Thursday, September 23, 2021


 I have seen Bumblebees around fairly often this year and I am now just starting to see Honeybees again on the Sedum.  I captured this Bumble on one of my flowers that I am not sure exactly what it is.  It looks to be in the Mum family to me but not really sure.  It has a yellowish center that the bee is covering up.  I liked the bits of pollen on it's back.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is a new one and I have updated the Wildflower By Color page here on the Blog with a photo of the plant which is a bit further away so more detail can be seen.  It grows best in moist disturbed places like ditches and by ponds and small streams which makes sense as I found it around the disturbed area of our new high school's road.  It blooms from July through October.  Birds enjoy the seeds from this plant.  It is called Pink Smartweed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021


 I was working in one of my gardens last week and this guy jumped onto my finger.  I placed him on a Milkweed leaf and it stayed there while I ran and got my camera.  I really liked how this shot turned out and it makes me wonder what frogs think about.  I think this is the same guy that has been driving my cat nuts in the evening by sitting on my office window and waiting for bugs.  😄  I believe this is a Cope's Gray Treefrog.

Monday, September 20, 2021


 My Obedient Plant is blooming and while it is not very "obedient" it is a bee magnet and also a lovely plant to photograph.  This image is without bees but I got my hovering bee shot right by these.  It is also known as False Dragonhead, possibly because of it's resemblence to Snapdragons.  It get's it's Obedient name because the flowers can bend in any direction.  Hummingbirds are also attracted to this plant but I have not seen one at it yet.  It is in the mint family.

Sunday, September 19, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  This is the other full size steam locomotive I get to work on in Minnesota, former Soo Line Switcher 353.  This locomotive just turned 100 last year and unfortunately we didn't get to be there for that as everything was shut down so it's 101 was celebrated this year (353 was wearing a banner on each side of the cab).  Every Labor Day weekend the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion is held and this year 353 and the Porter locomotives were both hauling trains around the grounds on about 2 miles of track.

Saturday, September 18, 2021


 I have seen some Monarch butterflies around off and on all summer.  I am hoping to see more now that the Goldenrod is blooming and they seem to enjoy that.  This is one I captured on one of the Coneflowers earlier this summer.

Friday, September 17, 2021


 Happy Friday!  TGIF!  I got lucky this past weekend and I saw this Bumblebee hovering around one of my plants.  It stayed long enough for me to run and get my camera and take some shots.  This is one with it's back to me showing off it's bee butt.  😁  I liked the creamy bokeh in this image produced by the rocks behind it.  Sharing it for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 16, 2021


 I have seen my Leopard frog buddies around in my backyard pond lately.  There were at least 4 of them around, 2 that immediately jumped in the water and 2 that stayed out on the Lilypads.  I captured this one being Hanging out on a pad.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday once again here on the Blog!  The Snow on the Mountain is currently in bloom the last couple of weeks or so.  It is in the Poinsettia family and you can probably see why when you look at the blooms.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


 I love Praying Mantis.  They are such interesting creatures.  This is another view of the one that was trying to help me refurb my deck.  Maybe I can get him back, progress has slowed quite a bit.  😉

Monday, September 13, 2021


 This is one of my favorite Spring flowers.  An image of my Bleeding Heart plant from early this year that I never posted.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


 The Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion was held once again this past Labor Day Weekend.  I was able to work on all 3 steam trains there this year, fun times.  The Porter Tank engine was running passengers around along with 353.  I took this shot of it pulling in to the depot while waiting to get on for my shift at firing.  It's a fun locomotive to work on with some great people as well.  Happy Steamy Sunday!

Saturday, September 11, 2021


 A day of remembrance for our country.  I was in Minnesota over Labor Day weekend and activities had me up earlier than usual.  This is a lovely sunrise I was able to witness while on my way to work on one of the trains.

Friday, September 10, 2021


 We made it to another Friday!  TGIF  It was a short work week but sometimes those seem longer than regular ones.  😊  Daisies always make me happy and this is an image I got of a new one for me this year.  I had ordered some Oxeye Daisy seeds and when they flowered they look a bit smaller and different than ones that had already been growing in the yard.  It was drawing these really small insects to it, not sure what they were.  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious I chose this image for the lovely bubbly bokeh behind the flower.

Thursday, September 9, 2021


 It's a double digit day.  😃 I captured this Clouded Sulphur butterfly in flight the other day.  It was a completely lucky occurance that it was in focus as I was trying to capture it sitting and it worked out as it took off.  I thought it was eat to see there was a little bug of some kind in the shot as well off to the right.  It was enjoying an Ironweed plant which is a good butterfly magnet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is one of my favorites, Coneflower or Echinacea.  I have it growing in several gardens around my land and it bloomed really well.  Some kind of small caterpillar ate all the leaves off of several groups but they seem to be OK and are putting out new leaves at the base of the plants.  They really draw in the butterflies and bees.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


 I had been going through my folders of pictures and realized there were some Heron images I captured earlier this year that I was pretty happy with.  This is one of them that I was able to get as it flew past me.  I have always loved how their legs hang out behind as they fly.  I loved that this capture I got showed that well.

Monday, September 6, 2021


 Sunflowers make me happy so I thought this was a good way to start off the week.  This is one that was blooming in my yard recently.  Hope you have a good week!

Sunday, September 5, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  We are once again at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  Today's locomotive is once again Pennsylvania 4-4-0 1223, this time seen from the other side.  I provided some additional details on this locomotive lat week if you missed it. I really like how things were displayed in this museum.

Saturday, September 4, 2021


 I have been riding my bike to work lately, at least 4 times per week.  It has been nice in the morning because it is somewhat cool, the afternoon trip home isn't as refreshing.  😅 One morning last week I was treated to a gorgeous sky as I rode along.  When I reached work I took this shot of it.  The way the clouds were catching the light was very lovely.

Friday, September 3, 2021


 We made it to Friday!  TGIF!  I have been lucky to have Monarchs visit my yard lately.  They are really enjoying the various Zinnias in the gardens.  I captured this one with some lovely creamy bokeh so I am sharing it todays because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 2, 2021


 This is a bit different shot I got of a Jewelwing Damsel one day.  They usually have their lovely wings closed when I have photographed them but I captured this one with them slightly spread.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021


 Happy first day of September!  Time is flying.  It's also another Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is one from late this spring and a favorite to photograph.  This is Eldeberry.  I love the lacy texture to the flowers.  I never get to do anything with them because the birds get them all but that's OK.  I remember my mom making some pretty good jelly with them back in the day though.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021


 Today's image is a Hawk one that I was quite happy to get.  This young Red Tail Hawk had been hanging around the yard and I captured it as it took off and turned towards me to head off.  I actually got the timing right.

Monday, August 30, 2021


 My Surprise Lilies/Naked Ladies whatever you call them were blooming very well recently and really drawing in various types of nature.  One that came to visit several times was this Sphinx Moth.  I saw an actual Hummingbird Moth one evening too but did not have a camera and it was getting fairly dark.  I was pretty happy with how this image turned out.

Sunday, August 29, 2021


 It's another Steamy Sunday here on the Blog, we are heading into the last 3rd of the year already.  Today's image is still at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  This is Locomotive 1223 seen from above on the nice observation walkway they have.  It was built in 1905 and retired by the Pennsylvania railroad in 1950.  In 1960 the Strasburg RR borrowed it and ran steam excursions from 1965 to 1989.  This locomotive has appearedon screen several times, most notably in a couple of movies, The Broadway Limited (1941) and Hello Dolly (1969).

Saturday, August 28, 2021


 I captured this image of a sailboat out on Milford Lake a couple of weeks ago while on a bike ride.  It has actually had a lot of work done to it because it was very flat looking due to the haze in the air from the Canadian fires.  I really had to bring out the colors and contrast to make it presentable.

Friday, August 27, 2021


 It's Friday, TGIF!  I have had a few large butterflies around lately which has been nice.  This Black Swallowtail male was visiting my Butterfly Milkweed plant last week.  One of it's tail wings was a bit scraggly but it seemed to be making it around just fine even though.  Friday's Are Bokehlicious so this photo was chosen for the lovely bokeh behind created by other plants.

Thursday, August 26, 2021


 The Ironweed is in bloom and is a nature magnet.  I have seen Skippers and small butterflies and this Clearwing Moth enjoying it.  I was able to get fairly close with this shot so I was pretty happy with it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I have a new one as well.  This is called Arrowhead due to the shape of the leaves which I did not get in my photo unfortunately.  This is growing in a shallow area of my Gazebo pond and is a new one there as I transplanted it in from a friend's pond last fall.  It survived the winter and flowered recently.  It usually flowers July to September and is found in shallow water of ponds, slow streams, marshes and ditches.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


 This is an older image from late this past Spring.  I was able to capture a Baltimore Oriole in a more natural setting and not just eating jelly.  I think I actually got this image in Missouri and not at home though.  

Monday, August 23, 2021


 My Surprise Lilies have surprised me around the garden.  They have popped up and bloomed in a couple of areas.  The main one is in front of the deck I am trying to redo making it a bit difficult to get at it and not break the Lilies.  A few were sacrificed but there were still a good number to enjoy.

Sunday, August 22, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.  This locomotive can be seen a bit behind last week's loco.  This is Pennsylvania RR No. 7002, but not really.  7002 was the world's fastest locomotive in 1905 setting a speed record of 127.1 mph.  When they wanted to send the locomotive to the 1939 World's Fair, they found that it had been scrapped!  They substituted Locomotive 8063 which has been used as 7002 ever since.  For a time between 1983 and '89 it was leased to the Strasburg Railroad and operated there.

Saturday, August 21, 2021


 It's a double digit day!  😊  Today's image was taken on the same day as last weeks but is a bit later when the sun was quite red due to the smoke from the Canadian fires.

Friday, August 20, 2021


 It's Friday!  TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!  Today's image with some lovely bubbly bokeh is of a Praying Mantis that I saw while working on my deck recently.  This guy was on the post next to where I was leveling it and posed for a few photos.  I then had to relocate it to a tree because it climbed onto my shovel and it was too small to help with that.  😁

Thursday, August 19, 2021


 I was able to capture this shot of a Damselfly in flight recently.  I was pretty happy with it due to the shadow in the water it was flying over.  I believe it is a Jewelwing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is anew one for me and the Kansas Wildflowers White & Green page has been updated with it as well.  This is one that is a problem for a lot of people.  This is Common Ragweed that causes allergies and because it blooms at the same time as Goldenrod and is less seen, makes it seem like it is Goldenrod that is causing the issue.  Don't forget to check out the Wildflowers by Color pages here on the Blog to help you ID the flowers you are seeing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


 This is the last of 3 different trees that I saw at Hershey Gardens that were quite different and beautiful to stand under with their sweeping branches.  As I mentioned, I wish I had paid more attention to what they were.  This one was a bit sad to see because people had carved their initials or names all over the beautiful trunk at some point.  Their were signs now but the damage had been done.  Fortunately the tree survived it but still sad.  I took the photo in a way that didn't show the damage too much.

Monday, August 16, 2021


 While out in my yard recently, I was able to capture a young Red Tailed Hawk in flight with some great light.  It was being harrassed by some crows and there were also some Turkey vultures around as well but I did not get them in the image.  The bar marks on the upper part of the wings near the lighter color are an indicator of the type of hawk.

Sunday, August 15, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  While I was in Strasburg to see 611, I also went to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania there.  It's a beautiful museum with their collection very nicely displayed.  This is a replica of the John Bull locomotive.  Off to the side of it is an original wheel.  The Pennsylvannia Railroad aquired the original John Bull in 1871 when it absorbed the Camden and Amboy RR.  In 1884, it was donated to the Smithsonian but they were still allowed to operate it for special excursions up until 1940 when preservation concerns arose.  This replica was built in 1940 to use at various events instead up until approximately 1999.

Saturday, August 14, 2021


 I was out for a drive last week and was treated to a lovely sunset.  I have n't seen or been able to share one lately.  The sun was turning red because of the haze from smoke in the atmosphere due to the fires in Canada.  A terrible situation making for lovely sunsets.

Friday, August 13, 2021


 TGIF!  It's Friday the 13th!  Hope your day goes well in spite of that.  Today's image is of a cute little guy that was living among my flowers over by my garage.  I captured him out on the driveway pad.  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, the out of focus driveway is creating today's lovely bokeh.

Thursday, August 12, 2021


 I had a Tawny Emperor Butterfly visiting my Gazebo pond recently.  I liked this shot I was able to get of it sitting on a rock with the the water.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday!  I had posted the other variety of Bee Balm a few weeks ago that had the more grouped or bunches of flowers.  These are the more normal, kind of tufted variety that I usually see.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021


 This was another of the interesting trees at Hershey Gardens.  I don't know what type this was but the branches reminded me of rain falling while standing under it.  This is actually a combination of 2 photos put together to get more of it in.

Monday, August 9, 2021


 While I was at Hershey Gardens this guy was pointed out to me when I was photographing the Globe Thistles.  I had my macro lens on at the time so I couldn't get as close as I would have liked without scaring it off.  I thought this one turned out fairly well though.  It's a Clearwing Moth, very fun creatures to watch move around the plants.  It was enjoying a Butterfly Bush.

Sunday, August 8, 2021


It's a double digit day and it is Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Once again this is from Paradise Pennsylvania where the engine changes position on the train from the back to the front.  This is locomotive 475 pulling it's train into Paradise before moving around on the siding.  I was just arriving to get to the park for photos of both locomotives and got lucky with this shot. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021


 The Air & Space Annex at Dulles in Virginia is a really great place to visit if you are interested in flight.  The Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the major attractions.  The Enterprise used to be there but was switched out with Discovery which actually went into space.  Enterprise is now at a museum in New York City.  Here I got fairly up close and personal with Discovery.  😃  

Friday, August 6, 2021


 Happy Friday!  TGIF!  One evening last week I was able to capture a Hummingbird enjoying the flowers on my deck.  A lot of my shots were of it's back but I was able to get this image of it from the side at my Lantana flowers.  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, the lovely bokeh is created by the tree in the distance.

Thursday, August 5, 2021


 I captured this Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly enjoying my Cone Flowers one day this summer.  This was before there were all kinds of small black caterpillars on them and my Sunflowers which ate all the leaves.  The Cone Flowers are making a bit of a comeback fortunately.  The Sunflowers died.