Saturday, November 30, 2019


Our autumn was rather short this year due to an early very hard freeze and also high winds.  There was some nice color to be found like in this scene at the large scale railroad I get to play at outside Topeka Kansas.  This is the view as you head into the main station.

Friday, November 29, 2019


Friday's Are Bokehlicious and this image fits perfectly.  I love bubbly type bokeh and I captured this head of Sea Oats grass with just that in the background.  In autumn, the heads turn brown and then during late autumn/early winter they will drop and hopefully spread.  I found the perfect place for this lovely grass by my pond and I hope it will spread.  I may help the seeds along to fall in the right direction and not into the pond.  😃

Thursday, November 28, 2019


It's Thanksgiving day here in the US.  It is tradition to serve Turkey on this day.  This is an image of one that won't end up on someone's table, at least not this year.  Turkeys are allowed to be hunted in Kansas but only in the Spring.  This is the mom to the young ones I shared a while back that were visiting my yard and looking for seed under the bird feeder.  I took this image back in September.  Wild Turkey are quite different looking than the ones raised to eat.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Today's wildflower is another I seemed to have overlooked on my Wildflower Pages as i am sure I have taken a photo of this before.  This is Dotted Gayfeather and it is just about past it's prime when I captured it in mid September growing on the land of the old schoolhouse I take care of the grounds for.  It's main flowering period is August through September.  It is also called Blazing Star.  It can have a very deep tap root making it very drought hardy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Today's image was taken near the Topeka Kansas train station as well.  You can catch a glimpse of it to the left.  This Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe caboose was sitting there the day I went to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Shops.  It seemed a bit odd at the time because you don't see many around these days and in looking at my photo there seems to be something else odd with it.  I see nowhere on it in the photo that it is marked for BNSF.  Makes me wonder if it is one someone has purchased and is in the process of being delivered?  A note as well, Passenger Trains never used cabooses, they were only used I freight trains. 

Monday, November 25, 2019


My African Violet is doing pretty well in the spot I picked out for it.  This is a 4 image focus stack I took of it recently in it's first new bloom.  I liked the detail it brought out in the hairs on the stems and in the detail in the flowers themselves.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


So this past Wednesday the Union Pacific Big Boy came through my town in Kansas.  It was a bit late but a great sight to see.  A lot of people turned out to see it where it stopped just down from where I took this shot.  I actually took 4 people out of this image who were closer to the track than UP likes.  For safety sake, UP recommends that you stand 25 feet back from the track.  It was a cloudy and windy day but quite the exciting time to see a piece of history come through our town. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019


November has been a good month for sunrises.  This was the sky on Wednesday, November 13th.  Quite the colorful sky and a great way to start the day.

Friday, November 22, 2019


It's Friday and Fridays are Bokehlicious!  I have never really thought about a mushroom photo as being that beautiful but I really liked how this one turned out.  I captured this on a hike at Konza Prairie in early October.  I am not sure what kind this is but it has neat frills on the bottom and was a bit ruffly.  The bokeh really set it off in my opinion. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Today's image is another Bumblebee.  I find them to be pretty decent subjects.  They usually let me get in fairly close and don't seem to bothered as long as I don't disturb their search for food.  I captured this one on a vibrant bloom of my Budhelia or Butterfly Bush.

On another note, I saw that if your sky is clear tonight at 4:50 UTC which is 10:50 CST, if you look east towards Orion there may be a burst of meteors as the earth travels close to an old comet trail.  I think we will be cloudy but hopefully not.  It also may not happen, they are not sure how close we will hit to the trail but if it does it could be pretty spectacular for about 15 mins or so.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


It's Wildflower Wednesday once again on the Blog.  Today's flower is yet another new one.  I have seen this one before but never captured it for some reason.  This is a fairly common one in my area of Kansas as well.  This is Rough Leaf Dogwood.  It usually flowers in May and June but we had a weird year and I found it flowering in early October on Konza Prairie.  My lilac had flowered in late September as well.  I have update my Page of White Wildflowers found in Kansas as well.

On a side note, for those who live in the Manhattan/Junction City/Abilene/Salina area of Kansas and see this post in time, Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 comes through these towns today!  Hopefully I capture a decent shot of it to share on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


I took this image of these Burlington Northern Santa Fe locomotives in Topeka near the shops and Topeka station.  The left locomotive is painted in the Heritage III scheme and the right one is in their Executive colors.  These are both working locomotives and were running at the time I saw them.

Monday, November 18, 2019


This is the other color African Daisy/Osteospermum/Spoon Flower than I had this summer.  I love the unique petal shape this flower has.  I have kept it alive so far at the office and it's been blooming well there so far.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


At the Strasburg Railway in Pennsylvania the locomotive backward pulls the train out to Paradise PA and then uncouples and moves around to the front of the train and pulls it forwards back to Strasburg.  I captured this image at Picnic Grove where Norfolk & Western 611 was heading back while N&W 475 was heading out.  The ride is short but nice through the Amish farm countryside.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


This was the lovely sky I was treated to on the morning of November 4 as I headed to work that day.  I had to stop at the end of my driveway and get a quick pic.

Friday, November 15, 2019


My Maple Tree did not like the cold weather and dropped most of it's leaves very quickly.  Made me sad.  The few leaves that did stay on turned a lovely color.  I captured these with some lovely bubbly bokeh behind because of course, Fridays are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 14, 2019


I was able to get this image in Pennsylvania.  This Bumble Bee was enjoying these flowers which were blue Lobelia, the same kind I shared last week but these were in Pennsylvania.  There is a bonus bug in the shot as well which I think is a Hover Fly.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


It's Wildflower Wednesday!  Today's flower is another new one for his year.  It is not a very photogenic one but it is a common one around our area.  It is called a Stenosiphon.  Some may call it an Antenna plant but that isn't a totally common name.  It usually blooms July through September but I found it still blooming in October on Konza Prairie.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


I took this shot the day I was visiting the BNSF Shops.  These are a couple working Burlington Northern Santa Fe locomotives that were siting by the Topeka Kansas station which is still used as an Amtrak stop.

Monday, November 11, 2019


It's Veteran's Day here in the US.  Take a moment out of your day to remember those who served.

I had bought this mini Carnation plant late this Spring.  I was pleased to see that it flowered all season long.  Usually I have only been able to get them to flower in Spring.  Not sure if it was the mostly cooler temps and all the rain but these flowered all the way till frost.  This image was taken in October.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


While I was watching Norfolk & Western 611 on it's runs to and from Strasburg to Paradise Pennsylvania I was sitting in the Picnic Grove Station.  I got this shot as it approached the station on it's way back to Strasburg.  People could get picked up here after having their picnic.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


This is a quite lovely sunset we experienced on the first day of our new time after falling back an hour last Sunday.  

Friday, November 8, 2019


It's Bokeh time because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  These are some lovely Lobelia flowers I photographed at a friend's house.  I believe they are Blue Cardinal Flower Lobelias.  The grass and plants behind created some lovely bubbly bokeh for them.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


There were not many butterflies around this autumn.  Maybe they knew the early cold was coming and headed out faster than usual.  I stopped seeing larger ones in late September.  I still have to share some butterfly shots every now and then. This is an older image of a lovely Black Swallowtail visiting a Zinnia flower. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again.  This is another new one for the Wild Flower Pages for this year but one I probably have photographed  without realizing which type it was.  It's quite a lovely specimen and the one that is the state flower of Kansas.  This is a Common Sunflower.  They usually start blooming in July and can be found through October.  They are an annual and spread by their seeds if birds don't get them first.  All Sunflowers are part of the Aster Family.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


I am going to do something today I rarely do and share more than 1 image for the day.  I was able to visit the BNSF Shops a couple weeks ago and found it quite interesting but others may not find it that way so I will share what i found most interesting in one day's post.  Here are the things I enjoyed seeing and found especially interesting.

Sitting in the main Shops area which used to be filled with Steam locomotives back in the day, were various locomotives in different states of repair, you can get a glimpse of a couple in the rear of the 2nd photo.  Also there were a couple of passenger cars.  This one is the William B Strong (named after a president of the ATSF railway from 1881 to 1889) which is a Theater lounge car where riders, usually executives, get a good view of the track.  I took this image with my phone due to the low light conditions and was pretty impressed with how it came out.

This Lounge car was also sitting there and was quite fancy and used for executive trips as well.

This is a view of part of the interior of that car.  Quite fancy but I was told by someone who had been in it before that it has been quite extensively refurbished and isn't as ornate as it once was.

The Topeka Shops now focus on locomotives.  In one area they do the wheels and the electric motors that are between the wheels on the "trucks"  (A chassis or framework-like structure underneath a railroad car to which wheel axles are attached through bearings.)

Then in the old Machine Shop area they work on refurbishing the huge diesel motors with giant lathes and mills.

It was all quite interesting to see and I was very glad to have been able to visit there.

Monday, November 4, 2019


We lost all our flowers early this year due to an early hard frost.  I am going to be longing for the days of spring and new flowers blooming.  Until then I will have to dip into the archives from time to time and find lovely ones to share like this yellow Iris that grows by my big pond.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Today's image is a closer up view of Norfolk and Western locomotive 475 4-8-0 Mastadon waiting at Picnic grove on the Strasburg Railway.  It was running alternately with N&W 611 the day that I was there and it's passenger cars were very full because everyone, like me, that day wanted to be riding behind 611.  I didn't know until after how rare 475 was as well.

Saturday, November 2, 2019


We had an early snow this year on the day before Halloween.  The temps at night were in the low 20s.  Early for that kind of thing.  It did make for a pretty view of homer's pond in town with the autumn colors and the snow.

Friday, November 1, 2019


Happy first day of November!  The year is flying by, Christmas will be here before we know it.  It's Friday and Fridays are Bokehlicious!  I captured these leaves of my Maple tree against some lovely bubbly bokeh created by leaves and sunlight in the other trees.  They were just turning a lovely color.  Not sure what the tree will be like after this week of wind and cold, they probably won't make it to their red color.  I am not sure if this is a Sugar or Red Maple tree or possibly some other variety.  it's trunk is similar to a Japanese Maple so very confusing.  😊