Sunday, January 31, 2016


Well, it's the last day of January but it feels like it should be March or April, 50F or 10C today.  That ends today with a snow storm predicted that is supposed to begin tomorrow.  This goes back to a nice warm day in September at a friend's place in Minnesota where he has a large scale railroad.  This is his Challenger locomotive and it's train just after it crossed the bridge alongside the pond.  His friend and co-hort who helped him build the railway is operating the locomotive.  I have been allowed to operate this one and it just seems to go on forever when you are in the seat.  It's 12 inch scale but quite large for that.  A beautifully detailed locomotive as well. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Wow, I can't believe we are in the end part of January.  Supposed to be in the low 60 F again today!  Of course this isn't lasting and a snowstorm is predicted for early in the week and then highs in the 20s.  I worry about my emerging Daffodils, hope they will be OK.  Anyway, on to today's image.  I have not had a lovely sunrise to share in a while.  This was the one I saw as I headed in to work on January 11.  I loved how the pink color was catching on the clouds across the sky as well as the intense color in the east.

Friday, January 29, 2016


We are going to hit the low 60s today!  I like that kind of temp but I know it won't last so not good at all.  I have Daffodils peeking through in the front garden already.  Yikes.  Anyway, today's image.  :-)  I had received an Amaryllis in a mixed bulb gift before but it never bloomed.  I decided to try again and bought a bulb last December.  It grew and bloomed recently and I have been playing with it putting it in different types of light.  I liked this shot because I thought the light on the back flower made it almost appear to be a reflection of the bright one.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Well, a nice warm, sunny day again today.  I felt I could share this and not make myself too cold.  :-)  This is from a couple weekends ago when it was only about zero F outside and it created quite a bit of frost on the storm doors.  I thought this particular image reminded a lot of ferns with the patterns it made.  Quite the lovely abstract art I thought.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


A lovely sunny warmer day today.  Doesn't mean I am not still thinking of Summer though.  Today's image is of another type of blue Butterfly that I was able to see.  I visited the Butterfly Pavilion outside Denver, Colorado a while back and it was quite a cool place with all kinds of lovely butterflies fluttering and sitting about on flowers and plants.  This one is called a Metallic Blue Wave that sat very nicely for me to take it's photograph.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


It's going to be warming up quite a lot this week which will be very nice.  Today is still cold but a clear blue sky was had this morning to start the day off and that was quite nice.  I am dreaming of Spring and my Sis-in-law gave me the perfect gift for Christmas.  During the 3 most dreary months of winter, I get a basket of bulbs delivered and get to watch them grow and flower.  The first one came earlier this month and just bloomed on Sunday.  I had to take a photo of a bright spot of life in the dreary winter.

Monday, January 25, 2016


A dreary misty drizzly morning had me dreaming of Spring today.  Fortunately during this time I have some lovely flowers to enjoy.  My Christmas Cactus that sits in a shady west window in my kitchen is in bloom right now.  I took this macro image of one of the blooms yesterday.  Lovely looking flowers, interesting too.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Well, now I am really glad for our small bits of snow.  My dad in Pennsylvania ended up with 2 feet!  Yikes.  I'll take 5 to 6 inches over that any day.  Plus, it's supposed to get up to the 40s today here so I imagine it will start melting nicely.  In the meantime, thinking of summer days and steam train rides.  This is from a trip to southwestern Colorado and the Durango and Silverton Railroad.  The front locomotive was sitting at the station in Durango just about to pull out with it's train.  The one in the background was ours all steamed up and ready to attach to it's train and take us to Silverton.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Well, our 5 to 6 inches of snow is nothing compared to what they are getting out east.  My dad in Pennsylvania has a foot already and still coming down at 1 to 3 inches an hour!  Yikes.  I am glad we don't get snows like that.  We are just cold and dreary today with our bit of snow on the ground.  Today's image comes from a tip out to PA and an outing to view covered bridges in the central part of the state.  A large number of them have been kept up and restored and painted but this one, the Mount Pleasant, was very worn and faded looking so I decided to turn it into a monochrome image that I thought worked fairly well.  I gave it a sepia tone as well.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Well, we ended up with between 5 and 6 inches and that was quite enough especially since it didn't get me a day off.  That is all snow is good for in my opinion.  I am glad we didn't get like what is predicted for the east coast, like Maryland, 2 feet.  Yikes.  This might stay around a bit too, not supposed to be all that warm.  We'll see though.  In the meantime, here is a view of a much warmer time when my mini Alliums were in bloom and I took this macro image of one.  I thought it had some great bokeh as well.  Bokeh is the blurred background and can be different with different lenses.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Had a good snow today and had to go to work, what the heck good is that.  UGH  Snow is only good if it gets me a day off.  :-(  Anyway, I am dreaming of summer and warmer days still.  I captured this lovely fuzzy Bumble Bee enjoying a Marigold flower this past summer.  I never knew Bumbles were so fuzzy when I was younger and before I had a macro lens and wasn't afraid to get too close to them.  If you don't bug them they are really pretty tolerant af you getting up close with a lens.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


So with it cold and dreary and snow in the forecast I am still dreaming of summer.  This shot goes back in the archives to a trip I made to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I went to see Minnehaha Falls in a park on the outskirts of town.  It was during the drought so the flow was lower than normal I was told but I thought it looked lovely as is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


A very winter day today, cold, dreary, maybe snow.  Yuck.  I am dreaming of summer.  Someone on G+ asked me if I had ever photographed a blue butterfly.  I have taken shots of a few varieties of blue ones.  This one is the most brilliant blue of them and the one with the most blue.  I photographed this one on a trip to Colorado a while back and this is from a Butterfly House just north of Denver.  This is a Common Blue Morpho and a very dificult one for me to get.  They are usually in flight or sit with their wings closed so you can't see the lovely blue.  This one is an older one most likely if the tattered wing is any indication but was sitting still for a bit and I was able to get in close and capture the texture in the wings as well as the color.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Having a Holiday day today, yay.  It's very cold out though, only about 7F when I check a bit ago.  I was able to get today's image in late November.  Funny how it seems like just a week or two ago.  Anyway, I don't get Nuthatches around all that often and when I do they are in so much motion it is very difficult to get a shot of them and also isn't blurry.  I believe this one was caching food for the winter, he kept going back to a similar spot on the Mulberry tree and pecking at the bark so I think it was taking sunflower seed from the feeder and storing it up.  I was patient and waited for a possible chance to capture it and I finally got one when it paused on the trunk for a moment.  They are so cute the way they walk face down a tree unlike other birds who only seem to move up the tree.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Yikes, it's going to be a cold one today, only a high of 14F or -10C, ICK.   I'm thinking of much warmer days in September up in Minnesota at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  This is the Wagner locomotive and train that I get to help operate for 3 hours a day during the show.  It was built in the late 40s and originally operated out in New York at a park by Niagara Falls.  In this shot is Becky, and we used to have an all female crew until this year when we let a guy be on it with us.  :-)  Five more months and I will be there again for Steam School.  Seems a long time away in weather like this.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Posting a bit late today as I was out at Konza Prairie for the beginning of today.  It's turned into a rather nice day so far, not as cold as I expected though I think we are in for that tomorrow.  Since I was out at Konza I decided to post an image that I took there a while back.  I shot this one evening after a meeting on a very clear but very windy night.  I was pleased that I got a clear shot because the exposure time was around 20 seconds.  The light on the grass came from the porch light on the main house where we were having the meeting and this is the view up the hill from there of the Milky Way.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Wow, yesterday was quite a lovely day.  Now we are heading into bitter cold again for a bit and I am not looking forward to that.  I'm thinking warm thoughts with a photo I took in southern Missouri on a trip we made a while back.  We were stopped for gas and I saw this lovely group of Teasel flowers growing on a hill across the road.  I loved how they were back-lit and that it showed off the detail of them.  I have tried to grow these and the plant came up but so far they have not sent up a flower.  Maybe this year.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Well, we got a couple of lovely warm days this week.  That was nice.  I am still dreaming of summer though.  I took this image this past summer of a lovely Viceroy butterfly that was sitting on a leaf along the road by my house one afternoon.  Viceroys differ from Monarchs in a way that's easy to tell because of the line that runs across their lower wings.  Monarchs do not have this at all.  They both are lovely butterflies.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


So a warmer day today.  How nice.  Wish it would be like this on the weekend though.  Ah well, will take what I can get.  Over my break I was processing older images since it was cold and dreary and uninspiring for new ones.  I have newer software now to do my processing with as well.  This one didn't need much from the original.  I just gave it a little extra punch in contrast and color.  This is Rifle Falls in Colorado.  A beautiful place where this river breaks into 3 separate falls as it flows over the rocks.  It was flowing quite nicely when I was there a few years back in July.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


So I finished my Wildlife Challenge.  It was fun to do.  Today I am dipping into the archives again and posting an image that I re-worked from several years back on an outing to see covered bridges in Pennsylvania.  This was a fairly long one in central PA called Adairs Bridge.  All of the bridges we saw that day were painted red, it was just that they were in varying states of decay.  This one has seen some work done to it.  It's nice to see this bit of history still in existence.  

Monday, January 11, 2016


Well, it's the 7th Day and last day of my 7 Day Wildlife Challenge.  I took a break yesterday because Sunday is always Steamy Sunday and a day for trains mostly.  :-)   Anyway, I thought I would finish out the challenge with one of the popular birds that visit my yard.  I have at least 4 pairs if not more that visit regularly.  This is a male that was sitting out back in the Walnut tree one morning and posing very nicely for a change.  They usually move around quite a bit, hopping from branch to branch.  I decided to vignette the image like I did the Blue Jay one as it works well with a winter scene.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Woo, it's cold out there this morning, in the single digits Fahrenheit!  I was able to get some icy shots off the storm door which I hope turned out nice that I'll have to share if they did.  :-)  For today I am taking a break from my Challenge and going back to my favorite thing, trains.  I dipped into the archives for this one from a trip a while back to Colorado and the Georgetown Loop.  This is the train on the Devil's Gate High Bridge coming out of Georgetown and heading to Silver Plume.  I played around with it in my B&W program of Silver Efex Pro And liked the result I got.  Made it rather dramatic with the sky that day.  It began to rain not long after I got this image.   

Saturday, January 9, 2016


I saw a few cracks of blue sky so i was hopeful for a sunny day but it seems to be getting less now.  Ah well.  So it's day 6 of my Wildlife Challenge and this is one from earlier this year at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in Missouri.  I captured these Pelicans meeting on a mound while other various types of waterbirds swam among them.  There are various types of ducks and Coots in this image that I wish I knew what they were exactly but I am not up on my birds.   

Friday, January 8, 2016


It's day 5 of the Wildlife Challenge I am doing and today I am sharing an image from my trip to South Dakota this summer.  This is a cute little Chipmunk that I was able to capture a few images of before it dashed off to somewhere else.  There were a couple of these Chippys running around but they did not stay still for long.  This was taken at the rest stop on the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota at one of the Trail Heads.  I was on a break during the 20 mile bike ride I took on this trail.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Well, dreary and rainy out today.  Guess it could be snow.  I am continuing on with my nature photos and this is one I was able to capture a few months back.  I saw this Egret out at Milford Lake and it took off when it saw me but I was bale to capture it in flight and in focus.  I saw 2 different Egrets this day and got my best shots ever with the equipment I have so I was very happy.  Actual birding lenses are quite out of my price range.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Well, looks like we are in for those dreary days for a few now.  Yuck.  This was taken on a dreary morning in very late December.  I had my 500mm lens with me but the 300mm was blurring if they moved even a little so did what I could.  This was taken while this Blue Jay was sitting in the in-law's Ornamental Pear tree.  It was wanting some peanuts.  I liked this view of it because it really showed off it's markings.  They say Blue Jays are bullies but I have not really seen evidence of that.  They squawk very loudly when they want their  peanuts but they don't seem to bother other birds.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Well, turned into a nice day.  I was reminded that January and February are usually dreary so I should expect it to be that way.  I hate it though, especial right after the holidays and the decorations are down, especially the lights.  Sigh.  So blah.
Anyway, dreaming of warmer days and continuing on with my Nature Challenge.  I did not see a time limit for when photos could be taken and I had this shot I wanted to use one day ready to go from the archives.  This is a beautiful Elk I was able to see and photograph during our trip to Yellowstone.  It was just slowly walking along and eating new growth in this previously burned out part of the park.  It was just wonderful with it's big tack of antlers.  I felt very privileged to be able to see it and photograph it.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Well, I was invited to a 7 day Wildlife Challenge over on Google+ a few weeks ago and never got started.  I thought I would finally get to it, especially since I was given a nice compliment from the person who invited me to do it.  My first image I got this past week after it snowed on Monday.  This Goldfinch in winter plumage was pecking around on the deck railing in the snow and looked rather cute.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Another lovely sunny day and last day of my vacation.  SIGH.  Didn't get everything done that I wanted to but that's pretty normal.  I had to share my first train pic of the year and this goes back into the archives of my favorite tourist railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec in Colorado and New Mexico.  I like this shot because it shows the vastness of the landscape you travel through on this train.  Plus it's a shot of the whole train which I usually don't do.  The train is on a loop of track after passing by an original Rio Grande water tank just to the right of the track you can see in the foreground of the image.  There are actually some houses in this area that are just out of sight to the left of the image.  On an interesting note, they have to provide their own electricity and water as the area is not developed for living.  There are some lovely log cabin style homes here though and I can see why they would want to live here with the beautiful view.  The train is a bonus too.  :-)  

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Another sunny day to start off the new year, yay.  Got to see stars the last 2 nights, had been several days without.  It's cold though so thinking of warmer days and walking out on Konza Prairie.  I shot this back in June of some storm clouds moving in.  This is 4 images stitched together I believe, maybe 5, and is viewed better large by clicking on the image.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Happy New Year 2016!  May this one be better than the last!  We are off to a nice start with a lovely sunny day though a bit cold but it's winter.  :-)