Sunday, July 31, 2016


Last day of July already and what a different one with the high heat and good amount of rain.  It rained a bit last night to make it nice and steamy today.  My image today is of a different kind of steam, my favorite, a steam train and of my favorite railroad so as not to bore too much with images from the Henry Ford.  :-)  This is Cumbres & Toltec locomotive 463 working in the yard in Chama New Mexico after a trip we went on a couple years ago.  The C&T was voted in a poll from USA Today recently, the Favorite Tourist Railroad.  I have to agree, love it.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


I felt like a Cardinal image today.  He looks like he is right out of Angry Birds. :-)  It's an older image I captured in winter and I like the bright pop of red.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Well, we got a little over an inch of rain yesterday again.  The Farmers Almanac was partly wrong this year so I am glad about that.  We were supposed to be hot and dry but it's been kind of a wet summer off and on.  Had another cool morning today so that was lovely as well.  My image today is of a Pond Hawk Dragonfly that was visiting the pond and garden last weekend.  I captured it on a flower stalk as it paused to rest in-between darting around.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


So I finally saw my first Monarch butterfly around my house that was sitting on a flower the other day but before I could get a photo of it a stupid wasp chased it away.  Ugh.  So my photo today is another from the Milford Lake Nature Center.  I captured this lovely male Black Swallowtail butterfly sitting on a Cone flower.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


So this is the other bird that I was able to get, what I feel for me, are very good images of that is elusive here in Kansas.  While in Michigan, I wanted to see Lake Erie so one evening we drove to the shore.  While we were walking I saw a Heron so I put my zoom lens on.  Well, I was quite surprised but this Heron walked so close to me that it became difficult to get the whole bird in the shot with that lens.  It was quite different when here you are still at least 50 yards from them and they are flying off.  I got several very nice images of it and this was one of my favorites.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


What a beautiful morning there was today!  Mid 60s in July, ahhhhhhh.  :-)  My image once more is from my fabulous day of being able to have a flight in this B-17 bomber aircraft from 1945.  As I mentioned another day, it was hard to get an image without someone in it polishing the plane and in this shot there are 2 people doing that.  The plane was gorgeous and shiny because of their work.  I did take out a couple of people who were standing near the plane.  The man walking on the left was our pilot, a very nice guy who sat and chatted with us a bit before the flight and who gave us a very nice ride.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Well this week is starting out very nicely!  Rain this morning and cooler temps this week.  Yay.  My image is one that I shot lat week while I was out watering.  This is a female Mantis that I spied moving about in my Cleome plant one evening.  I had never seen one so green and she blended in very well and I would not have spotted her if she hadn't been moving about the plant.  I apparently watered her a bit because if you look closely at her, you can see a drop of water hanging off her alien looking face.  :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Well it's the last day of our excessive heat warning hopefully and will literally be a steamy Sunday due to the bit of rain we got last night.  My image for today is a more artsy one than usual.  I shot No. 7 at Henry Ford's Greenfield village through an old covered bridge.  I did a bit of Photoshop work to it because there was a large electrical box that was blocking part of the train.  It's not perfect but I think it turned out well enough to share.  I also added some HDR to this image to get the details of the bridge to show up.  It's best viewed large of course.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016


So another over 100 day in store today.  Yuck.  This image is from last weekend before this started on a fairly cool evening.  I took this after my disappointment at not finding a sunflower field anywhere around us.  I headed for the Geary State Fishing Lake to view the lovely sunset.  At least the drive wasn't a total waste.

Friday, July 22, 2016


They keep extending the Excessive Heat Warning.  Now through the whole weekend.  UGH.  My veggies are struggling this year, well, all my plants are.  My image today is from cooler days in Michigan.  Lovely ducks, which I think were Mallards, and some dirty water made for a lovely image with sparkly bokeh.  When I was taking the shots, the water did not seem so dirty and I believe it's just plant material, but it really showed up in the images.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Going to be beastly hot these days.  I look forward to Sunday when it is supposed to cool off about 10 degrees.  I'm not sure what the issue is, if its this heat or what but there are just no butterflies around this summer except for the very small ones and not really that many of those either.  I even planted more things they would enjoy this year but so far they are not coming and makes me very sad.  I love butterflies.  I went to the Nature Center at Milford Lake this past Saturday so I could see some butterflies.  This is a Monarch I captured on a Black-eyed Susan bloom.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I think I mentioned that while I was in Michigan, I was able to get what are for me, the best images of a couple of birds that are usually quite elusive.  The first one I am sharing is of a beautiful Egret that was fishing in a river in a town north of our campground.  I was able to get quite a few shots of this bird and I liked this one due to the reflection and the fact that it has a fish in it's beak which it had just captured.  Best viewed large of course by clicking on it.  :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


So, as I mentioned, I was able to have a flight on a B-17.  It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it if you should get the chance.  The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run in Michigan has this and 3 other types of planes they fly and offer rides on.  My image today is of the front of the aircraft showing off the nose art.  I was able to sit up in the Plexiglas nose for a bit and was sitting slightly behind for landing.  Very cool experience.  This B-17 was built in 1945 but not used in combat.  From 1946 to 1958 it was used by the Coast Guard for Search and Rescue missions.  It was restored to combat readiness with machine guns and bomb sights etc.  It is beautiful and was very hard to get a photo of it without having someone in it polishing somewhere.  There was someone in this image but I took them out with Photoshop.  :-)

Monday, July 18, 2016


So this week is going to be another boiling hot one.  Yuck.  I wouldn't mind the hot days so much if it would at least be cool at night but it isn't.  I thought this image was appropriate to start the week with.  This is a sunny Sunflower that I photographed this past winter from some cut ones I had bought and never shared the image.  I went looking for a sunflower field on Saturday but was disappointed to find that none were around, all of them had corn instead.  I am glad I planted a few in my garden this year to enjoy.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Well, going to be very steamy here today at 100F or about 38C.  Yuck, I liked the past few days better.  My image today is a steamy one too though they were cool at the time.  :-)  This is a view inside the Roundhouse at the Henry Ford Greenfield Village.  The Edison locomotive is one of 3 that they run.  Each one runs for a week and they rotate them.  The Roundhouse is an original Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Road one that they moved to the village.  It was originally built in 1884 in Marshall, Michigan.  The Roundhouse is fully functional and they do all the work on the locomotives for the Weiser Railroad here.  The large locomotive in the back is just a display one as it is too large to negotiate the curves.  It is very pristine in it's restoration and it is displayed in a way that you can get underneath it and view it's running gear and boiler from there, pretty cool way to view. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Well, our last somewhat cool day for at least a week.  Better enjoy it while we can.  My photo today I got while I was in Michigan.  I was able to get some of the best waterbird shots and mainly of 2 birds I have always wanted to get good photographs of and will be sharing them in upcoming days.  I took this on a beach of Lake Erie.  This image is of an immature Seagull that posed quite nicely for me and the light was just right.  I did nothing to this photo except take out a dust spot and re-size it for the web.  Love it when photos work like that.  :-)

Friday, July 15, 2016


What a beautiful morning we had for once, in the 60s and beautiful blue sky.  A great start to the day and weekend.  It's supposed to get boiling hot again soon so I am enjoying it while I can.  The image today is of my neighbor's Balloon flower.  I shot this last year and just recently found the images and liked this one a lot so decided to share today.  They are called Balloon flowers because before they open, their buds swell to balloon shape and then the petals break apart.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Interesting weather we are having for July.  I felt like something bright today so here is a lovely Bumble Bee on the Butterfly Milkweed.  Wish the butterflies would come around and enjoy it too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Well, we are getting quite the rain lately.  Not sure I am fond of how much at each time and the wind with it but beggars can't be choosy I guess.  For my photo today, I saw this guy before I left on vacation.  Not sure if he is still hanging around or not though as I haven't seen him since I have been back.  On this particular day I saw weeding in the garden and saw some movement in the trumpet vine and thought it was a bird or some type of animal.  Imagine my surprise when this guy came hopping into view.  He is the biggest frog I have had at my pond in  long time.  He was nice enough to model for me too so I took several shots and liked this face to face one best.  :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Today I am sharing a bit of a different image for me.  Last Wednesday I was able to do something that I consider a once in a lifetime event.  I was in Michigan and at the old Willow Run Airport which is a former B-24 bomber plant and is now the home of the Yankee Air Museum.  They have 4 antique aircraft that they give flights on from time to time and during the time I was in Michigan they were flying this particular plane which seemed like a bit of fate to me and something I needed to do.  My uncle was a B-17 pilot during WWII and because of that I believe I have always had an interest in that era planes and this one was always one of my favorites.  It was quite the awesome experience.  They allow 12 passengers on the plane but only 10 of us were there that day.  The hubster and I started out in the rear of the plane in jump seats but as soon as it took off we were allowed to move about and experience all the different views out the plane.  As you can see, at one time I was standing right behind the pilots.  On landing I was given the Navigator's seat in the nose which was quite a unique view as we approached the runway and good enough for someone like me not fond of heights, although they don't bother me as much in a plane.  Anyway, it was an awesome and very cool experience and if you like planes I highly recommend it.  Best viewed larger by clicking on the image.

Monday, July 11, 2016


This is an older image today because it fit in well for Bird Poker on Google +.  I captured this Goldfinch in my in-law's Ornamental Pear tree.  I thought it was looking rather frazzled due to the fact that it's bright yellow feathers were coming in.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


This past week I was in Michigan and went to the Henry Ford Museum and Village in Dearborn,  The displays and collections at each place were quite amazing.  The Greenfield village has a steam train that runs around it all day.  They rotate through 3 locomotives to pull the train, 1 each week.  This particular one is #7 from 1897 and was Henry Ford's locomotive that pulled his Pullman car whenever he needed to travel somewhere.  It is a beautifully restored locomotive and I loved the color of it.  I rode behind it several times and also photographed it in various spots throughout the Village.  Here it is pulling out at the main entrance.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Well, I see I did not bring the rain back from Michigan.  It rained quite heavily the last night we were there.  It is hot and dry here and our chances are pushed off to Monday now.  My image today is of a couple of Lily blooms I shot recently in my garden.  I loved the bokeh behind them that their leaves produced.

Friday, July 8, 2016


When I was in Minnesota I got to see their state flower in bloom.  There were so many of them in one area of Tamarac Wildlife Refuge because it was a good year for them.  This is just one of the groups I saw and there are at least 25 in this one.  Was very beautiful to see so many of this unique flower which is part of the Orchid family.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I captured this image on Tuesday at the Henry Ford Greenfield Village.  What a place that is, lots to see.  This is of a bloom of a Hydrangea that was planted next to an old watch and jewelry shop.  I caught a Bumble Bee in flight as well and even got a bee butt!  :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


So I was able to visit a Wolf Park in Indiana the other day with my Sis-in-law and her family.  It was raining that day but the wolves were out and about.  They are behind fences so it was difficult to get a good image without the fence but a few times they were back far enough for a decent shot where I could get the fence to blur and this is one of them.  It's a Grey Wolf looking a bit wet.  :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


This is an image of the Northern Lights that I was able to view in Minnesota last year.  It was very cool to see such a display of them in the US like that.  I captured a few images, one I shared before but this one I liked as well and decided to share now.  The green glow was a bit eerie but beautiful.  In some places it was even purple-ish.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Happy 4th of July to everyone in the United States and happy Monday to all.  This is an older image I took of a Fireworks display.  I thought I had a more recent one with me but I didn't so found one I had stored on the internet in my One Drive.  I believe I shot this in Junction City quite a number of years back but still holds up.  :-)

Sunday, July 3, 2016


So finally getting some rain, how nice and so far not the flash flood type they were talking about.  Cooler too which is really nice.  So my image for today is more large scale steam fun.  This is at the railroad outside Topeka that I help at.  This is another guy that helps running the train across the trestle on the property this spring on our first run.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I am working on a project for this site where I will have pages of Kansas Wildflowers I have seen and photographed over the years to be used as reference guides.  I am working on separating them out by color to make what people are looking for easier.  A good number of the images are ones I have never shared before.  I am doing this because it's more to see what the flowers look like than being as artistic as some images of them I have shared.  This is one of the flowers I have worked on.  This is Dakota Verbena and is usually more of a spring type wildflower but there is an area on Konza Prairie where this grows year round.

Friday, July 1, 2016


So cooler today and under a Flash Flood Watch for the weekend.  How ironic when we can hardly get a drop.  I want rain but I don't really want a crazy amount.  As they say though, "Beggars can't be choosy".   Guess we shall see what happens.  Anyway, today's photo is of a Showy Lady Slipper that I saw at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.  It is only one of maybe 100s that we saw.  It was a very good year for them and there were huge groups of them growing in the woods.  This flower is in the Orchid family and is a wildflower that is somewhat rare but is Minnesota's state flower.  It is also known as a Pink Lady Slipper and also as The Queen's Lady Slipper.  This is a link to a map of a growing range of the US for it and it's quite interesting: