Saturday, September 30, 2017


It's the last day of September and winter is coming fast although it doesn't much feel like it most days.  I have not shared a sunrise image in a while and we had quite a beautiful one yesterday morning that started the day off nicely.  The red color was painted on the clouds even to the west which was where I noticed it at first and had to go get a shot. 

Friday, September 29, 2017


Painted Lady butterflies are about the only butterflies I saw this past summer.  They were very enjoyable and photogenic though.  I think they got used to me hanging around and taking their picture.  I captured this one enjoying the Strawflower plant that is on my deck.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


This week has been crazy busy and I feel like quite the busy bee.  Today's photo is appropriate,  a couple busy Honey Bees on the, not really, Obedient Flower in my garden.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


This is an older image of some birds I hope to see around again this winter.  These are Cedar Waxwings and I love their faces that look like they have masks on.  They don't visit my yard very often as I don't have the kind of trees that provide the food they look for.  If they visit my yard it's to have a drink from the pond in the back.  This isn't the best shot I have ever gotten but I liked that I was able to capture 3 of them together.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I saw this grass this summer at the edge of my driveway.  The heads reminded me of Sea Oats but they are much more slender.  In looking it up, I believe this is Japanese Brome Grass.  Very nice with the curved stems and it had great bokeh behind it too.  

Monday, September 25, 2017


I was talking about this photo elsewhere and I mentioned barns in the Midwest are usually wood but then I got to thinking about my Saturday image of the barn at Konza and that's not totally true either.  I shot this in Spring in Pennsylvania.  Their barns have a bit different shape than Midwest ones with the overhangs and a lot will have slot style windows.  I love barns and always thought it would be neat to have a house made out of one.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today's image goes back to the Durango & Silverton Railway.  This is the first train of the day just leaving the station at Durango to head to Silverton.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I took this image back in June after an evening out at Konza Prairie.  This is the stone barn at sunset that has been restored and converted into meeting areas.  Some of the barn features and woodwork and stone was kept in the interior restoration and it is quite beautiful inside as well as out.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Autumn is officially here but you would never know it with the temps.  Plants know though as they have been slowing down in growth and the grasses have produced their seed heads.  This is a Foxtail grass head that I shot backlit from the sun last week.  I liked this one due to how it looked like it was glowing and also the great bokeh produced behind it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Not fond of this hot weather we are having again.  This is more like early August than end of September.  My image today is one I got in Minnesota while I was photographing some bees enjoying the pollen of some Hollyhock blooms.  I was disappointed that the Bumblebee itself did not get in focus but I really loved how it's shadow turned out.  😃

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I was out watering potted flowers the other day and saw some movement in the Penta.  I looked closer and saw it was a female Praying Mantis who wasn't all that thrilled to get wet.  She went to the underside of the leaves which is where I was able to capture her looking at me.  Such cool creatures.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


When I went to the Grand Canyon I really wanted to see and capture a Condor image.  I had seen one on my first trip there and was hoping to repeat that.  I was beginning to become disappointed that I would not see one when on the last day I got lucky thanks to the hubster.  We were at the overlook by the El Tovar Hotel and he could see something big flying below that looked different but couldn't tell what it was for sure.  I saw it as well and was able to capture it and it was not until I zoomed in on the photo and saw it's distinctive head that I knew then that I had finally captured a Condor.  It's not the best image and you have to look for it but it was in focus and it made me happy.  I actually captured a few different ones swooping around below me that day.

Monday, September 18, 2017


We finally got a bit of rain the last couple of days.  Not really as much as we need but better than nothing.  I decided to share this image as the Sunshine we missed out on for a bit.  😃  This is an image of the red Sunflower I had growing in my yard that turned out so beautifully perfect.  I had a few produce but not as nicely as this one did.  I played with the image and muted the leaves around it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


My image today is another of the locomotive I help fire on at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion over Labor Day weekend.  I captured it on the shift before mine at the point where it is beginning to start up the main grade to the station. A lot of times at this point you will see dark smoke due to the coal dust from the coal just being added.  It is at this point where you, as the fireman, want to have your fire how you need it to maintain pressure as the locomotive works hard to reach the top of the hill without having to open the firebox doors.  If you open them while it is working hard, the change in temperature from the colder air coming in can cause the metal to expand in the tubes and make them leak water.  This is not a good situation to have water leaking on a fire you are trying to maintain.  It's very challenging but fun and I am glad I get to do it for 4 shifts out of a year.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Posting a bit late today.  I was out playing trains until these clouds rolled in and brought some rain with them.  These are Mammatas clouds and usually indicate severe weather but it was just a bit of thunder and lightning and some rain.  I captured this Wig Wag signal with them as a backdrop.

Friday, September 15, 2017


Yay, it's Friday!  Fridays are all about the bokeh so this shot of a few of the many Painted Lady Butterflies in my yard is appropriate.  They are really enjoying the Autumn Sedum, that has been one of the best plants for attracting butterflies.  I have also posted a video on Youtube HERE where I captured them flying around the Sedum.  There has to be a good 50 of them at least.  It's really magical to walk by and have them all flutter around.  I'll be sad when they all finally leave.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I had not seen the Honey Bees around for a good while in my yard.  Lately they have returned in good numbers.  They are enjoying the Autumn Sedum and also, like this one, the Obedient Plant.  I find that name ironic as that plant spreads like crazy but at least it is pretty and the bees get benefit from it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


So the leaves are starting to change and fall but we are heading into a couple of very hot summer days with highs in the 90s.  Part of the change could be due to that we need rain badly.  This is the longest time without this year.  My tank I use to water with is about empty.  Anyway, my image for today is from my garden in the late afternoon this summer.  A Sunflower and Wooly Verbena combination that were nicely back lit. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


This is another view of the Grand Canyon.  I took this image partly because of the very determined trees that are growing on a bluff. It always amazes me how resilient trees can be in where they try to grow.  It looks like there is nothing there to give them any nutrients to grow yet there they are.  

Monday, September 11, 2017


There has been quite the explosion of Painted Lady butterflies in my garden in the last few days.  I have had a lot of them around this summer in the perennial garden and on the Zinnias but they are here in great numbers now that the Autumn Sedum is blooming.  I can see at least 50 of them at one time and it's quite lovely when I walk past and they all flutter around.  I captured this large group of them just yesterday.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


I was in Rollag, Minnesota last weekend, the land of steam for Labor Day weekend and the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Show.  On Sunday morning as I was heading to breakfast they were just moving the locomotive I get to help fire on out of the roundhouse and on the turntable to move it to the mainline to start taking passengers around the grounds.  The sunlight and cool morning made the steam billowing out of the cylinders show up nicely.  The locomotive is an ex Soo Line switch engine and is 97 years old this year.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


My trip to the Grand Canyon this year was quite fun.  It has such amazing views and photos can't capture it completely.  I did several panoramic shots that do a better job of capturing the vastness of the area.  This one is a 4 shot stitched image that I took from the South Rim while hiking it on the last day there.  Of course it is best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, September 8, 2017


On Fridays my image is mostly about the bokeh and this week I have an image that I thought had the perfect bokeh in it, a steam train.  I captured this shot of the Black Eyed Susans in one of the gardens at Rollag Minnesota during the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion this past weekend.  The locomotive I get to help fire on was just passing by at the time and made for the perfect bokeh background for them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


My Salvia is always rather popular with the bees and butterflies.  This was a Cotton Square Borer enjoying it one afternoon.  They are fairly small and usually in motion but this one posed for me for a bit.  Their name is not very flattering either but I think they are fairly lovely.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


I am sharing another water bird today due to playing Bird Poker over on G+.  This is one I captured in June on the lake outside Alexandria Minnesota.  I had to look this one up but I am pretty sure it is a Lesser Scaup.  I love the yellow eye.  Apparently it is a common diving duck.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


This is another image I was able to get of a Loon in Minnesota this year.  I thought it looked so tranquil just floating on the pond that evening.  They are beautiful birds, I love their feather pattern.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Happy Labor Day in the US!  For a lot of us, it's a day off, for others it's just a normal Monday.  😉  This is a Blue Damselfly that I captured sitting on the Limestone rock that I have surrounding my garden.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This is the locomotive I get to help fire on, ex Soo Line Switcher 353 pulling away from the passenger pick up area by the water tower on a cool morning.  The sun was just breaking through the trees and the steam from the cylinders was really showing off well.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


This is a 4 shot panorama that I shot from the Arizona side of Monument Valley.  It's quite an interesting, desolate and beautiful place with the rock formations.  You can see the famous Mitten formation.  As always, view larger by clicking on the image.