Friday, July 31, 2020
TGIF! It's Friday and Friday's are bokehlicious! This image has some wonderful bubbly bokeh, my favorite. My Sunflowers have been blooming every now and then and this Red one had just opened. I had some that were volunteers and some I planted, I think the volunteers did better than the others.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Today is only Thursday but I wanted to share a butterfly shot today. This is one from very late Spring that shows off the pattern on a Giant Swallowtail quite well. It was enjoying the Red Clover that was growing quite abundantly this year.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Welcome to Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again! Today's wildflower is the Musk Thistle. These are seen as invasive here in Kansas and in many places but I find them quite beautiful. The design and pattern of their flower as it opens is quite interesting.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
While I have been walking in one certain spot a Meadowlark has flown out of the grass nearby. I searched a bit in the area it comes from and found a nest with 4 eggs in it. This distresses me because it is in an area that is mowed at times by the city. So, I am guessing, this is a female. Not sure why she chose there to have a nest. They have a chance, because it is very low to the ground, but not if the tire should go over them. I thought about marking it but didn't want anyone to notice and bother it needlessly. Not sure what to do about it. Hope they will be OK. Western Meadowlarks are the Kansas State bird.
Monday, July 27, 2020
I have been able to see Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies a couple of times this year although not in Kansas. This is one I captured while on a walk near my in-law's home in Missouri back in June. I find their blue color and wide wings lovely.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Hey hey it's Steamy Sunday once again on the Blog. The National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis has some really neat old locomotives and a lot are the only surviving ones. An example is this one built in 1876 for the Boston & Albany Railroad called the Marmora. Instead of steam domes, it has 2 steam cannons, one of which can be seen next to the smoke stack. The only criticism I have of the museum is that the railroad items were packed so close together, it was hard to really get a good detailed view of them. Plus a lot deteriorated badly, I imagine they sat out in the weather for quite some time before being put under a roof. I don't know what the conditions were like when the museum acquired them, the deterioration may have been well underway by then.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
I don't normally post 2 of the same subject in a week but this is an event that's going on right now and you will be running out of chances to see it. Comet Neowise is making it's way out of the solar system and won't be seen again in many lifetimes. You will probably need binoculars to find it if you are looking for it now because each night as it moves away it becomes dimmer. This is actually a composite image. I wanted this look of Milford lake and the comet together but as you could see in Monday's photo, realistically that wasn't possible. Many images you see on the internet of it where is looks pretty big in comparison to a foreground object are most likely a composite. Milford Lake was shot at 18mm wide angle and the Comet was done at 48mm. Both images were made at 6 seconds long.
Friday, July 24, 2020
It's Friday and Fridays Are Bokehlicious! Today's butterfly with some lovely bokeh behind it is a female Black Swallowtail enjoying a Teasel flower in my garden. As you can see from the last couple of days pictures, wildflowers are a great attracter of various types of nature and allow for great photo taking material. They are usually busy feeding so you can get an image of them somewhat easier than other times. A zoom lens works best so you don't have to get too close to them and scare them off. Plus, the zoom then creates the nice bokeh background because your subject is in focus but the background is not.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again. Today's flower is Chicory. It blooms a lot along I-70 in Kansas and Missouri and can be seen in several states. The first time I saw it to know what it was, was in West Virginia a few years back. I took this image of it in my yard though. I planted it several years ago and it has done well, maybe too well as it moved out of the garden and into the edge of the driveway. You usually have to see it before noon as the flowers close up when the hot sun starts beating down on it. The flowers are blue and purple.
I hope you have been checking out my Wildflowers By Colors pages that I reworked with lots more added and now contain blooming times in Kansas. You can find then at the top of the Blog.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think there is a Red Tail Hawk nest somewhat close. Every day I hear one screeching. This is what I feel is my second all time best image of one of them. I captured this image just as it was taking off from the tree it had perched in for a few moments to head for a tree where a juvenile was sitting.
Monday, July 20, 2020
Today's image is one I took on Friday evening of an event that is going on right now in the night sky. We are being treated to comet Neowise that you can see under the Big Dipper constellation approximately 45 minutes after sunset in the northern hemisphere. It was discovered by NASA's Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer hence the name Neowise on March 27 of this year. It's ice ball is 3 miles wide which makes it able to be observed by the naked eye if you know where you are looking because it is rather faint. You need to be in a fairly dark location. I captured this shot out at Milford Lake using a wide angle lens so I could capture the lake and most of the Big Dipper. I used a 6 second exposure and an ISO of 3200. If you go to look, it will be rising higher towards the Big Dipper's bottom bowl and should be visible at least through the 24 but will be becoming dimmer so you might want to have binoculars to find it. I found it a quite cool experience.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
While I was in St Louis last Tuesday I went to the National Museum of Transportation in the suburb of Kirkwood, Missouri. It was a lovely museum and I highly recommend it. The displays were set up quite nicely and the grounds were quite lovely with groups of wildflowers around. The only complaint I had was that some of the railroad equipment was very close together so it was hard to really view it well but they had so much it was probably all they could do and get it under a roof to protect the equipment. This is a view of their Union Pacific Big Boy which you could get in the cab of and that was quite cool to see.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
On the way back from Pennsylvania I stopped in St. Louis overnight and took my first artistic photos of the Gateway Arch. I had driven by the arch several times over the years but never stopped to really photograph it. I was lucky this evening as there were a few storm clouds around to make the sky more interesting. I shot it from the Mississippi Overlook in the Malcolm W Martin Memorial Park.
Friday, July 17, 2020
We made it to Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious! Friday's are for butterflies as well a lot of the time like today. I have been lucky to see a lot of larger type butterflies this summer like this Giant Swallowtail, the largest butterfly in our state. This one was enjoying the blooms of some Woolly Verbena, a Kansas wildflower, on my land last week and I was lucky enough to capture it in flight a couple of times. I loved the bokeh that the grass behind made for the image.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
I have seen and heard more Western Meadowlarks around this year. It's wonderful because they are the Kansas State Bird but have been very scarce in recent years. Their habitat that they seek is wide open spaces of native grasslands or agricultural fields which I have both of in my area. I captured this one high up in a dead tree one evening on a walk.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog once again. Today's flower is The Plains Coreopsis. I love the red accent of this one. These are still blooming a bit in my area but not as profusely as earlier this summer. You can view a different shot of them on my newly revamped Wildflower Pages by Color on the Yellow page.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
A little over a week ago now I went out to Pennsylvania to visit my brothers for the only trip I would get this year. I knew we were good because they all had been tested for various reasons and were fine. We did a lot of walking and social distancing. We went to a couple of state parks and Little Buffalo was one of them. This is a Covered bridge which had been relocated approximately 1 mile to the park in 1971. It has a bit of a railroad connection. It's original location had it on the farm of John B Clay and it sat next to the Wahneta water tank for the Newport & Sherman valley Railroad. It was often referred to locally as the Wahneta Covered bridge as a result.
Monday, July 13, 2020
In my large pond I had seen a lot of sheddings from Dragonfly larvae while I was skimming it but I had not seen an actual Dragonfly yet. A little over a week ago now, I finally saw and captured my first one. This is a Twelve Spot Dragonfly on a Cattail reed.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Welcome to another Steamy Sunday on the Blog. Because of not being able to do steamy things this year I have been digging in the archives for older images I never shared. This one is from a Steamfest in Owosso Michigan that I attended several years back where I was able to see and ride behind this beautiful locomotive, the Southern Pacific Daylight. This image is actually one half of a stereo image I did at the time.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
I have been going through the archives lately for different images and i found this one from quite while back actually that I never shared. This was a beautiful rainbow we had one July evening after a rain. You can see a bit of a "double" one as well. The double one is usually just a reflection of the main one created at a different angle.
Friday, July 10, 2020
My Pickerel Rush pond plant has been doing really well and blooming a lot, well, until the Cattails all blew over onto it. I trimmed them back so hopefully things will be good again. I got this image before the Cattails pushed it down. I loved the bit of bubbly bokeh behind it and of course Friday's Are Bokehlicious!
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
It's Wildflower Wednesday once again on the Blog. I hope you checked out my new and improved Kansas Wildflowers by Color pages here on the Blog. Today's flower is one I did not realize we had in this area of Kansas but has been quite prolific this year. It is one of my favorites to photograph as I love all the details in it. This photo is one that is my favorite I have taken of it I think. This is straight out of the camera with a slight vignette. This is a bloom from a Queen Ann's Lace.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
When we have been out walking in one direction we have heard and then seen Red Tail Hawks. I think they have a nest to the south in that particular direction. This past week I was able to get my best shots of one of them ever. Here is the first after it flew across the road and into this tree. At first it had it's back to me but then was quite nice and turned around. 😉
Monday, July 6, 2020
Sunday, July 5, 2020
It's Steamy Sunday once again here on the Blog. Since things are weird this year and I can't go do steamy things I decided to dig in the archives. I found some photos I had never shared before. This is a scan of a film image of Milwaukee Road 261 from a time way back when it came to Topeka Kansas for Railroad Days. I kind of like the high key look that this gives. Who knew back in the day that a kind of crappy shot was artsy. 😄
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
Happy Friday and Friday's are Bokehlicious! Because of that I have the perfect image for today. I captured this snail on the sidewalk at my in-laws house. I loved the bokeh that the sidewalk provided in front and behind.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
I have to share a butterfly every week these days because they make me happy as well and I have been fortunate to see a good number of them this year. I captured this one on my Butterfly Milkweed about a week ago or so. This is a female Black Swallowtail.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
It's July 1 and Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again. Today's photo is a quite old one but one of my favorites. It's of a Violet Wood Sorrel. I am using this image to help reveal my project I have been working on for at least the past month. It has taken me longer than I thought it would but it has been fun. I have done an extensive re-work of my Kansas Wildflower Pages by Color. There are quite a lot more flowers presented, many images were taken this year, and I have updated it with the time of the year they bloom as well to hopefully help with IDs. I hope you will check them out and that you find them useful. The pages are listed at the very top of the Blog on both computer and phone. There is also a Butterflies of Kansas page.