Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I have 2 Fridays this week as I have a lot of work to get done at home in preparation for work on the ceiling this weekend so I am able to post earlier than normal.  This is an image from the archives from a trip to the Grand Canyon.  It was a quick trip so I wasn't able to spend much time walking trails, a bit of a major one can be seen at the bottom middle of this image, and I definitely didn't see much of the park.  I'd love to get back some day and see more.  It's a beautiful and awe inspiring place to visit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I took this image at the in-laws home as well as the one from yesterday.  They have a row of ornamental grasses that catch the late afternoon sun.  I took this shot of a few heads of their Pampas Grass that seemed to be glowing in the light.

Monday, November 28, 2016


The Bird Poker theme for this week is Blue and close up.  I actually got an image on Thanksgiving day that fit the theme.  The Blue-jays were  coming to feed at my in-law's home in Missouri.  They were not very cooperative about having their photo taken but one sat for a bit in the Ornamental Pear tree so I was able to get a few shots.  I do like the back view of them because it shows of the pattern of their feathers rather well so I was happy with what I got.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016


My image today goes back into the archives and my trip to West Virginia.  The place is Cass Mountain Scenic Railroad.  This is the locomotive that pushed our train up the mountain and then pulled us back down.  This is a Shay type locomotive that was used a lot in logging operations which is what went on in this area of the state.  The gearing on a Shay locomotive allows it to be very powerful and not slip on steep grades like a regular geared locomotive would.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

11/26/16 Extra

An extra Post for today to alert you to a new feature on the site.  I have created Pages where I have gathered together my photos from Kansas of Butterflies and Wildflowers. They are always found at the top of this Blog. I intend it to be used as an easy reference.  If you are out and see a butterfly or a Wildflower and wonder what it might be, check this site.  I have acquired quite a collection of various Butterflies and Wildflowers I have seen and I am always out taking more photos so these pages will continue to grow as I see and find more.  I have tried to present them in a way that is easy to tell what the butterfly or flower is.  I know when I am out and see something, I sometimes wonder what it is so I hope you will find this useful.  I am not providing informational detail at this time as I am not an expert, I'm just helping to identify and make it easier to search for info.  Thanks for stopping by and, again, I hope you find the new Pages useful.


I was going through the archives a couple weeks ago and came across some photos I never shared and like a lot.  This is from a trip to Chicago I took a while back for work.  Chicago is my favorite city, I've spent a good amount of time there over the years.  I love the architecture, there is so much to do and it's an easy city to get around in.  One afternoon after work was done I went walking and went up in the Sears Tower, I refuse to call it by it's other name,  :-) and was treated to some great views of the city.  This is one looking towards a couple of other well known things, the Hancock building and Lake Michigan.  The black dot is not dirt, it is a buoy in the lake.  :-)

Friday, November 25, 2016


Happy Black Friday!  Hope you are all staying safe out there in the craziness.  My image today is of a Monarch butterfly that came to visit the Zinnias this Autumn.  It had a buddy too in a Sulphur that was heavily backlit by the sun.  I loved the bubbly bokeh behind them.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US and Happy Thursday to everyone else.  It's very dreary out today so I wanted to brighten things up.  This is a lovely Sunflower that I grew.  I was happy I got a few pretty perfect looking before the bugs got to them.  :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Today starts my long weekend!  Yay.  My image for today goes back to a day in June in Minnesota.  I captured this Swan family feeding near some reeds in one of the many bodies of water there.  This one fit in for special mention in the Bird Poker Game on Google + because it is a side view and there are 5 of them.  I like that I captured one of them in the actual act of diving for food.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


A bit of rain overnight.  Haven't had any in a while.  Windy out today though so it will all dry up.  Glad it's not snow.  :-)  My image today is of a tree I have photographed out on Konza Prairie a few times.  It sits in an area of the prairie by itself and, to me, has great character.  I decided to shoot it from a bit different angle because from the other point of view I have to deal with power lines.  This is coming from the north up the path towards Butterfly Hill.

Monday, November 21, 2016


So this week's theme for Bird Poker is "Side View".  I have a lot of shots I could play for that but I won't do birds all week, just a couple days.  LOL  My first for today is of a Black Capped Chickadee sitting on a Sunflower head in between eating seeds from it.  I was pleased to get a decent shot as they are almost constantly in motion.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I was digging into the archives this past week and looking at Grand Canyon Images I had taken and never shared.  We rode a steam train out to the canyon, stayed overnight and then rode the steam train back.  At the time, this was the last year you could do that behind a steam locomotive although I have heard they may have brought steam back.  I need to check.  Anyway, this is an image of the locomotive we rode behind.  It was beautifully maintained.  I captured this as it was moving around the station area at the canyon.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


So this past week, everyone was talking about the "Supermoon".  To us normal people you can't really tell any difference.  It was only about 15% larger appearing.  If you saw images where it looked really big they were because they were faked, like mine today.  I tried to make mine more realistic and like a scene I had actually seen 2 days before but missed getting a shot of because I was not prepared, I am a bad photographer in that way.  I shot the photos used in this image on the same day.  The moon I shot as it was setting in the morning and then the prairie is a 3 image panorama shot in the late afternoon.  I love the light at this time of day on the prairie grass as it makes the color so vivid.  The moon is a bit larger presented here than it actually was as well.  :-)  Best viewed large, of course, by clicking on it.

Friday, November 18, 2016


I have a day off today so posting early.  :-)  Autumn has set in today, dreary, cold and windy, maybe it's more like winter.  My image today is from a while back and a visit to Mount Evans in Colorado.  It was very cold and extremely windy while I was up there due to the elevation.  This Mountain Goat that I was able to get a good image of had a nice wool coat to protect it, I just had a wind breaker.  I was happy to be able to see Mountain Goats up close and get some good images of them.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


What a beautiful sunrise we had this morning on our last day of un-seasonal warm weather.  I took this image just a couple weeks ago of a late hard working Honeybee still out collecting pollen late in the season.  The Zinnias it was working on are gone now and it seems more like Autumn and tomorrow with more normal temps will be even more so.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


This Autumn has been quite warm so far.  This past Friday, November 11, I spotted and captured this Buckeye butterfly while at the railroad just east of Topeka, KS.  I don't think I have ever seen a butterfly of any size that late in the year.  I had hoped to capture it on something more interesting but the contrast with the rock and the light really shows off the detail and iridescent quality of the wings.  I'm not sure I really ever noticed that before on this variety of butterfly. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I was looking at and working on a few old photos.  I had gone to the Grand Canyon a few years back.  Some of my photos were of these interesting Cedar trees with the canyon as a backdrop.  I love these old tree with the way they twist and turn and the lines in their trunks.  They have such character and make for a different photo of something photographed quite a lot.  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2016


This is a macro image of one of the blooms from my African Daisy varieties that I grew this year.  I took this image late in the summer but this plant bloomed all the way to November which was quite nice.  I thought it a good sunny image to start the week.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


So we are warming back up into the high 60s and 70s again.  Crazy weather.  My image today is one more from seeing Union Pacific's locomotive 844 travel through Topeka, KS.  This is a wider shot as it left the city and you can see a bit of Union Station behind and also some of the large number of people who came out to see this beautiful engine as it traveled back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It's a sight to see and hear, it has a beautiful deep whistle that can be heard quite some distance.  It made my eardrums vibrate as it passed under the bridge and blew it.  :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Well, it looks like we finally had our first hard freeze.  The Zinnias looked pretty frosty this morning.  I knew it was coming but I'll miss the flowers.  This is another image of the sunrise I saw a couple Saturdays ago about 20 minutes later.  The reds were turning to oranges and the sun was pretty well up at this point but obscured by the clouds.  I liked the rays the clouds created.

Friday, November 11, 2016


 Happy Veteran's Day to all who do or have served.  Posting late today because I was out of town all day.   My image today is a macro of one of my Zinnias that I took this past week.  It's amazing that they are still going strong this late in the year.  I loved the bokeh behind this one.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Today is my Friday, have a Holiday tomorrow.  Yay.  :-)  We have had such nice weather up into November.  Because of this I saw a Honeybee at the Zinnias just this past week.  It didn't much care for me sticking a camera in it's face while it was trying to gather nectar so I had a hard time getting very close because it would fly off.  I captured it while it was busy gathering on a vibrant pink one.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Well, it got pretty cold last night, there was frost on the grass so I am glad I took some stuff in.  My image for today I shot in May and it fit well for the Bird Poker Game of Eating with a sub theme of Looking at Me.  I had a number of Orioles visiting this year and they stayed for quite a while.  Usually they would leave when the Mulberries came ripe as there were those to eat but this year they stayed through that and even some weeks beyond.  This is a female Baltimore Oriole and I was pleased to get the shot as she is usually very quick and elusive.  I was able to capture her a couple of times.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


A nice day after all that dreary-ness though it is supposed to get pretty cold tonight.  I shouldn't complain as that is normal for this time of year.  The trees know what the season is even if the temperatures don't.  I saw this tree late one afternoon and it seemed to be glowing in the sunlight and was such beautiful color I just had to stop and capture it.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Dreary day out with the rain this morning.  Looks more like how it should be this time of year though.  My image today is of a Bromeliad bloom that I shot a couple weekends ago.  I had never seen a yellow variety of  this plant and I thought it looked a bit like flames rising from the dark.  Bromeliads are Tropical plants that are usually used as houseplants. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I hope everyone in the US remembered to turn your clocks back and enjoy your extra hour today.  My image today is one I got last weekend as Union Pacific locomotive 844 headed out of Topeka, KS.  I was shooting into the sun even though there were clouds in the sky and this image lent itself well to a B&W conversion I thought.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


This is a beautiful sunrise I was treated to last Saturday as I was driving to go play trains outside Topeka.  This colorful sky made it worthwhile being up that early.  Best viewed large by clicking on the image.  It is a 2 shot image made into a panorama.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Another lovely day with no freeze in sight.  A very odd Autumn but I like it.  My Mums are liking it as well, they did very well this year.  One of my plants even bloomed twice, once in July and then again recently.  That was unexpected but nice. I took this shot of a group of them on a table with others providing some lovely bokeh. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016


I have been happy this Autumn in that I finally have been able to see and photograph some of the larger types of butterflies.  I was especially happy to see a Monarch around several times.  I captured this image a couple of weeks ago of one on the Zinnias in some afternoon sun.  With this warm weather we have been having the Zinnias are still blooming and I have seen lots of Skippers enjoying them still.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


So last Thursday evening I was in Topeka, KS for dinner.  I had just parked the car and a Red Tail Hawk flew overhead and landed in the tree in front of me.  It was the closest I had ever been to one so I had to take some shots, fortunately I had my camera.  It had it's back to me at first but I slowly made my way around the tree and it finally turned to look at me without flying off and this is one of the shots of that.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Happy November although it feels more like late September.  We are having a lovely Autumn.  Usually we go from AC to heat but this year has been very nice.  The leaves are falling quickly but there is still some color left.  This image is of some of the leaves of the Burr Oak tree in the yard that were being caught by some late afternoon sun.