Saturday, September 19, 2020


 This is another beautiful sunrise that I was treated to on my way to work last month.  Lately the skies have not been so beautiful and dramatic.  I think last night's sunset was affected by the western wildfires, the sky was hazy looking and the sun was very red and disappeared before the horizon.

Friday, September 18, 2020


 TGIF and Fridays Are Bokehlicious!   Today's bokeh image is of the blooms of one of my Obedient plants.  I always say they are not very obedient because they will spread everywhere but they are rather lovely.  It apparently got it's name because you can bend the flowers in any direction.  It spreads quite aggressively by rhizomes.  It is in the Mint family.

Thursday, September 17, 2020


 I am not sure if I have ever done this before but today's image explains why I shoot in RAW instead of just JPEG.  If your camera has the ability to shoot RAW it is a good idea to do that because you can recover a lot of data if your settings are wrong and you mess up a photo, especially if it happens to be something very important.  I had been shooting something in the dark the night before and forgot to change my settings back until after I had shot several photos of this Painted Lady Butterfly on the Lantana.  I was able to change them and get some other shots fortunately but I thought this worked well to show how you can still get a good image out of a bad shot.  I also liked the artistic look of the over exposed image.  The flowers on the repaired image still have a bit of an odd look to them and I maybe could have done more with the image but I was mainly concerned with the look of the butterfly and it turned out very well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Remember you can use my Wildflowers by color pages to ID ones that are growing.  The pages are located at the top of the main Blog page.

This flower is Dotted Gayfeather which is blooming quite abundantly right now.  The bees and butterflies are quite enjoying it.  This was growing across the way at a schoolhouse I mow but let the wildflowers grow at.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


 This is another neat visitor I had in my yard recently.  This is a Clearwing Moth visiting the Lantana flowers one afternoon.  

Monday, September 14, 2020


 I have a neat flower that is blooming in the garden right now.  It is red Salvia and it's quite different than the purple variety.  The blooms are quite small and remind me of an orchid type flower.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


 It's Steamy Sunday!  This is the other locomotive I should have been working with last weekend at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion that is usually held every Labor Day weekend except this past one due to the Vid.  This is the 14 3/4 gauge Wagner I get to help operate.  This is quite an older image of it as this shed is no longer there due to the new Roundhouse but it was a nice steamy shot of it.  I decided to give it a B&W treatment but didn't go fully on it as you can still see the red accents.

Saturday, September 12, 2020


 I didn't get to go out looking for a Sunflower field this year.  Not sure why, I didn't have anywhere else to go but seemed quite busy anyway.  This is one from several years ago in a field south of where I live that hadn't seemed to plant any after.  I'm not sure if they don't bring enough money or they need to rotate or what.  I had better luck finding fields in Minnesota even though Kansas is the Sunflower State but that's because of the wild ones that grow here.

Friday, September 11, 2020


 9/11 Anniversary, Never Forget.

It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  Today's bokeh filled image is one I was able to capture last weekend outside Topeka, Kansas at the railroad I get to play at.  We were having a very small get together to celebrate the owner's birthday.  On a break I went to take some photos and I had no more sat in the crook of a tree than about 8 feet away from me this Hummingbird came and sat on this branch.  It stayed there for quite some time and allowed me to get a number of shots.  I liked this one because for some reason it was sticking it's tongue out like it was tasting the air.  This is a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Thursday, September 10, 2020


 I had not seen many smaller butterflies around for a while but they were back like crazy on Monday.  I'll see what happens when the cold snap hits on Tuesday.  These have been around fairly steadily and I captured this one on a Butterfly Bush bloom not long ago.  It is an Alfalfa Caterpillar butterfly, not the greatest name for a kind of lovely one.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Remember, you can always check out the Wildflowers By Colors pages of the Blog to help you ID the ones you are seeing.  

Today's image is of Wild Burgamot or Bee Balm.  It is well named because the bees, especially Bumbles sure seem to love it.  There is a Bumble in this image feeding on a bloom.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


 I posted an image of one of the Green Frogs that lives in my large pond a couple weeks ago and said that they were about the size of a Leopard frog.  That is not true I found out when I saw this guy recently and got a shot of it before it hopped off the rock.  This guy was a good 6 to 7 inches in length and very stout compared to a Leopard.  They are much more skittish than my Leopard frog buddies and now I know why I hear such big splashes from them.  They are also the ones who seem to squeak as they jump off the bank as well.  😁

Monday, September 7, 2020


 Happy Labor Day in the US, a lot of people have it as a holiday including me.  Today's image is of some beautiful Fushia flowers that a friend of mine has.  I need to get some of these next year.  I just love the shape of the blooms, they remind me of dancers even though they have too many arms and legs.  😃

Sunday, September 6, 2020


 It's Steamy Sunday on Labor Day weekend and I should be in Minnesota doing steamy things but due to the vid I can't.  It's the 100th Birthday of this locomotive and I had hoped to be on it and firing it around the grounds during it's special year.  353 is a former Soo Line Switch engine and for many years has been pulling passengers around the 2 miles of track at the Western Minnesota Steam thresher's reunion in Rollag.  Happy 100th Birthday 353!

Saturday, September 5, 2020


 I have been posting a lot of sunsets lately but this one was a sunrise that I saw on my way to work during the first week of August.  I pulled over to the side of the road and took a quick shot with my phone.

Friday, September 4, 2020


 We made it to Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is of a dainty Damselfly I captured on a rock in the big pond.  I think it's a Blue damsel.  I liked the bubbly bokeh on the right side so of course I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 3, 2020


 Today's image is an older one I was able to get very early this spring.  I like Blue Jays.  I have heard they can be bullies but they don't seem to bully the other birds about food, they all eat together.  This is one I captured after he picked out a peanut from the mix I gave them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday once again here on the Blog!  Today's flower is the Common Sunflower which is the State flower of Kansas.  It is blooming everywhere now and is quite lovely!  There are huge groups of them along I-70.  The plants can grow quite tall, I have a few that must be about 10 feet high.

Hope you also check out my Wildflowers by Color Pages located at the top of the Blog where there are many listed along with their bloom time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


 Happy September!  My image to start off the month is of a gorgeous Giant Swallowtail butterfly that came to visit my Lantana flowers that I have growing in a large pot on the deck.  I was able to get this shot through the storm door of it enjoying the blooms.  It was lovely to see it up close like that.

Monday, August 31, 2020


 August seems to have lasted forever but today is the last day and we have been a bit cooler again.  My photo today is of a new flower from a plant a friend gave me.  It's a type of Morning Glory.  The blooms are fairly large, about like a squash flower if you have ever seen one of those but more lovely.  I had to take this image before I left for work one day because the blooms are not open when I get home.

Sunday, August 30, 2020


 The National Transportation Museum in St Louis Missouri also had a few non US locomotives.  This one is a Canadian National Railways that was donated in 1959.  It is locomotive number 5529 and is a 4-6-2 Pacific type wheel arrangement and was built by the Canadian branch of Alco in 1905.  You can find original old photos of Canadian locomotives out on the web of when they were in service if you Google them.  Google is an amazing thing.  😀

Saturday, August 29, 2020


 This was another quite beautiful sunset I was able to capture just about 2 weeks ago now.  I loved the bright rays coming from the sun and the dark rays from the cloud.  I had a co-worker who always said Kansas had the best sunrises and sunsets and this year seems to be proving that quite true.

Friday, August 28, 2020


 This was another neat visitor I had recently and kind of a lucky shot.  This is an Eastern Question Mark butterfly and they normally are seen in the shadows more than in sunlight.  They don't feed on flowers like a lot of other butterflies but prefer tree sap and rotting fruit.  I was able to capture it on a rock at my large pond and I liked the shadow it was casting.  I also liked the bokeh behind with a couple spots of bubble bokeh.  The perfect shot for today because Fridays Are Bokehlicious!

I originally thought this was a Comma butterfly but due to the dark banding at the bottom of the wings, I believe it is a Question Mark instead.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


 We had some interesting birds in the area this spring that I had never seen before.  This is an in-flight shot that I had captured and never shared before but that I thought had turned out pretty well.  I believe it is a Northern Shoveler duck.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again.  Since I mentioned them this week, my flower for today is the Gaillardia or Blanket flower.  These are just about ending their bloom here in Kansas in my area.  I have seen a couple recently.  I wish I could get them to grow in my garden since they are native to Kansas but they never come back in the spring.  Now sure what i am doing wrong so I guess I will just have to enjoy them in the wild. These were a more orange variety but some have the yellow and orange together like the flowers on Monday. 

I hope you check out my Wildflowers by Colors pages here on the Blog to help you ID wildflowers you may be seeing.  A lot of the ones there can be found in other areas and not just Kansas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 I had a couple of neat visitors to my yard this past week.  The first was this beautiful Luna Moth.  I happened to look out the window to the back yard and there it was in a cedar tree posing for me.  I took a few shots through the window in case it would leave but then got my macro lens and took a few up close.  It was quite tolerant.  This is only the second time I have ever seen one around my house in about a good 20 years.

Monday, August 24, 2020


 I saw these flowers at the National Museum of Transportation in St Louis in July.  I am not sure what they are but they were quite striking I thought.  They look like a cross between a Gaillardia or Blanket Flower and a Black-eyed Susan.  I need to find out what they are because I would love to find some to plant.

Edit:  After some Googling I discovered that these are indeed a type of Black-eyed Susan or Rudbeckia.  Now to find where to buy them.  😃

Sunday, August 23, 2020


 This was a quite interesting locomotive that the Museum of Transportation in St Louis had on display.  It was built in 1893 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works and is a 0-4-4T with the T indicating it was a tank locomotive without a separate tender.It's tank held 700 gallons of water and it carried and burned 1 ton of hard anthracite coal which smoked less.  This locomotive ws used on a Chicago elevated line.  It could run equally well forward or backward which was important because there was no way to turn it around.  It pulled trains up to 4 cars long.  It is named for Charles H. Deere, son of John Deere, yes, that one.  After it's work on the "L" it went to Michigan for lumber and chemical work, then to Texas and then to Mexico.  It was donated to the museum in 1957 and then restored as close as possible cosmetically to it's original appearance in 1995-96.

Saturday, August 22, 2020


 We have been having some lovely Sunsets lately.  Maybe we have had more beautiful ones than I remember and I am just seeing them more since I have been walking in the evenings more.  Either way, they have been lovely to see and enjoy.  Usually the summer is hot dry and cloudless, this one has been different so I think that's really why.  😀

Friday, August 21, 2020


 The smaller butterflies are around now more than they were all summer.  I captured a Pearl Crescent and a Painted Lady enjoying the Cone Flowers a few days ago.  The area behind them provided some nice bubbly bokeh and it's Friday and Fridays Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 20, 2020


 My yellow Lilies have put on a nice show this summer.  They have been blooming for a good while in the garden this year due to the rain we have had I think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again!  Today's flower is Coreopsis which can still be found blooming in my area of central-ish Kansas.  We have had an odd summer of cool temps at times and more rain than usual so I think that is helping the wildflowers bloom longer.  Usually by now we are dry and fairly brown.

There are several other wildflowers still blooming and I hope you check out my pages of Wildflowers By Color listed across the top of the Blog to help you ID what you see.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 For the last couple of years we have had Mississippi Kites in our area.  They must have extended their area in search of food.  The one pair that lives here seems rather tolerant of me and my camera taking photos of it as well.  It sat above me on this wire and looked at me for a moment and then basically ignored me.  I was happy to get the capture of it looking at me and you can see the red color of it's eye.  

Monday, August 17, 2020


 I captured this Dragonfly at my large pond the other day.  I liked how the sunlight was highlighting details on it's wings.

Sunday, August 16, 2020


 The National Museum of Transportation in St Louis has a sister locomotive to Daylight 4449.  This is Southern Pacific 4460 and is a 4-8-4 Northern type which SP termed a GS-6 and was built in 1943.  It was semi-streamlined with a skyline casing which covered the domes on top of the boiler.  This feature was designed to lift smoke over the cab and out of the eyes of the engineer.  It pulled it's last train for the SP in 1958 and was donated to the museum in 1959.

Saturday, August 15, 2020


 We had a rainy end of July and then August started out cool and a bit humid and that really made the mushrooms pop up around the area.  I think mushrooms lend themselves well to a monochrome treatment to really bring out the detail in them.  I finally found out what these type are as well, they are Green Spored Lepiota mushrooms.  This is a 2 image focus stack to get all of them in focus.

Friday, August 14, 2020


 My Zinnias are blooming very nicely and I saw this one over by the big pond the other day.  I liked the peach color and how it was kind of isolated.  It also had some nice bubbly bokeh behind it and so that made it a perfect image for today because it is Friday and Fridays Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 13, 2020


 The Painted Lady butterflies are finally back.  I have a good number of them around now and enjoying the Butterfly bushes in my yard.  I love the bright vivid flowers on these bushes and apparently, so do the butterflies.  😀

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


 It's Wildflower Wednesday!  Today's wildflower is Star of Bethlehem.  This is a pretty spring one.  It is in the Lily family but looks similar to wild Garlic though it does not smell like it when crushed.  It can spread a lot at times, I have some popping up in the yard in places but it has stayed contained in the same spot in my backyard garden for years and not moved there.  Some places list it as a noxious weed because of the way it spreads, I think that's a shame as it is quite lovely when it blooms.

Be sure and check out my Wildflowers of Kansas pages here on the Blog to find lot's more wildflowers that you may be seeing and need an ID on.  They are listed across the top of the main Blog page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


 So this was a sight you don't see every day.  One morning on a recent weekend I was in my office at home working on photos and the hubster said, "Come here but don't come too quickly."  I was like, what and grabbed my camera and was greeted with this looking in our front window.  I believe it is a juvenile Red Tail Hawk.  I have a shot where it had turned and you could see the tail which has banding when they are younger.  This hawk has been around a lot since then and is very vocal compared to others.  You can always hear it calling when it is sitting or flying.  Not sure why it calls so much, maybe all younger ones do?  Anyway, it was neat to be able to have one so close up to view and photograph.  It flew off when my cat when in for a closer look.

Monday, August 10, 2020


 I haven't shared one of my frog buddies for a while.  This is a different one and it is not very tolerant of me like my Leopard Frog buddy, I can't get very close to it.  This was even shot with a zoom lens.  This is a Green Frog I believe, similar in size to the Leopards but can get a bit larger.

Sunday, August 9, 2020


It's another Steamy Sunday!  It's also another image from the neat National Museum of Transportation in the suburb of Kirkwood Missouri just outside of St. Louis.  This is Chicago & Illinois Midland Railroad  551.  This locomotive is a Mikado type wheel arrangement, a 2-8-2 and was built by Lima locomotive Works in 1928.  It was used to haul coal to Commonwealth Edison power plants.  The locomotive it is sitting next to is a somewhat interesting diesel locomotive called the Silver Charger, a streamlined one similar to the more famous Silver Zephyr.

Saturday, August 8, 2020


 It's getting hot again, the cool days were a nice change.  I knew it couldn't last since it is August but still.  Today's image is of a lovely sunset I witnessed while on a walk a few weeks ago.

Friday, August 7, 2020


It's Friday, TGIF!  Unlike a lot of people, I never stopped working but the days still seem to flow together and seem hard to remember.  Anyway, the photo.  The smaller butterflies have made a big come back lately in my area.  I have seen a lot of Painted Ladies recently and then on last Friday I was able to capture this Buckeye Butterfly enjoying a Speedwell flower.  It wasn't until I was looking through the images that I captured that I saw there was a little bee captured on it's way in too.  There is some nice abstract bokeh in this image as well and Friday's are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 6, 2020


I have a couple of Hummingbirds that come to feed at the feeder every day.  I was lucky one day recently to capture it feeding at the Trumpet Vine in a more natural setting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


It's another Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog!  Today's flower is Teasel.  This is another one that I first noticed a lot of in West Virginia but then noticed they were growing in Missouri and Kansas as well.  I love their shapes and think they are even more photogenic after blooming when dry.  I planted some in my garden and then realized that was a mistake as they spread like crazy into areas where i didn't really want them.  I have moved some to an area where I hope they do spread.  Butterflies are attracted to the blooms of Teasels so a good one for that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


We had a weird July weather-wise, it was quite rainy and August started out quite cool, 50s at night.  I captured this image of one of my yellow Lilies in between a couple rains last week.  This is a 2 image focus stack for detail.

Monday, August 3, 2020


It took a long time it seemed to have Dragonflies at my large pond this year but now they are around and abundant.  They make for interesting subjects I think with their somewhat alien appearance.  I actually captured this one at my small pond and loved how it seemed to be looking right at me.  This is a Twelve Spot Dragonfly.

Sunday, August 2, 2020


Welcome to Steamy Sunday on the Blog and another photo from the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri just outside of St. Louis.  This is Y6 Class Norfolk & Western 2156 a 2-8-8-2 Mallet locomotive.  The sign on it was welcoming it back to the museum.  It had returned on June 3 after a 5 year stay at the Virginia Museum of Transportation to help welcome N&W 611 back to steam.  It is a huge locomotive and was cool to see.  It was raining while I took this shot from under a tree The locomotive is not operational and was towed back and forth.