pleased that I was able to capture it clearly in the low light.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."  I may be showing my age with that quote.  :-)  This is another version of an image I shared a while back.  I had done a B&W version and this is the color.  This is a Mohawk Bi-plane that came to the Annual Fly-In held in Junction City in June.  Fun times and cool planes to see during the event. 

Monday, December 7, 2015


So looks like we will be in the 60s this week.  Very nice but that is not normal.  This is an image I got during the Ice Event.  I rarely have Blue Birds in my yard but when I do they come for the Bird Bath.  This is one I was able to capture, enjoying a drink from it.  The birds rarely bathe in it, they do like to drink from it though.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Well, the wind died down, that's great.  Even though it was in the 50s it made it pretty chilly to be outside.  This image comes from Halloween Day when it was a bit chilly out as well and the railroad I volunteer at was having their Santa Run.  We had a couple of surprise guests.  This is Wylie Coyote riding the train being engineered by one of the owners.  Kung Fu Panda is right behind him though he can't be seen in this image.  It was a fun time for our last run of the season.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Well, windy but warm today.  I can share photos like this and not make myself feel cold.  :-)   This is an image of the first home on our property, built in the late 1800s, that I photographed during the Ice Event that we had last week.  This home is in disrepair these days but still has character and is a favorite subject to photograph for different things.  I used a bit of an HDR effect to bring out the details.  I thought it looked lovely with the limestone color behind the icy branches.

Friday, December 4, 2015


So it looks like the 50s for the foreseeable future.  That's nice but not good as well.  As you can see in this image, the buds are looking a bit large.  I hope plants don't get confused and bloom too early.  I took this image during the ice event we had.  This is one on the branches on my Lilac bush encased in ice.  I thought it looked rather lovely with the bokeh behind from leaves on the ground.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


So a lovely and warmer day today.  From ice to 50s, one extreme to the other.  My image today is from the ice event and as can be seen in the photo, the ice became quite thick as the days went along.  This is branches of one of the Rose of Sharon bushes that I have covered in ice and making rather abstract shapes.  The color comes from fallen Sycamore tree leaves.  We were quite lucky that we did not lose any more branches or power than we did with as much ice as we got.  It did provide for lovely images though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


We had crazy weather yesterday.  It started out nice and sunny and then late in the day got cloudy and then when I was going to a meeting in the evening it was snowing!  Didn't last long thankfully.  Today started out lovely and so far stayed that way.  :-)
I took this image on Sunday when the ice was at it's peak I think.  The waterfall in the limestone cut near where I live was flowing very nicely due to all the rain we had received before the ice and during.  I took this image of it and processed it in HDR to bring out details.  I'm not sure what was causing the color in some of the water flow, my guess was rock debris as I did not see anything else to make some of it that color.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Well, it's the first day of December and finally had some sunshine so a good start to a new month.  The ice is finally gone and it's warming up during the week as well.  This is an image on our property of an old shed with some character that I took an image of in among the icy trees.  We were lucky that we only lost small branches and power for only 2 hours.  Others were not so lucky.  It was beautiful even though destructive at times.