Happy New Years Eve! It's been a long and weird year. It's been very stressful as well and a lot of times we probably felt like we needed what is in the photo. It's been a sad year too with the loss of so many, I have now lost 2 friends to the virus. The photo is to represent a toast to the new year coming in though, not as a reminder of what we have been through. I very much hope that it is a better one for us all and that we can get back to a bit of normalcy and fun.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog. For the last one of 2020 I wanted to share one of my favorite wildflowers. These are Black-eyed Susans and they had a good growing year. I saw them around in several areas and it was lovely to see. I have trouble growing them and the plant I put in by my large pond didn't do well but it produced some offspring that thrived so that was good. This particular group was growing in a rocky place that was a recent road work area and must have been seeded with wildflowers because there was quite the abundance of them growing there this year. A lot of my butterfly photos from this past year are from this area.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Today's image is of one of my favorite birds to find and photograph. I was lucky this year to see them in the spring numerous times. This is the state bird of Kansas as well, the Western Meadowlark. This is a pair of them I observed in some bushes on a walk one afternoon.
Monday, December 28, 2020
A week ago, on the night of the Winter Solstice, there was the "Great Conjunction" of Saturn and Jupiter. While it was neat, I think the hype was a bit over rated. Supposedly they were supposed to be so close it would look like they were touching. Maybe at some point it did look like that, but that is not what I got to see. This image is a composite, both were taken on the 21st but they were too far apart to get in a single frame so I took the liberty of moving them closer together. 😉 The moon was one image and the planets were the second, Jupiter is on the left, Saturn is dimmer. If you have seen any images of the conjunction on the internet where you see the rings of Saturn, those are fake.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog and the last one of the year. I have to share my favorite railroad to end the year. This is from my last trip there on my 30th anniversary in 2018, wow, can't believe it has been that long already. Anyway, I decided to apply the pencil technique to it for something different and I liked the result. I took this image while we were riding the train.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
I love butterflies and I could share a photo every day of them but wouldn't want to bore you so I just go with one a week. 😀 This is a Clouded Sulphur on Alfalfa that I liked the blank background of. I actually can't remember where I shot this to get that background but I like it a lot. Looking at some other photos I took around it, it was on a walk and it must be the sidewalk blurred quite a bit.
Friday, December 25, 2020
Well, it's Christmas day for those who celebrate. Hope you all are having a good and safe one. Ours is different as we are spending it at home alone but there will be others to enjoy with family in the future.
Merry Christmas! Happy Friday!
Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, here is a Snowmen photo with lots of holiday light bokeh!
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog. Since it's Christmastime I chose a flower with some Christmas type color in it to feature for today. This is Purple Poppy Mallow and is also known as Winecup. It grows fairly close to the ground and can produce numerous blooms.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
After whining a couple weeks ago that I don't get a chance to capture birds in flight fairly close, I was presented with an opportunity while on an evening walk. These 2 Red Tail Hawks were flying around each other and one flew fairly close overhead and I was able to get this image of it.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020
It's a triple digit day, 12/20/2020. 😊 It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog. Today's image goes way back in the archives to General and Former President Dwight D Eisenhower's 100 Birthday Celebration in Abilene Kansas. LNER ClassA4 steam Locomotive 60008 was brought in to Abilene for the celebration. The locomotive was named after Eisenhower and donated to the US as a gift in 1946 after WWII. It was retired in 1963 and moved to the National Railroad Museum in a suburb of Green Bay Wisconsin. In 2012, the locomotive traveled to England to take part in Locomotion at the National Railroad Museum in York and stayed there for 2 years. Before it returned it was refurbished cosmetically.
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Friday, December 18, 2020
TGIF! Made it to Winter Break which starts tomorrow for 2 weeks. It's been a long, weird year in some ways and a short one in others. So strange. Anyway, Friday's are Bokehlicious on the Blog as well so a photo with some great bokeh for you. A Giant Swallowtail on Echinacea from earlier this year.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
I love seeing the bees at work around the yard and trying to capture them. I found this Bumblebee one day in very early October busy on a Marigold flower. There were not a lot of flowers left by then so it had to take what it could get.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog! This year I updated my Wildflowers in Kansas pages with a lot of new images and bloom dates. It was a good year for wildflower sightings around my area. Today's flower is a new one for me that I added to the Blue & Purple page as well. I had never seen this one before and it was growing in my Garden Railway! I am guessing a bird must have brought it in somehow. This is Ivy Leaf Morning Glory and I love the blue color of it's flowers. Not thrilled it's in the railway. I may have to end up pulling it out if it becomes an issue.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
One day while out walking, this Mississippi Kite let me get very close to it. I only had my phone with me so it's a phone shot but it turned out OK. It was a very grey day so that part was not the phones fault. I would have rathered it was in a tree but most of the time when they are close to me, it's on a ole or wire so I'll take what I can get.
Monday, December 14, 2020
I love my Toad Lilies, they are so unique looking. Each year the plant gets larger and produces more blooms. This year several blooms were frozen out by the early frost but I did manage to capture several before that. This is a 3 image focus stack of a couple of them open.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog. Today is a bit different. While searching in the archives for photos I found these 2 of the same locomotive that I took at 2 different times. These are both of Santa Fe locomotive 811, a Consolidation type 2-8-0, which had been donated by AT&SF in 1954 to the city of Atchison Kansas. It was on display at what was then called Station Park. The 2nd image shows it in it's current location right near the old AT&SF depot which is the home of the Historical Society. It looks like they performed some cosmetic restoration of the locomotive as well as some of it in the original photo is quite rusted out. You can see the 12 inch gauge track running along side it where there is still large scale locomotives operated on. They used to run an Ottaway locomotive which I also have but not sure if it is in operating condition at the moment.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Friday, December 11, 2020
I had transplanted some Common Milkweed a few years ago when they were doing the road construction in my area. Milkweed doesn't usually transplant well so I was pleased that I was able to keep it alive and that it comes back each year. I have yet to see a Monarch on it but this Black Swallowtail was sure enjoying it one day this summer. The other flowers were making the bokeh for this shot and it's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Today's image is one that I shot early this spring and never shared for some reason. It's a sight I enjoy seeing in the spring, the bees back and enjoying the first flowers of spring on the trees. This one is enjoying the blooms of an Ornamental Pear. It will be awhile before we see this again in my area.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog! Today is one I have shared before but it's one of my favorites. This is Chicory and can be seen growing wild along the highway in Kansas in summer. Mine in my yard was still blooming even after the first hard frost we had in October which really surprised me. I notice in looking at this picture in comparison with an earlier one when I uploaded it that the blooms in the colder weather are more blue than the purple they are in the summer. Interesting. I don't often get to enjoy the blooms of Chicory as they close up during the heat of the day.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
While walking this early winter I have seen several Red Tail Hawks in the area. I believe one is the young one that sat on my railing one time. I was able to get a good shot of this one in flight and though it was far off, I liked the light on it.
Monday, December 7, 2020
I have American Bittersweet growing wild in my yard. People use the berries as decoration fairly often. They keep their color when dry so they work well in wreaths or floral arrangements. They are even more interesting when they pop open after a hard frost. This was obviously taken before that happened. On the White Wildflowers By Color page on this Blog, you can see what the flower looks like as I was finally able to capture a shot of them.
Sunday, December 6, 2020
It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog! I have been to the Georgetown Loop in Colorado a couple of times at least. It was quite the engineering accomplishment in it's day though the original railroad was dismantled and the current loop line is a reconstruction that was completed in the 1980s.. I took this image during my first trip there back in the early 1990s. The locomotive they were using at that time was Number 14, a 3 cylinder Shay type locomotive. I captured it as it was crossing the reconstructed Devil's Gate Bridge near the Georgetown end.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
November really provided some good skies at sunset this year. I took this image about mid month on an evening walk. I live in the tallgrass prairie area of Kansas and they look lovely against a colorful sky.
Friday, December 4, 2020
I love seeing Dragon and Damselflies, they look so interesting and alien at the same time. I captured this Damselfly on a spent flower stalk in the large pond one afternoon. The plants behind it were creating quite the beautiful bubbly bokeh. I had to share this image for today because it's Friday and Friday's are Bokehlicious!
Thursday, December 3, 2020
I was able to see Monarchs at various times all year which was quite nice but never the big migration amount, just one or two here and there. This one was captured in June enjoying the Echinacea or Cone Flower that I had planted in my gardens. This image has basically the absence of bokeh, as the background is quite smooth in appearance.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog. Today's flower is Rose Verbena. I captured this by my home in May. There is a group of this that blooms out on Konza Prairie from Spring till frost. This group blooms for quite a while. It's normal bloom time is May and June if you want to look for it. Conditions in these 2 places must be very good for it.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
It's December. In some ways this year went really slow but in others it has gone crazy fast. Seems odd that it is December already. My image today is one I captured a while back and the usual way I see birds I want to capture, far away and I have the wrong lens. This is a Red Headed Woodpecker that I saw one day and even though far away I still liked the image with the framing of the tree.
Monday, November 30, 2020
I planted some mini Mums by the Gazebo this year and this one I had to put a cage around. It was closest to the Gazebo and must be tasty as something, I believe a Pack Rat kept eating on it. After I did that it recovered and did pretty well. I took this image after the first hard frost we had and, as you can see, it was still blooming nicely. I planted this color and then a more golden one that must not have tasted as good. 😏
Sunday, November 29, 2020
It's Steamy Sunday! So I have never shared a photo of myself here and also one not actually taken by me. Times are different though and this one was taken by my camera by the hubster and shows off the locomotive well. I believe this is the experience that started it all, my first cab ride in a steam locomotive at the Black Hawk & Central City Railroad in Colorado. The people running it were so friendly and informative and it was a great experience. I really hope they are able to get this railroad up and running again as they are trying to. All my pics from this were slightly blurry, not sure what was going on, we were usually better photographers than that. This is an actual film pic that has been copied from back around 1990-ish.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
It's Friday, TGIF! Fridays are Bokehlicious as well! This image is one I took in early September of a Painted Lady butterfly that was enjoying the Marigolds in my garden. The blurred leaves provide the lovely contrasting bokeh.
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
Monday, November 23, 2020
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
Friday, November 20, 2020
It's Friday, TGIF, and a triple number day, 11/20/2020. 😀 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.