Thursday, November 26, 2020


 It's Thanksgiving here in the US today.  It's going to be a different one.  I hope you all stay safe.  The virus is real, it's not political and it's not a scam.  I lost a good friend to it who tried to take precautions just 1 1/2 weeks ago.  Please protect your loved ones.  We at least have them to be thankful for in these trying times.  I am going to smoke some turkey which we will be eating by ourselves for the first time ever on a Thanksgiving day.  it's Ok though because we will see our family again when it's safe to.
The image is some autumn color turned leaves on a very old Oak tree in our yard.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday!  Today's flower is a lovely small one that was even paler than usual.  It's name is Pale Poppy Mallow and it usually is a bit more pink or blue in color.  This one was basically white.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


 I knew I had an even closer photo of a frog buddy on a Lily pad.  This one even has the bonus of the flower.  This guy is one of my Bullfrogs but a smaller one than some of them.

Monday, November 23, 2020


 My mini Hostas did pretty well this year.  This is an image of one of them that was blooming rather late in the summer.  I took this image in mid September.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


 Today's Steamy Sunday image goes back to the Black Hawk & Central City Railroad.  This is another scan of an old photo I took probably around 1990.  This image shows a bit of the line there.  At this time is was a point to point, backing out and then pulling forward on the return.  It didn't go horribly far due to a bridge that needed replacing but it was a nice ride on a neat old train.  I hope they can get it back up and running again.

Saturday, November 21, 2020


 In November we have been treated to some lovely skies once again.  This was the sunrise on the 12th as I was heading in the door at work.

Friday, November 20, 2020


 It's Friday, TGIF, and a triple number day, 11/20/2020.  πŸ˜€  Friday's are also Bokehlicious and today's image has some lovely bokeh.  This is a switch of an earlier image I posted of these two butterflies on a Snakeroot plant by my large pond late this summer.  In the foreground this time is a Pearl Crescent and in the rear is a Painted Lady.

Thursday, November 19, 2020


 Our autumn this year was not as colorful as some years and definitely not as colorful as other areas of North America.  We had some very early low temps and very high winds of 45 mph and over which blew most of them down early.  The few that survived and clung to my Maple tree the longest did turn a quite lovely red like this group I captured in the late afternoon sun.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  The wildflowers are done blooming now so I have to start digging into this past spring and summer's images.  Todays image is showing the underside of the bell shaped bloom of a Common Ground Cherry.  On my Yellow Kansas Wildflowers by Color Page I have a shot of the plant and how the flowers hang on it.  I had to do a lot of fancy maneuvering to get this shot. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


 Because of the Vid situation I have actually become more healthy due to starting up regular exercise again.  Since late March, I have been walking or riding a bike every day.  I guess some good has to come from the bad.  Due to the walking I have been able to see and capture different birds in my area.  Very early this month I was able to capture this American Kestrel sitting on a wire.  I rarely see these birds and this is only the second time I have been able to capture one. 

Monday, November 16, 2020


 My large pond had a nice surprise in it after I had had cleaned out numerous Cattails, this yellow Water Lily plant.  It has been blooming quite a lot now that it is more free of the Cattails.  This is one of the images I got of it late this past summer.  With the cold weather, the Lilies are all done blooming and we have to wait until next summer for sights like this.

Sunday, November 15, 2020


 Welcome to Steamy Sunday on the Blog!  A friend of mine and frequent visitor to the Blog tipped me to a video on a different technique on processing images that works rather well with train images.  Here is Norfolk & Western locomotive 611 and it's train in Pennsylvania last year processed to appear as though it is emerging from a pencil drawing.  Let me know in the comments if you like the look.

Saturday, November 14, 2020


 On Wednesday November 4 we were treated to a quite beautiful sunrise.  I had not seen such a beautiful sunrise in quite a while.  I took this shot as I headed out the driveway for work.  It was a great way to start the day.

Friday, November 13, 2020


 TGIF!  Happy Friday the 13th!  Hope it will be a good day for you, usually it is for me.  Friday's Are also Bokehlicious as well so that's why I chose this image for today.  This is a Monarch butterfly I captured in late summer enjoying the Butterfly bush or Buddleja blooms.  More of the bush and the ornamental grass I have growing are providing the lovely stranded bokeh.

Thursday, November 12, 2020


 I captured a lot of nature enjoying the Autumn Sedum this year.  This is an image of 2 Honey Bees enjoying the blooms with a Metallic bee on the way in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


 Happy Veteran's Day!  Thanks to all the veterans for their service.  

It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog.  Today's flower is one of my favorites.  This one is rather hardy as well because I found it still blooming on a walk even after having several days of nights in the low 20s F.  This is a trio of Black Eyed Susans.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


 This was my second snowflake and best that I took during our first snowfall this year.  This was actually a double flake and quite beautiful I thought. This one was 8 images focus stacked together.  I now have a new ring light so I am ready for the next one.  If it has to be cold out, I hope I get the opportunity for more snowflake images.  

Monday, November 9, 2020


 My Pickerel Rush plant in the large pond did very well this year.  Every year it gets larger and produces more flowers.  I am quite happy about that.  This image shows off the leaves fairly well which can be quite long in some cases, about 10 inches or so.  This one was probably a good 6 or 7.  I liked how it framed the flower.

Sunday, November 8, 2020


 Today's image really goes way back in my archives to either 1989 or 1990ish and a trip out to Colorado.  This is the Black Hawk & Central City Railroad.  It was a short point to point railroad but it was quite fun.  I was even able to have a ride in the cab, my first steam train cab ride in locomotive No. 71.  Unfortunately this railroad does not exist any longer.  The locomotive in recent years has been on display in front of the Grand Z in Central City.  There was talk of moving and restoring the locomotive back to operation in late 2019 but I am not sure where that went and now may be staled out due to the Vid.

Saturday, November 7, 2020


 This is an image of a lovely sunset we had a couple of weeks ago.  You can see my gazebo where the lights have come on for the evening.  Also visible is my 550 gallon rainwater collection tank to fill my large pond which the gazebo sits on the edge of.

Friday, November 6, 2020


 TGIF!  We made it to Friday!  Last week we had crazy weather setting record lows for the month.  It was like January in October with highs in the 20s and snow.  This is an image of a few of my Marigolds still covered in snow before they turned brown.  Because Friday's are Bokehlicious, this image has some lovely soft bokeh created by other flowers and snow behind them.

Thursday, November 5, 2020


 Normally my butterfly shots are good for bokeh images too.  This one has basically the absence of bokeh or in reality, quite smooth bokeh.  Anyway, this is a Painted Lady I captured on the Butterfly bush enjoying the blooms one afternoon.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog!  With the bitter cold temps we had, almost 20F a couple of nights, last week, I was surprised to see any wildflowers still alive.  This group of Aromatic Asters surprised me though.  I wonder if the heat from the sidewalk helped.  They were very short due to being mowed over several times.  They do normally bloom into October.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


 Today is Election Day, I hope you got out and voted.

Last week we had record cold and our first snow of the year.  This week it is back in the 50s and 60s.  Crazy weather.  Anyway, I was able to capture my first snowflakes.  I only got a few due to issues with my light having a short and not lighting correctly and also the snow was very light at the time.  These were 2 of the ones I captured.  They had a lot of rhime, or sleet, on them but I thought their general shapes were lovely through it.  They are both focus stacked images and cropped a good deal.  In my haste I also forgot my macro extender.  Hope to get another chance this winter where I am better prepared.  

Monday, November 2, 2020


 Every once in a while I see my frog buddies doing clichΓ© things like sitting on a Lily pad.  I think I have a closer up photo somewhere but I liked this one because it showed how huge the Lily pads got on this plant.  This is the new one that I just transferred over to this pond and some of the pads were at least 8 inches across.  This is one of my Leopard frog buddies hanging out on one.  

Sunday, November 1, 2020


 Today's image is going back in the archives quite a bit, as will most images from this point on due to this wacky year and not being able to do steamy things.  This is another image from the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, it's a beautiful, well set up and displayed museum and you should go when it opens again, it's well worth the trip.  This is North Pacific Coast Railroad No. 12 Sonoma built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1876.  The locomotive has been restored by the museum, after acquiring it in 1978, to it's as built appearance.  

Saturday, October 31, 2020


 Happy last day of October and Happy Halloween as well!  I hope the rest of this winter is not quite as bad as October was with temps in the teens already.  Yuck.  I decided I needed a fun picture for today so I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, October 30, 2020


 TGIF!  Today's image is one I took last year and never shared of a butterfly that I think are lovely looking but have a rather unfortunate name.  This is a male Southern Cabbageworm butterfly enjoying the Russian Sage that grows out by the large pond.  As always, I am sharing this image today due to the great bokeh in it because Friday's are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 29, 2020


 One thing this year was good for was opportunities for bird photos.  I was able to capture this Mississippi Kite up close one day while on a walk.  It was sitting above me on this wire and didn't seem very concerned with me at all and let me take several photos.  I like this side view because it shows off the eye masking fairly well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog!  Today's wildflower is an oddity.  This is Purple Prairie Clover that is supposed to be finished blooming in August.  I photographed this on the 11th of October and saw it still blooming a week after that.  It has been quite a weird year all around.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


 Today's image is another of the cool visitor I had to my yard a little while back.  This is a side view of a Luna Moth.  They are quite large and lovely compared to other moths.  They are a good 5 inches across the wings.  It was very cool to have one visit and be able to photograph it as they are rarely seen.  Adults only live 7 to 10 days and they are nocturnal fliers.

Monday, October 26, 2020


 Every year my Toad Lily produces more stalks and more blooms which is exactly what I would hope it would do.  πŸ˜€  This is one of the groups that I took an image of just as it was starting to bloom.  Tricyritis hirta, the Toad Lily or Hairy Toad Lily is a Japanese species of a hardy Lily plant.  It is easy to see why it is called "hairy" when you view it larger.  This is a 3 image focus stack for better detail.  Toad Lilies grow best in the shade and bloom in the autumn.

Sunday, October 25, 2020


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I only got to do one actual steamy thing this year.  In September I got to go play for a day at the railroad outside Topeka.  We had a day where just families came to play to keep it small and socially distanced. This is Ottaway locomotive 1045 beside one of the railroad signals they have beside the track.

Saturday, October 24, 2020


 Today's image is the only real autumn color landscape I was able to get this year.  With the leaves not turning color very quickly and then the high winds blowing them right off, it hasn't been the most lovely of autumns.  This is a Mulberry tree in my yard that turned a deep yellow and was a bit protected from the wind by the Burr Oaks around it which drop their leaves later than most trees.  This year they have already half dropped as well.  Most likely due to the fact that we have not had any rain for a few weeks now.

Friday, October 23, 2020


 TGIF!  We made it to another Friday!  My Butterfly Bush was very popular this year with the butterflies.  I was able to capture this Clouded Sulphur on my new pink variety of it earlier this year.  It has a little Skipper companion with it as well.  The bit of bubbly bokeh meant I had to post it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 22, 2020


 My Sea Oats grass has not spread like I would have liked it to do but it has thrived in the spot I last tried by the pond.  I love the dainty bowing shape of it with the seed heads dangling from the stem.  They look especially lovely in the autumn when the seeds turn brown and are backlit from the sun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  The wildflowers in this area are just about done for the year.  I was surprised to see this one blooming in this area this year.  I had never noticed it before and it may just have been a really good year for it.  This is Queen's Anne Lace and it is one of my favorites to shoot, I find it very photogenic.  There were still a few groups of it blooming last week but this is an older shot of it from earlier this year.  This image shows it before the flower head has fully expanded and I love the bits of pink in it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


 It's a 3 number day today, 10/20/2020.  Nothing special, I don't think anyway, just something I notice.  πŸ˜„  This guy, or probably gal, was trying to get in my garage one day a bit over a week ago.  I didn't want it to get trapped or run over so I moved it over to the garden where it allowed me to shoot some pics of it after I moved it.  A large, green Praying Mantis.  This is a 3 image focus stack of it to get it's legs and head in focus up this close.

Monday, October 19, 2020


 My Maple tree did not turn very red this year.  We have not had rain for a good while now and have had high winds so we are not having a very colorful autumn period.  Most of the leaves just turned this yellow color with hints of red which was still lovely.  They are practically all gone now though, did not last long at all with the wind, fortunately I got a few shots before they all blew down. I like the bokeh in this shot and bokeh is good any day not just Fridays.  πŸ˜€

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 This is another image from the Steamfest in Owosso Michigan a while back and another that is half of a stereo image.  The Little River Railroad is a tourist operated one in Coldwater Michigan.  Locomotive 110 is a 4-6-2 Pacific type locomotive built in 1911.  It worked as a logging engine early in it's life.  It has a "blind" center driver on it which means it has no flanges and that allows it to negotiate tighter turns than other locomotives with the same wheel arrangement.  It's quite a lovely looking locomotive that the LRR takes very good care of.

Saturday, October 17, 2020


 Today's images and post is a bit different.  Mars has been visible in the sky for awhile now.  Last month there was one evening when it and the moon were fairly close together so I was able to capture both.  You can see the reddish tint to Mars even though it's rather small in the image.

This image is a complimentary image I was able to get this week.  It's a bit disappointing as it is a phone shot and I guess I still need to learn how to use it because when I changed the mode I shot in, it did not give me a RAW file to work with, just a low grade jpeg.  Anyway, this is the moon and Venus from Wednesday morning.

Friday, October 16, 2020


 Happy Fridat, TGIF!  I saw a good number of Monarchs traveling through my area but they did not seem to stop in my yard very much.  Not sure why as I plant for them but at least I got to see and photograph some.  This is one I captured across the way at the old schoolhouse enjoying the Dotted Gayfeather wildflowers that were growing there.  I guess they like those better than what I was growing for them.  Of course I chose this particular shot for the bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!

Thursday, October 15, 2020


 This summer was a good time for Hummingbird photos.  This is another of the female Ruby Throat after she turned around on the branch she was sitting on to face me.  I was only about 8 to 10 feet away sitting in a crook of a tree trunk with some branches between us and sitting very still so guessing she did not see me.  It was a wonderful close up experience.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday!  Today's image is of one that is currently blooming and is usually one of the last flowers to bloom for the year here in Kansas.  This is Heath Aster which grows on stiff stems in an upright shape with many branches.  The flower centers can be yellow to a reddish purple as seen in this image.  I captured this group blooming in my yard this past week.  Their roots can go as deep as 8 feet making them very drought hardy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


 I haven't shared one of my Leopard frog buddies in a while.  I have not seen them as often lately around the pond.  This is a shot from a while back of one who posed very nicely for me.

Monday, October 12, 2020


 This is a flower that came up from a seed packet of a wildflower type mix.  I don't know what it is and if anyone does, please let me know in the comments.  I think it's a lovely one and would like to plant again since it did well from the mix.  This is a darker pink version but there were also lighter ones and white ones.  This image showed some leaves as well to help with an ID.

Sunday, October 11, 2020


 I am going way back in the archives again for Steamy Sunday this week since I have not been able to do much steamy this year.  This is half of a stereo shot from the night shoot I was able to attend at Steamfest in Owosso Michigan.  It was cool to see these 2 locomotives together, the Southern Pacific Daylight 4449 and Nickel Plate Road 765.

Saturday, October 10, 2020


 Double digit day, 10/10/2020.  Nothing that special, I just notice it when typing in my date title.  πŸ˜€  Today's image is of the Sunflower field I was able to take pictures at this year just a bit south of where I live.  Our sunsets have been affected by the wildfires out west.  The sun appears quite red as it sets.  I hope California gets some relief soon and that everyone stays safe out there.

Friday, October 9, 2020


 TGIF!  I have some Wild Snakeroot growing by the large pond and last weekend before the cold snap I had some butterflies visiting.  This is a Painted Lady with a Pearl Crescent providing some bokeh.  The cedar trunks in the background provided some other lovely bokeh and I chose this image for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  Since the end of September I have not seen many butterflies around at all.  I guess they got outta here when the cold front came through then.