Friday, December 31, 2021


 It's the last day of 2021.  In some ways it has been a long one and in others it seems like it flew by.  Very odd.  Also, since it is Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I had to include some nice bubble bokeh in my image for my last post of this year.  Here is a toast to the new year coming in, may 2022 be better than this past year.

Thursday, December 30, 2021


 My last bee image for the year.  Another Honeybee on Autumn Sedum.  Hope to see many more of these this next year.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


 It's the last Wildflower Wednesday of 2021 here on the Blog!  I want to end the year with one of my favorite wildflowers.  This is a bokeh filled image as well but bokeh is good any day.  This is an Echinacea or Cone Flower growing in my yard this summer.  This year marked the year I updated and expanded my Wildflowers By Colors Pages and I hope you find them useful.  They are found as links at the top of the main age of the Blog.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


 This past year I found an area that fairly consistently had Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies.  They are a species of broad winged Damsels that I find quite lovely with their blue/green bodies and lovely black wings.  They seem to be found a lot near water for me but I have seen then in my yard on occasion as well.  There is a creek not far so that may be why.

Monday, December 27, 2021


 2021 is quickly winding down to a close.  This past year I was able to get several decent hawk images.  This is one I was able to get in my own yard one morning.  This Red Shoulder Hawk came and sat on one of the bird feeder poles and then got spooked by my cat at the window and flew into our Sycamore tree.  I was able to capture this shot of it.  It's not one I see around often so I was happy to get such a close shot of one.

Sunday, December 26, 2021


 It's the last Steamy Sunday of 2021 here on the Blog!  The year seemed to go rather quickly in spite of everything.  To end another year of steamy goodness, today's image is another of locomotive 353 at the Baker Depot during this past year's Labor Day show at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  I have been able to have a shift for the 4 days of the show throwing coal in to get it around the grounds.  A fun task that many would consider work but I am grateful to be able to get to do it.

Saturday, December 25, 2021


 Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!  Happy Saturday!  Today's image is the last one for my holiday bokeh theme and an appropriate one for me.  Another of my mom's ornaments of Santa with a cat.  A lot of people don't appreciate cats and, no, they are not like dogs, but they do appreciate you and show affection.  Ours is sometimes too affectionate, almost needy in her old age but I am thankful to still have her around.  Hope you all got what you hoped Santa would bring and have a joyous and safe holiday.

Friday, December 24, 2021


 Happy Christmas Eve to those that celebrate!  It's on Friday this year and Friday's Are Bokehlicious even though this has been a bokeh filled week of posts.  Today's image is a whimsical Santa just ready to pop down your chimney with lots of bubbly bokeh.

Thursday, December 23, 2021


 I love Nut Crackers.  I have a few that are larger free standing ones.  These are a trio that were my mom's.  I love the short one with the wild hair.  The tradition of Christmas Nutcrackers started in Europe quite early and came to be more the type we know in the 15th & 16th Century.  In German tradition, they are symbols of good luck and protect the home.  These 3 are on the door side of my tree protecting my house.  😀

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog!  Today is a bit of a stretch to fit in with my theme for the week.  Poinsettias are actually shrubs or small trees that are found growing wild from Mexico to southern Guatemala.  This Poinsettia is one that I bought last year and has rebloomed and colored for me this year.  I don't do anything special to it but it must like the amount of light it receives.  The actual flower are the bud looking things in the center.  The reddish/pink are actually the leaves.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


 It's a double digit day!  😊  Today's ornaments contain one I have had for quite some time and then another that was my mom's with a cat.  I was given the one on the left as a gift from a friend, it's a German one and is somewhat representative of my profession.  The other one I just think is cute.  

Monday, December 20, 2021


 It's Christmas week so I am going to do something a bit different this week.  This week is going to be a week of whimsy and bokeh and Christmas.  I always say Friday's Are Bokehlicious but bokeh is good any day.  To start the week off is a whimsical cat ornament.  I have a lot of ornaments from my mom and this is one.  We both shared a love of cats.  Cats are in quite a number of the ornaments on my tree.

Sunday, December 19, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday once again on the Blog!  Today starts the Christmas week so I thought this image was appropriate for today.  This image is a variation of one of the photos for my Christmas card this year.  I took it back in late January when we got a bit of snow.  It's my Live Steam Accucraft Mimi locomotive pulling some ore cars through town.  My railroad needs a lot of work in the coming year.  The deck refurb took precedence so need to get back to working on the railroad.  😄

Saturday, December 18, 2021


 Today's image is a lovely sunrise that I was able to capture while at my in-law's house for the Thanksgiving holiday.  If you view large you can see the geese bonus in the pond.  😊

Friday, December 17, 2021


 It's Friday!  Woohoo, TGIF!  Fridays are also Bokehlicious so I chose this image with some lovely bright bokeh.  This is my Praying Mantis deck refurbing guest standing on one of the old posts and watching me work.

Thursday, December 16, 2021


 I was really fascinated by a few of the trees they had at Hershey Gardens when I visited this past summer.  I think this is a Japanese Maple.  I really like the twisty trunks on them.  I have always liked the Junipers out west for the same reason.  I'd love to see this tree in autumn.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites that I was able to get to grow in one of my gardens.  This is Queen Anne's Lace, also known as Wild Carrot and is a biennial.  The plant is high in sugar, second only to the beet in root vegetables.  They are very hardy and thrive in dry climates so they should do well for me as we have been very dry lately.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021


 My image today is another that I was able to capture of a Bald Eagle that was in our area early this year, in October.  They usually don't show up till mid to late November.  It was cool to be able to see and photograph it.

Monday, December 13, 2021


 Happy Monday.  Today's image is one I captured of one of my surprise Lilies in bloom.  They are also known by other names.  Their leaves come up in early spring and then die off.  In late summer the flower stalk pops up and they bloom.  They have a strong smell and attract butterflies and moths.

Sunday, December 12, 2021


It's a double digit day today.  😀  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog once again.  Today's image is a closer up image of the Porter locomotive I got to help operate during this past Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion over Labor Day weekend.  The Porter was up and running this year and pulling passengers around opposite the 353.  It was a great long weekend for me of working 3 different trains.  I started the morning on 353, then had a break, then went to the Porter and then ended with the Wagner.  In this image the Porter, a tank engine, was coming into the station to drop off and load passengers as I was waiting to start my shift.

Saturday, December 11, 2021


 We had some really lovely sunrises and sunsets in Novemeber and on into December.  I was able to capture this sunset on a walk last week.  I loved the kind of odd cloud pattern near the horizon.

Friday, December 10, 2021


 It's Friday!  TGIF!  I don't usually take or share birds on bird feeder images but I got this one at my in-law and really liked it.  I especially liked it for the warm bokeh and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  This is a Goldfinch enjoying some seed at one of my in-law's feeders with their Ornamental Pear tree's leaves providing the bokeh.

Thursday, December 9, 2021


 I unfortunately did not see a lot of Honey bees this year but here is one I captured on my Autumn Sedum.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I have some Chicory that migrated into my driveway and was even mowed down by the public right of way mowers but recovered enough to bloom.  I was able to capture this in the first week of November.  It is a 2 image stack to get all three flowers in focus.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


 So this is one of the images I was able to get not that long ago of a Heron that wasn't horribly far away.  It had just taken off, most likely because it didn't want to be that near to me and it wasn't, but the Herons around here are quite skittish.  I liked the waterdrops I was able to capture as well.

Monday, December 6, 2021


 My Golden Rain Tree this autumn was putting on quite a lovely show of color.  I took this image of some of the leaves backlit against a clear sky.

Sunday, December 5, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of resored Santa Fe locomotive 3415, a Pacific type, 4-6-2 wheel arrangement.  It was built in 1919 and saw service regularly in Argentine Yard in Kansas City.  It was then donated to the city of Abilene in 1954 and sat in the city park for 40 years.  In 1996 the city donated it to The Abilene & Smoky Hill Railroad.  Restoration began in 2005 and has been in use on the railroad the last several years pulling excursion and dinner trains.  It was not running this year the Trail days because it is up for it's 15 year inspection.  This image is out of my archives as I took it back in 2009.

Saturday, December 4, 2021


 This is my last autumn panorama that I captured while out taking in the colors.  This is at Homer's Pond once again and is the south end of the pond where the other image was at the north end.  I took this from the little viewing area at the edge of the pond.

Friday, December 3, 2021


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!  The image I have chosen for today is one I captured this summer of a Dragonfly on one of my Coneflowers.  The shape of the cone gave it a lovely perch and the woods behind created some lovely bokeh.

Thursday, December 2, 2021


 This summer I was out in Pennsylvania visiting family.  While there we went to Hershey Gardens where they had a cool butterfly house.  I was able to capture one of my favorite butterflies enjoying some lovely purple flowers.  This is a Paper Kite butterfly.  They are usually found in Asia from Thailand to Malaysia, the Phillipines, Southern Taiwan and also northern Australia.  They are fairly large, the average wingspan is 3.75 to 4.5 inches.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog and it is also the first day of December, the year is going very quickly.  Today's flower was one I captured blooming quite late in October, the 28th.  This is Aromatic Aster which blooms September to October normally.  These were very low growing as the plant had been mowed several times due to being on a city sidewalk area.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 I was at my in-laws in St Joseph Missouri and had another opportunity to photograph Bluejays.  They have 4 of them that visit for peanuts.  I like to capture them while waiting to go get them in their Ornamental Pear tree.  The light was a bit harsh due to the morning sunlight so I had to play with this one a lot but I liked how it turned out.  

Monday, November 29, 2021


 Happy Monday!  Today's image is one I got of my Leopard Frog buddies late in the season.  I liked how the water looked behind it in this shot.

Sunday, November 28, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is the former Soo Line Switcher 353 that I get to help fire on during the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher Reunion over Labor Day weekend.  Here it was just coming in to the Baker Depot where we do our crew changes and where we always stop to load passengers.  It's rare I get a shot with no people or my bicycle in it.  😁

Saturday, November 27, 2021


 Today's image is another from our lovely autumn.  We have finally had a few hard frosts so most of the leaves are gone now but it was lovely while it lasted.  I took this image of the Bluffs Pond from the overlook.  It is a 2 shot panoramic image that is best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, November 26, 2021


 It's Friday, TGIF!  It's Black Friday here in the US where people typically shop for deals and do it quite early in the morning.  Not my thing.  😁  Friday's are also Bokehlicious!  I chose this image of my Sea Oats grass that had some lovely backlight on them and some subdued bubbly bokeh in the background.

Thursday, November 25, 2021


 Late this summer I was treated to a few butterflies in the yard.  This Common Variegated Frittilary was enjoying the Marigolds one afternoon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's wildflower is one from another state though they can be found in some areas of Kansas.  This is a self seeding annual, Impatiens capensis Meerb, commonly known as Jewelweed or Touch Me Not.  It gets the latter name due to it's seed pods basically exploding when touched which allows them to self seed easily.  I took this image in Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021


 My image for today is one of a Red Tail Hawk in flight that I was able to get back in October that I was pretty happy with.

Monday, November 22, 2021


 Today's image is a type I don't share often but I was pleased with how it turned out.  I meant to share it last week but, time got away from me..  This was a view from my yard in Kansas of the Venus and Moon Conjuction event on November 7.  When viewed large I was able to capture some crater definition in the moon.  I liked the capture in the blue hour of the evening.

Sunday, November 21, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is a bit different as I usually share a train.  The hubster and I recently got a new toy and we fired it up for the first time this past weekend.  It's an Iroquois Steam Roller and was built in approximately 1915.  It steamed up and worked better than we thought so we are letting some water out here in a bit of a blowdown which is why all the steam.  It was a cool day so it showed up well.

Saturday, November 20, 2021


 Today's image is another I was able to get this autumn of the lovely colors in the area.  This image is of Homer's Pond in town taken from the open park area on the west side.  This is a 2 image panorama best viewed large by clicking on it.

Friday, November 19, 2021


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well and I have this lovely Hollyhock image for today with some lovely bubbly bokeh behind.  I shot this one from the rear and liked how the light accented the details of the petals.  These are growing in Rollag,MN behind the Shower House.  A big group of them that is always lovely to see.

Thursday, November 18, 2021


 Today's photo is another of my Praying Mantis buddies that was trying to help me work on my deck.  I put it in the strawberry bed.  It was nice enough to pose well for me after I moved it.  Funny how all the ones I had seen this year were on my deck.  Too bad they really couldn't help.  Might be done by now.  😏

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is one that just appeared in my yard last year for the first time.  It seems to flower in late summer and is a lovely blue.  It is called Ivy Leaf Morning Glory.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


 While out bike riding I have had some opportunities to take some bird images.  Several times a Red Tailed Hawk was sitting in this tree as I rode by.  One day I stopped and was able to capture this shot of it before it flew off.

Monday, November 15, 2021


 I took this image in early summer but had never posted it.  It's one of my favorite flowers, a Daisy.  Like Sunflowers they just make me happy.  A good way to start off the week.

Sunday, November 14, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  This is Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive 1187 that was built in 1888 at their Altoona Shops.  It is a 2-8-0 Consolidation type and was used for freight.  It was retired in 1939.  It was the first locomotive to introduce the Belpaire firebox named after it's inventor Alfred Belpaire. This design allowed for more space for steam, more area for combustion while also providing greater strength.

Saturday, November 13, 2021


 We ended up having a fairly colorful autumn this year.  The leaves are rapidly dropping now so it will be all gone very shortly but it was quite lovely while it lasted.  This is one of my favorite images I was able to get one day on the way home from work of a lovely tree lined road on the edge of town.

Friday, November 12, 2021


 TGIF It is Friday!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious here on the Blog and I have a lovely bubbly bokeh image to share for today.  My Maple tree whas changing color recently and I captured some f the leaves backlit by the sun.  The leaves on the trees behind and the sunlight are creating the lovely bokeh.