Thursday, April 30, 2020


The first butterfly I was able to photograph this year was this Black Swallowtail.  I was only able to capture it in some grass and it was fairly boring so I decided to play around with it and this is the result.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


Today's wildflower is one I see quite often in spring but I never photographed and put it in my Wildflower Pages by Color.  This is called Johnny Jump Up and it in the Violet family.  It got it's name because of it's rapid growth in spring.  It's a lovely little flower that is also called a Wild Pansy.  It has now been added to the Purple/Blue Wildflower page on my Blog.  The picture on the page shows the whole plant where this one I wanted to show off the flower.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


I already have quite a lot of frog buddies at my big pond but if all the tadpoles develop, there is going to be quite the population of them there.  I captured these 2 last week and I loved their positioning because the one looked like the reflection of the other.

Monday, April 27, 2020


It has been a joy to see these visitors this year.  I rarely get to see them but they were around quite a lot this spring and would sit in the trees and let me get fairly close to them for a shot before they would change trees.  I really liked this shot I was able to get and think of it as The Three Amigos.  These are Cedar Waxwings and while I have a lot of Cedar trees around they are not common in my yard.

Sunday, April 26, 2020


With the world the way it is these days I may not get much opportunity to photograph steam trains this year except my garden railway.  I was thinking of ways to be inspired and I saw images done in this type of "Pop Out" or "Out of Frame" style and decided to try my own.  I liked the result and decided to share it.  This is an older image from Durango & Silverton in Colorado that I use on my computer as one of my rotating desktop images that i thought lent itself very well to the technique.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


I haven't posted a sunrise in a while.  Last week while on the way to work, I saw this beam of light that the sunrise was creating.  It stayed for a while so I decided to pull over and try and capture it and I think I was fairly successful.

Friday, April 24, 2020


I had a bunch of these Grape Hyacinths in bloom a couple weeks back.  I saw a honey bee that was enjoying the blooms and was able to capture it as it moved around them.  The bokeh in this image was pretty great so I just had to share it today because Fridays Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 23, 2020


This duck is another first for me, I had no idea we even had these around.  I spotted this one at the big pond I have started walking to on the weekends not too far from my house.  This is a Northern Shoveler male that I captured as it rose up and flapped it's wings a bit before settling back down.  A stretch for ducks?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Happy Earth Day everyone!  Earth Day should be every day in my opinion.
Today is Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again.  This is one that is quite common in my area in spring and is one of the first flowers to bloom but I never realized what it was until I looked it up this year.  It is in the Veronica family and is called Wayside Speedwell.  I think it has quite lovely flowers actually even though it is considered a weed when it gets in lawns.
This flower has been added to the Lavender and Blue Page of Kansas Wildflowers that I hope are of use to people in search of IDs for the flowers you find around your area.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


I have posted images of these leaves before and I always thought that they were from a Maple tree.  However, this year I noticed that the branches of this tree have very long, almost 2 inch, thin spikes or thorns on it.  The trunk doesn't have them and I had not noticed them before.  The closest ID I can get is that it is a type of Hawthorn tree.  I have never noticed berries or flowers on it.  These are some of the leaves from just a few days ago.  I will have to pay closer attention I guess this year. 😏 I loved the soft bokeh in this and bokeh is good any day too!

Monday, April 20, 2020


Today is a triple digit day, April the 20th of 2020.  It's the little things these days.  Anyway, another thing that I have enjoyed this spring is the different birds I have been able to see and capture.  I had a nice surprise the other evening while walking to see 3 Western Meadowlarks at one time while they were foraging in the grass.  2 evenings later I was able to capture this shot of one of them in a tree doing it's lovely calling.  The Western Meadowlark is the Kansas state bird but has become somewhat scarce in the last few years and I have usually only been able to view them out on Konza Prairie.  It was exciting to see in the area again, in fact so much so that when I first realized what I was seeing, I made an excited type of gasp and scared the closest one and caused it to fly further away before I could get a shot.  Fortunately I got this opportunity later.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


This year this locomotive turns 100.  The way things are going I wonder if I will be able to be up there and working on it for it's major birthday.  This is former Soo Line Switch locomotive 353 just passing the new Steiger Barn which is now the main entrance to the show at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


During these weird times I have gotten back to walking almost every day.  A couple days when it was very cold and windy I did not.  A week ago Friday evening was a lovely night for a walk and there was a beautiful sunset.  I like how the dark clouds were outlined in sunlight.  The colors were beautiful as well.  This is a 2 shot panorama.

Friday, April 17, 2020


My Tulips were blooming late last week.  At the point of writing this we are just heading into a 3 day cold snap with lows in the 20s and highs only in the 30s and 40s so not sure how they will do.  Glad i was able to capture a few images of them anyway.  I love the color of this type with it's mix of red, orange and yellow.  I chose this image for today because of the lovely bokeh provided by the other blooms in the background and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 16, 2020


I have had a treat around my property this spring.  I first saw them by the big pond one day but this image is right outside my back window in the Walnut tree.  I have had a flock of about 20 Waxwings that have been visiting for several days.  They fly around the yard in a group and sit up in the trees and actually let me get reasonably close for a photo.  I shot this one through the window though.  I wonder if they will be around after the cold snap though, guess I shall see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog again.  Today's is one that is always quite prolific in my yard every spring but I had never learned what it was.  this one is called Shepherd's purse and is in the Mustard family.  It get's it's name from it's triangular seed head which reminds of a purse.  It flowers anywhere from 2 inches to 1.5 ft tall.  The one I photographed was about 3 inches tall.  It's flower head is rather lovely I thought.  
This one has been added to the Wildflower pages under White Wildflowers of  Kansas.

A macro image of the flower head, a couple early seed pods can be seen as well, one is at the almost 12 o'clock position:

This is n image of the entire plant:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


At the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn Indiana, there was a variety of neat cars.  This is the first production Duesenberg, one that was not a race car, that the museum had recently acquired.  It was a beautifully restored car.

Monday, April 13, 2020


My frog buddies have been out and about at the big pond.  I saw that they have laid eggs as well which I have been watching and have hatched into quite the number of tadpoles.  If they all survive, that pond is going to be quite full of frogs!  Anyway, here is one of the Leopard frogs that is going to have to go back to hibernating his week as it has turned really cold again.  

Sunday, April 12, 2020


The way things are going these days I am wondering if I will have new steam pics to share this year.  May have to be digging into the archives quite a bit more.  Anyway, today's image is a shot of the 2 locomotives I traveled to Pennsylvania late last September to see.  I mainly went for Norfolk and Western J Class 611 on the left but it was a treat to see N&W 475 as well.  The event was called The Reunion of Steam and was held at the Strasburg Railroad.  

Saturday, April 11, 2020


Today's image is a bit different than usual.  I have a friend who is into astronomy and works at an observatory and she alerted me to this event.  Last weekend Venus which has been closer to earth than usual in it's orbit, was near the constellation of the Seven Sisters (AKA, the Little Dipper).  This is my attempt to capture it.  There was a bit of movement captured due to the long lens I was using and the exposure time.  I probably should have tried with a normal but I didn't want to crop.  Ah well, trade offs.  So, in the image, Venus is the brightest and the others are that look like a dipper are the Seven Sisters plus a few extra.  😀

Friday, April 10, 2020


The Ornamental Pear trees in the area have been blooming like crazy lately.  I liked this image I got of the blooms because it showed off the buds as well.  Plus it had some lovely bokeh and Friday's Are bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Yikes, this week has been crazy busy and I almost forgot that I did not finish pre-posting this week.  This is the very first picture of the big pond that I have been walking to now and then.  There were a bunch of ducks and this is the typical shot I get of wildlife I see, them trying to get the heck away from me!  I liked the light on them and the splashes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Today's wildflower is a new one for me.  I may have seen it before but never paid attention to it until this year thinking it was something else.  I have a bunch of this growing on our newer land and it is rather lovely.  The name makes no sense though as the flowers are pink but it is called Blue Mustard.  It is also known as a Crossflower.  It's an annual herb in the Mustard family and is known to have a strong scent that is not pleasant (I did not notice this).  If cows eat it, it can make the milk taste bad.
This has now been added to the Wildflowers by Color pages on both the Pink and the Purple because it can have a lavender tint as well.

The Bloom close up:

A full view of the plant:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


While I was at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, I was able to see another wonderful car that was none of those.  This is a 1960s Jaguar XKE which is my dream car though I would have to learn how to drive a manual transmission car much better to be able to drive it.  It just has such gorgeous lines.  I owed a successor to this for awhile, an XJS and while it was lovely, it wasn't the same (which is why I was able to afford it) though I still miss it.

Monday, April 6, 2020


I was out walking Saturday by the big pond near where I live and photographing ducks and got a chance to view another type bird I enjoy watching but don't see often.  I watched and captured a pair of Killdeers moving along the edge of the pond looking for food.  I liked how this particular one came out with the reflection in the water.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


Locomotive 353, an ex Soo Line Switch engine, sits at the water tower and takes on passengers for another trip around the grounds during the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  The engineer is out checking things on the locomotive to be sure all is in order before the run.  The smoke is black at the moment because they would have just shoveled some coal in and the dust is going up the stack.  This locomotive will be 100 years old this year and I am happy to be one who gets to fire on it each year.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


I was out for another walk on Wednesday evening.  The prairie burns have begun in the area so the sunset sky was made a bit interesting as a result.  I shot this as a pano with my big zoom as I did not have any other lens with me at the time so that's why the bit different format. 

Friday, April 3, 2020


It was supposed to get right to freezing on Thursday night and Friday even lower.  I will have to protect this and cross my fingers that it survives.  This is an Anemone that I bought recently and figured it was better off in the ground than drying out in a pot.  Not so sure now with the temps.  Of course this image has some lovely bokeh to it because Friday's Are Bokehlicious and TGIF!  

Thursday, April 2, 2020


There is a new pond in my area, well, at least new to me, as a result of the highway work done and finished about a year ago or so now.  I visited the pond for the first time in the evening on Tuesday and was pleased to see a number of ducks on it.  I captured these 3 as they were taking off for the other side because they thought I was a bit too close.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Happy April Fools Day!  We made it to April.  I wish this whole pandemic thing was a big April fools joke and it was over.  Sigh.
Spring flowers are blooming so i thought I would start up Wildflower Wednesday once again.  I found 3 new ones recently.  The first one for today and quite prolific right now is called Henbit.  Some yards in the area have almost a deep pink carpet of it right now.  It's actually an interesting flower that reminds of an Orchid that i have photographed before.  It's a fairly small and short flower, varies from 2 to 4 inches or so.  It is now on my page of Pink Wildflowers of Kansas.