Thursday, October 31, 2019


Hello and Happy Halloween!  Hope you have a fun and safe time!  I enjoy seeing all the kids in their costumes.  Might be a bit chilly for them here as we may have snow.  I am writing this earlier in the week and that is what the forecast called for.  Stay warm out there too!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


It's Wildflower Wednesday again on the Blog today, probably one of the last as the wildflowers are done for the year.  I will have to dig through my photos to see what I can still share.  Today's though, is a new one for this year.  This is Pokeweed.  It gets the somewhat long strings of dark berries on it but this is a few of the flowers just beginning to develop.

I have pages of Wildflowers by Color on the Blog and they have been updated with these that I have found and photographed this year to help ID ones when you find them.  They might be helpful to you as you are out looking or going through photos of your own.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


The Santa Fe Railroad was always my favorite so when it merged with Burlington Northern that made it my favorite.  It was very cool to be able to go inside the shops in the BNSF era where the Topeka ones only do locomotive work.  They used to do a lot of boxcar work back in the late Santa Fe era.  These 2 locomotives were sitting inside the shop area waiting for some finishing touches.  In the area just beside them on the left were diesel engines being refurbished,  It all was very interesting to see.

Monday, October 28, 2019


My Toad Lily is blooming and has the most blooms on it that it has ever had.  The bad part is that it is supposed to get down in the 20s this week so it probably will not get a chance to finish blooming.  Sigh.  I captured this image of it which is actually a 4 image focus stack a few days ago.

Sunday, October 27, 2019


This is another image from Strasburg Pennsylvania of Norfolk and Western 611 heading out after 475 went past on it's way to Paradise PA.  That is where the trains go, a 9 mile trip there and back on the same track.  It's a nice ride through Amish farm country even though short.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Autumn has come to Kansas but it won't be as beautiful as last year.  Some trees were stressed due to the weird large rains and then intense heat and now the wind is blowing like crazy.  Some more secluded areas have some beauty like this one at the large scale railroad that I get to play at.

Friday, October 25, 2019


Fridays Are Bokehlicious and today is about butterflies again as well.  This is a Common Variegated Fritillary I was able to capture out on Konza Prairie a couple of weekends ago.  There were several of these and other types around that day enjoying the last of the wildflowers like these Asters.  The long grass behind provided some nice bokeh to make the butterfly stand out a bit better.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


My Zebra Grass' blooms have dried now and catch the sunlight in a lovely way.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Time for Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again.  Today's flower is a white one called Wild Snakeroot.  It grows rather abundantly in our area and even after the hard frost we have there is some still blooming in places.  It's fairly short, only growing about 24 inches tall at most and found in late summer into autumn.  It is in the Aster family and is poisonous.
This is another new one for the year and the pages of Kansas Wildflowers here on the Blog have been updated with several new ones this year.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


This past weekend I had a special opportunity to visit the BNSF shops as a guest of a retired employee.  It was very cool to see what they do in the Topeka shops.  They repair locomotives there for the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad.  This is one of them being worked on in the original shop building where steam engines once sat and were repaired.  Very cool to see the old original building still in use.

Monday, October 21, 2019


This shot is rather cliche.  😃  People always talk about frogs on Lily pads but you rarely can catch them on them.  I was successful with this one in my backyard pond recently.  A Leopard Frog hanging out on a Lily Pad.

Sunday, October 20, 2019


When I was out in Strasburg Pennsylvania to see the 611, I also was able to see one of Strasburg Railway's regular engines, Norfolk & Western 475.  The event was being billed as a Reunion of Steam with 611 also from N&W.  475 is a lovely steamer as well kept in beautiful condition.  It was originally built in 1906 and is the railroad's oldest locomotive.  It is a 4-8-0 wheel arrangement which is unusual and is know as a "Mastadon" or M Class.  It is the only 4-8-0 operating in North America. It was purchased by the railroad in 1991, underwent a huge restoration and pulled it's first train in 1993.  It is able to pull just about any size train for the railroad and Strasburg is still an operating freight railway so 475 is an often used locomotive for that use.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


I couldn't go the week without a butterfly image.  I captured these 2 Pearl Crescents on some Hairy Asters out on Konza Prairie a couple Saturdays ago.  It was lovely to see a number of butterflies around out there that day enjoying the last of the wildflowers.

Friday, October 18, 2019


I captured this cool female Praying Mantis this past Saturday.  She was out on the sidewalk by the garage most likely looking for a good plant since the cold killed off most of them.  She stayed still enough for me to get a few shots of, so this is 3 images focus stacked.  Plus I liked how the sidewalk created some nice bokeh and since Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I decided to share this image today.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


I felt like some bright flowers for today.  The frost and cold temps we had this past weekend killed off practically all my flowers already.  Sigh.  This is an older shot of some Tiger Lilies I saw growing in a yard in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Today is Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again.  Today's flower is Tall Joe Pye Weed.  It is very tall too, can grow up to 4 feet or more.  Butterflies like this plant and i have a smaller version of it in my garden which blooms a more red color while this wildflower is white.  This particular one was growing by my large pond but there was quite a lot of it to be seen out on Konza Prairie as well.
Just a reminder, I have Wildflowers by color pages here on the Blog and I have been updating with new ones I have photographed this year like this one.  Hope you will check them out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


On my way out to Pennsylvania, I stopped at a place that has always intrigued me when I saw it from the highway.  This is the original Mail Pouch Tobacco Warehouse in West Virginia.  It is still operating today as a Swisher International warehouse.  This image may look like just a normal shot but I had to take it up close with just a normal wide angle lens on so it is actually 3 shots stitched together with a good amount of work behind the scenes done.  I find it funny sometimes all the work I do to a photo but you would not know just to see it without knowing the behind the scenes work.  Anyway, this is the company that those old barns had painted advertising on them that you can still find a few of today including a couple along the Pennsylvania turnpike.

Monday, October 14, 2019


Hummingbird type moths are very cool I think.  I was able to capture this White Lined Sphinx Moth around some Petunias one evening.  Those are their favorite flowers and the time of day you will usually find them.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


I have always admired this style of locomotive, ever since I saw it made famous in the photographs of O Winston Link.  Link was famous for his night photography of steam trains of the Norfolk & Western line between 1955 and 1960.  He used numerous flash bulbs to illuminate his night shots.  One of them can be seen at the link here to his museum which helped provide some funding to bring 611 to Strasburg.  More of his images can be found if you Google him.  I learned of his photographs several years ago.  Anyway, it was wonderful to be able to see this beautiful locomotive in person in Pennsylvania.  

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Autumn is arriving quickly.  When I was out on Konza Prairie a week ago, there were still a few flowers blooming but the hills were mostly dominated by the tall grasses which this type of prairie is known for.  It is lovely to look at in contrast to the blue sky.  This is a 2 shot panoramic image shot along the Nature Trail.  It really needs to be viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, October 11, 2019


Fridays Are Bokehlicious and for butterflies.  I had not seen many butterflies around late this past summer.  Just before I left for Pennsylvania the Monarchs were beginning to show up around the yard.  I was able to capture this pair on the Autumnal Equinox as they were feeding on some Goldenrod blooms.  I loved the creamy bokeh for the background that made them standout nicely.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


I love Sea Oat Grass.  I found the perfect spot to grow it this year.  It has been quite happy and flourishing by the big pond.  The seed heads are just beginning to get their autumn color but i shot this image of them while they are still nice and green.  I love how they hang and make for interesting subjects along the slender reed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


It's another Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog.  Today's' flower has been in bloom for a couple of weeks now and is called Hairy Aster.  If you look closely at the stems, you can see little hairs.  I saw quite a lot still in bloom at Konza Prairie but this was taken in my yard a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


I was out walking at Konza Praitie on the Nature Trial this past weekend and there was quite a bit of nature to be seen that day.  I saw a couple of these guys, young, small Collared Lizards.  This one posed quite nicely for me on a limestone rock.

Monday, October 7, 2019


I shot this image of the African Violet my friend gave me in some afternoon sunlight.  It was in bloom again and I was so pleased I hadn't killed it or done something to make it not bloom.  I love all the little hairs on it which showed up nicely in the sunlight.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Last Sunday I was on a steamy adventure in Strasburg Pennsylvania.  I made a trip out there to see a locomotive I have admired for quite a while.  It was made famous in some night photography images by O Winston Link.  This is the Norfolk & Western J Class locomotive 611 which was spending several weekends out at the Strasburg Railroad.  611 is currently housed at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.  It is the only survivor of 14 of these J Class Northern type locomotives and was built in 1950 near the end of the steam era.  It has a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement and is a shrouded locomotive for a streamline look.  It is definitely gorgeous and quite impressive in person.  I captured it here on it's way back to the station across a field of soybeans.

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Last week I was in Pennsylvania.  Autumn was just beginning to show in the tree colors.  The drive back through the mountains was gorgeous.  I wish I had had time to stop and photograph.  I took this on an outing to an overlook this past Monday.

Friday, October 4, 2019


TGIF!  Fridays Are Bokehlicious and for butterflies!  This one is a very small and, in my opinion, nice looking butterfly.  It has a rather crap name though, a Cotton Square Borer which is actually the larval stage because cotton is what they mostly feed on.  As an adult, they are more know as Gray Hairstreaks.  I captured this one visiting the Autumn Sedum.  In the background is more Sedum providing some lovely bokeh.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


I tried growing strawberries again this year.  I bought a container variety and they seem to be doing very well especially lately.  I liked this image as it showed the flower along with the berries in various states of maturing.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


It's time for Wildflower Wednesday!  Today's flower is Tall Thistle or Roadside Thistle.  They bloom in August and September and can be quite tall, over 6 feet.  They also attract butterflies and are native to Kansas.  Their flower color is often referred to a purple but I think they can be rather pink as well especially as the flower matures.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


Happy first day of October.  This year is going quickly, less than 3 months till Christmas!  Yikes!  so, today's image.  I love to photograph the Leopard Frogs over at the large pond.  Sometimes they can be quite cooperative like this guy.  It's so funny to walk around the pond and hear the squeaks and splashes and see them flying into the pond too because they think i am too close.