Saturday, April 30, 2016


The last day of April and we had some showers overnight to bring those May flowers.  Right now it's still dreary out.  This is an image to brighten up the day with color.  I shot this lovely group of tulips in Wamego, Kansas, our tulip capitol of the state.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Dreary sprinkly day today.  We need the rain though.  My Daisies are blooming in the garden.  Well, actually some have excaped the garden and are blooming alongside it and by the pond.  I am not sure the type of these Daisies, they are not Shasta, they seem to spread and come back well and that's about all I know.  When I took this shot this title popped in my head, It's This Way.  So, yay, another picture titled.  :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2016


It's cooler out now and most likely more normal for this time of year so that's good I guess.  It's great that we are finally getting some much needed moisture and not in the downpours some areas very close to us are getting.  Another good thing is that the Honey Bees are around.  I am finally seeing lots of them.  The one I saw a while ago must have told his buddy where the good eats were because the Salvia has been loaded with them.  I got this shot of this guy heading in for a drink.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Well we missed the severe storms where I live thank goodness.  They were close as the eastern part of our area was hit with heavy rain.  I want rain but I don't want it in the form of damaging hail so glad we dodged the bullet there.
My image today is from Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge.  I was able to get a decent image of these ducks in flight that was actually in focus.  I am not sure what type they are but I liked the color on their wings.  Best viewed large by clicking on the image.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


So the April showers are bringing severe storms to the area.  That I can do without.  I took this image this past Saturday.  The Historical Society here at an event at the Spring Valley Schoolhouse.  Before it got busy I was able to take a ride in the carriage which I had never done before.  It was pulled by two beautiful Percheron horses, one of which you can see the rear end of.  I tried to be a little artsy in this shot with the shadow.  :-)

Monday, April 25, 2016


Well, we finally got the thunderstorms they have been talking about.  It was quite the downpour with hail as well which I could have done without and glad it stayed small.  So we are finally getting our April showers for May flowers.  My image today is of an April flower though.  My Columbine are in bloom.  I have some that are of the more wild type but I had bought a pink variety last year and that came back though a bit small, possibly due to the lack of rain.  It has a few blooms on it and a couple which are open now.  I took this macro of one of the blooms the other day.  I love the shape of these flowers,  sort of like a bird head and sort of like a bell as well.  Quite interesting.  From Wikipedia: The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Another 80s summer like day.  Hope summer is not all 100s days.  This image was taken on a late summer day last year at our friend's house and his Garden Railway.  This is my 2-cylinder Live Steam Shay locomotive.  I plan to run it around my own track this year now that it is getting in good shape.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


A lovely and actually quite warm day here, in the 80s F.  It's still supposed to be Spring for awhile.  A lot of my Tulips did not bloom this year.  I keep wondering if it is because of how dry it has been, we didn't get much snow either.  If we have another dry winter I will have to remember to water them a couple of times.  This tulip was in an arrangement from my sis-in-law and is one of my favorite colors.  It was a lovely model for me from various angles and I chose this one to share.  

Friday, April 22, 2016


Happy Earth Day!  Today is designated as Earth Day but we need to be thinking about the earth every day.  I try to do the best I can and think about the things I plant.  Due to the road construction I tried to transplant some milkweed plants that Monarch's need to survive.  They are very deep rooted and hard to move but I was so happy to see that they both survived and are emerging this spring!  This image is an old one that I have never shared but I thought was very appropriate for today as it is something I hope to witness again one day soon.  These are Monarchs that stopped over in my yard one year on their trip south.  It was quite an awe inspiring event to witness as there were hundreds of them floating about and in the trees.  Let's think about Earth Day every day so we can still witness events like this.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I got some Salvia plants from my neighbor last year.  She had to move or lose some plants due to road construction and let me have some.  It is blooming rather profusely right now and I was able to capture my first Bumble Bee image of the year this past weekend.  I was out shooting Honey Bees yesterday as I finally saw a good amount of them so I hope those shots come out.  If they do, you shall see one here.  :-)  In the meantime you get this fuzzy Bumble which is better appreciated by viewing large by clicking on the image.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


We got another lovely rain over night, yay!  Bring on those May flowers.  :-)  My image today goes back to South Dakota and the Mickelson Trail.  I saw this cute little Chipmunk scurrying all over the rest area.  I was able to get a shot when it stopped to eat something for a moment.  There were 2 Chippys and usually in motion but once in a while they would briefly stop and I could get a shot of them. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


This is an image of a Redbud Tree in my yard.  These trees seem to almost grow like weeds in our area of Kansas but I planted this one on purpose.  It is not in danger due to the road construction because I did not pay attention to if it was totally on our land because at the time we were in the county and basically country and who knew there would be all kinds of development around us.  That's a long and painful story.  Anyway, this is it in full bloom this past week.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Well I was wrong and I am happy to be wrong.  It did rain yesterday and it rained again today!  Woohoo!  We have been so dry.  They were both nice rains and not downpours so what we got should have soaked in some.  I forgot to put out a rain gauge but my collection tank was about 3/4 full so it was a significant amount and not just sprinkles.  Yay!
My image for today is one I took over the weekend.  I saw this hairy guy on a wooden retaining wall.  In researching what type it is, I found it is an Eastern Tent Caterpillar which I believe is similar to what we call Bag Worms though it is not the same.  Tent Caterpillars can defoliate Ornamental trees but the tree usually recovers. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016


So our 100% chance for rain today has dropped to 90% now and looking at the radar, it is moving north alongside us so if we get anything I will be surprised.  This stinks.  It is horribly dry.
My image for today is of my Garden Railway locomotive on our friend's elevated track last year.  It's getting close to the time to go play trains there again.  I am getting my track in shape and hope to run it at home this year as well.  The steam power is produced by butane and water and it was looking good as it was cool and a bit humid out that day.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Posting late today.  Getting ready to play trains as it is that time of year again!  It's been so dry this spring that my Tulips aren't as abundant as they were last year.  Not as many came up and bloomed of the various colors.  This is an image of a color that did not come up this year.  I shot this last spring at a bit of a different angle.  I love the colors of this tulip.  I was happy when the arrangement my sis-in-law got me during this past winter had tulips of this color.

Friday, April 15, 2016


I am hoping for rain this weekend, it is so dry and our chances keep getting pushed back and percentages dropping so nt holding much hope for it.  So I was able to capture my first butterfly this past weekend.  This little Cotton Square Borer was enjoying the Salvia that is blooming right now.  It paused long enough for a few photos and I liked this one the best.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I have been hoping to see bees this Spring but they have been slow in coming.  I have seen a Bumble Bee a few times but have yet to get a shot.  This past weekend I finally saw what I think is a Honey Bee enjoying the blossoms of the Red Bud trees in my backyard.  I was even able to capture it in flight.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


I  just felt like some happy Daffodils today.  These were some mini ones that were the first flowers to bloom in an arrangement from my sis-in-law.  I planted these all outside.  Not the opportune time to do so I hope they will come up next year.  I guess I'll see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


So since it has been getting warmer out the insects are starting to return.  I caught this Argus Tortoise Beetle on the leaf of a Mum that's coming up.  I was trying to get a head on shot of it and I did but it must not have liked me there so it tucked in it's antennae.  So here is the side shot where you can see those.  :-)

Monday, April 11, 2016


Well, missed out on rain as usual these days.  Sigh.  This is not good.  I am having to water things because they are not getting their April showers.  My image today shows what our area is like when it is not windy out this spring.  Ranchers and Konza Prairie are doing their annual burns.  They burn off the old dried grass which blackens the soil which causes it to warm up quickly and promote new grass growth.  Studies on Konza show that Bison seek out these burned areas as their preferred grazing areas.  Burning also keeps down the growth of woody shrubs like Dogwood and also Cedar trees which grow like weeds and keeps the grassland predominant.  

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Posting late today because of some computer issues.  SIGH  A beautiful day out and, of course, our rain chance is basically none.  We need some April Showers for May flowers.  My image today is from one of our trips on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad.  Our train is sitting at the station in Antonito, Colorado ready to head to Chama, New Mexico.  I need to get back there, maybe an Autumn excursion, that would be lovely.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


A lovely day out but looks like the wind is back.  Sigh  I got this image in Wamego, KS  when I was there recently and as I mentioned is known for it's tulips.  When I was deciding what to post a title jumped into my head for this photo which rarely happens, I stink at naming my images.  Anyway, with how the tulip seems to glow from the sunlight, I thought that, Let Your Light Shine was fitting.  :-)

Friday, April 8, 2016


We might get a break from the wind today.  That would be nice.  It just beats you down.  Wind is OK when it's normal but 45mph gusts are not especially when driving.  :-(
Anyway, on to the image.  I took this a week ago now probably but it is still blooming.  This is a macro image of some Speedwell blooms and they have a visitor.  They are lovely blue flowers growing on top of my retaining wall.  I loved the bokeh in this image caused by the other blue blooms in the background.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


I saw my first butterfly in the area on Saturday.  I was unable to capture a photo but was happy to see one around.  This is an image of a couple of Skippers on a Zinnia bloom from a couple summers ago.  Skippers seem very social because I was looking back through some photos while organizing them over on Google + and a lot of my images of them had 2 of them on a flower.  I think they are cute little guys with their big eyes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Wow, I am tired of windy day.  Yesterday was crazy.  The rain we got was a joke too.  So I guess we are officially in drought.  Stinks.  My image for today goes back to a visit to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in north western Missouri.  I never knew what a Coot looked like until this trip when I saw quite a number of them.  I saw this pair swimming around and was able to get a shot.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


What a lovely day it was yesterday.  Today we have a chance for rain and I really hope we get.  I heard on the radio that the state is either in drought or near drought due to such a dry March.  Sigh.  Today's image is an older one.  I saw my first Dragonfly of the season on Saturday but was unable to get a shot of it as it never settled anywhere and flew off.  This shot I got a while back and is of a Damselfly on an Ivy leaf.


Well, my goodness, I missed a day again.  Getting old and forgetful apparently.  Sigh.  This is an image I got a couple weekends ago at the in-laws in Missouri.  They put out grape pieces for the birds and the Cardinals love them.  This female Cardinal was sitting in their Ornamental Pear tree with a piece of grape.  It was raining at the time so if you view large you can see the streaks from the drops.  You can view large by clicking on an image.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Well today is going to be almost steamy outside as we are supposed to get up into the 80s now!  One extreme to the other.  Sheesh.  This image goes back to the locomotive that I volunteer on at Rollag, Minnesota.  This is former Soo Line 353 heading on to the turntable to be put away for night.  It's quite interesting to watch them get it in to the correct spot for that perfect balance to allow just 2 people to move that big, heavy locomotive.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Well, hopefully last night was the last night of deep freeze since everything is starting to bloom.  I had to travel to Wamego, KS this past week and they are known for their Tulips because they have an old Dutch Windmill in the park.  A lot of the Tulips were in bloom because of the warm weather we have been having.  I shot a bunch of photos while I was there.  I liked this one of a large group.  It was lovely to see them in such big groups that I don't get in my garden.  One day I would love to travel to where they are grown professionally to see the huge rows of them.  That would be gorgeous!

Friday, April 1, 2016


Well, we finally made it to April, March seemed to last forever.  Started out well with a lovely clear sky, although I would rather it would start out with those April showers to bring May flowers.  Hope we get some.  This image is from last weekend in Missouri where they did get rain.  I guess we did too but I missed it.  Anyway, this is an image of some of the blossoms on their Weeping Cherry tree in the rain.