Sunday, February 28, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog.  Playing around with the Pencil technique again, this time with the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive.  This is an image I had captured as it made it's way across the fields just west of my town here in Kansas back in 2019.  It was very cool to be able to see this huge locomotive come through our area.

Saturday, February 27, 2021


 Today's image was taken on a walk in January at sunset.  There is an old windmill on some property that makes for some picturesque sunset photos.

Friday, February 26, 2021


  TGIF  Today's image is of the same butterfly that I posted last week.  This image shows why it got it's name Question Mark. If you click on the image and look at it larger you can see a light colored mark in about the middle of it's bottom wing and it looks like a sideways question mark. I also shared this picture today because I love the bokeh in the background, especially the bubbly bokeh in the upper middle and Friday's Are Bokehlicious here on the Blog!  

Thursday, February 25, 2021


 I am looking forward to summer and flowers in the garden.  That is where I got this shot of one of my Roses in bloom looking rather perfect.  This would have been a good Friday image because of the beautiful bokeh in the image but bokeh is good any day.  😄

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


 We were a lot warmer the last 2 days than it was the week before so spring seems not that far off.  Today's wildflower on the Blog is one of the earliest to bloom.  This is a Ground Plum and usually can be found as early as April in our area.  It is in the Legume family and it produces a fruit that you can eat.  The fruit can be about grape size and if found and eaten early, it tastes a lot like a fresh pea.  It can be eaten later as well but as it ages it becomes very woody.  I have tried them several times and enjoy them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


 Last week we finally had a really good snow with clear and beautiful flakes.  I was able to capture some like this group.  I liked how even the one at the edge of the photo turned out in focus and was rather nice looking so I left it in.  This is a 23 image focus stack but if you look closely, even that wasn't enough as I missed a bit.  Ah well.

Monday, February 22, 2021


 Usually when I get to see these birds they are flying away from me.  I did get a lot of shots like that as well but for some reason this day it kept staying around this location.  It was a fairly cold day and there is a stream right near where it was standing so it may have been trying to protect some food it had from some hawks that were also around.  This is a Great Blue Heron and they over winter in our part of Kansas.

Sunday, February 21, 2021


 It's kind of a double digit day and also it's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I played around with an image of my favorite railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec and gave it the Pencil Drawing look and I think it worked OK.  This is the train heading out of Chama New Mexico passing over the Chama River by the campground we stayed at.  Lots of people go out and wave to the riders as it passes by.  The train is on it's way to Antonito Colorado on a beautiful ride.  I like to ride from the NM side best because the train works very hard to get up to Windy Point from this side and it's great to hear the "chuf chuf "of the locomotive as it pulls up the grade. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021


 Well, hopefully this past week's weather is done for a while.  It was, to say the least, a bit brisk.  Some of the coldest temps in our area in quite some time.  I was awake to see -16 F actual on this past Tuesday but it was most likely colder earlier. Wondering how many plants I will have to replace this year.  Sigh.  Anyway, my photo for today is of a sunset taken on a much warmer evening walk.

Friday, February 19, 2021


 TGIF!  It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  This is a Question Mark butterfly sitting on some rocks with it's wing spread very nicely last summer by my gazebo pond.  The other rocks in the image are providing some lovely bokeh for it.  These butterflies are around but are not often seen as they usually like shady spots and don't feed on flowers but prefer fruit, especially rotting fruit.

Thursday, February 18, 2021


 I grow Milkweed for the Monarchs but I have yet to capture a shot like this on it.  I got this image at my in-law's home in Missouri.  A Monarch Caterpillar enjoying a Butterfly Milkweed plant in their garden.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday!  We have had quite the cold snap and today was supposed to be a warmer one, a balmy 20 degrees.  I am writing this on Sunday so we shall see.  Anyway, I needed a warm photo and this older image of some Nipple Cactus flowers did the trick.  These are found out on Konza Prairie.  I have only timed it right twice.  Hope to see them flower again sometime.  The flowers are fairly small, the cactus are only about 2 inches diameter at most.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


 We finally had a decent snow that produced some beautiful clear crystals.  This is the most colorful snowflake I have ever captured, there were even some oranges in it.  I believe it was due to the angle it was sitting at, the colors come from how it reflects the light I use.  I use a ring flash that I set to "Constant On" while shooting the flake.  This is a 16 image focus stack.

Monday, February 15, 2021


 The Great Backyard Bird Count is going on this weekend.  Today is the last day to participate if you would like to.  Count the birds you see for 15 minutes.  I did my count on Saturday morning and had quite the variety visiting since it was so cold out.  They were coming to drink and eat at the bath and feeders.  I did not see this guy that day, only in the warmer months, a Redheaded Woodpecker at the suet.  He usually comes and eats the Oriole's grape jelly.  😁

Sunday, February 14, 2021


 Happy Valentine's Day!  Doing something different today because it is also Steamy Sunday so it's a 2-fer.  😁

I had to share a rose photo today since it is Valentine's Day.  Hope those who celebrate have a lovely day.

I am back in the archives to the day in November of 2019 when the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive came through our town on it's Excursion run through the Midwest.  This locomotive is one of 3 types that claim to be the largest ever used by railroads.  This claim can be very debatable, it depends a lot on how you claim it's the largest, by weight, by tractive effort which can be debated as well, by horse power, etc.  The ones in the US generally considered to be the largest are, the UP Big Boy a 4-8-8-4, the Northern Pacific Yellowstone a 4-8-8-4 as well, and the Chesapeake & Ohio Allegany a 2-6-6-6.

Saturday, February 13, 2021


 I captured this image on the day of the fog and Hoar frost.  These are the Union Pacific tracks that run through the southern part of my town.  I thought the frost and fog provided for a quite lovely scene.

Friday, February 12, 2021


 We are still quite cold and supposed to be even colder than earlier in the week so TGIF, I can hibernate for the next 2 days.  This is another image I got the day we had some rare fog and Hoar Frost.  I captured this Sumac seed head with frost over it.  It had some nice bokeh in the image as well so I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, February 11, 2021


 Today's image is another that I was able to capture on my car.  I am still surprised by the look of the paint in macro.  I like the Rime covered ends and clear center of this one.  I like the little one clinging to it as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog so taking a break from cold pictures.  This is one of my favorites and I need to plant some more of it.  I have a miniature variety.  This is Bee Balm or Wild Bergamot.  Bees love it as do butterflies, I see Swallowtails on it fairly regularly.  The leaves smell minty and you can make a mint tea from them.  They can be white, pink or lavender.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


 This year while walking I have been able to view and capture a bird I have not seen much in my area before.  Maybe because I had not been walking as much.  This is an American Kestrel and this is the best photo I have been able to capture of it so far.  I believe it's a male.  They are permanent residents in Kansas but are more abundant in summer.

Monday, February 8, 2021


 We are under quite the cold snap right now.  It started on the weekend as I write this and today was supposed to be pretty bitter with a low of 1 F or -17 C.  Yuck.  On the first day of the month we had a rare event of fog which produced some lovely Hoar Frost.  It was as thick as it would have liked but it was still quite lovely.  I captured this image on an evergreen branch.

Sunday, February 7, 2021


 It's another Steamy Sunday!  I am continuing to go back through the archives and finding images I never shared since I did not have an opportunity this past year for much of anything steamy.  This is an image of 4014, the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive, shot very up close when I was able to see it in Salina Kansas west of me. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021


 I usually share something landscape related on Saturdays but I have several fairly good results of snowflake images so I thought I would share another of those.  I am sure you all don't want to look at snowflakes in the summer.  😉  Although maybe that would be cooling.  Anyway, this was a beautiful group I was able to capture.  I caught this one on the usual black scarf  I use.

Friday, February 5, 2021


 TGIF  This is another capture of a Painted Lady butterfly that I was able to get this past summer.  This one was enjoying my lovely Zinnias.  The flowers behind created some lovely bokeh so I shared this for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, February 4, 2021


 This year I had the opportunity to see and photograph Western Meadowlarks, the Kansas State Bird several times.  This is one that I captured on a walk in the upper branch of a bush singing it's heart out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is Dame's Rocket.  It can be invasive.  I saw several groups of it in different areas while walking but it wasn't a horribly large amount.  It has lovely flowers and edible leaves and is in the Mustard family.  It resembles a Phlox.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021


 We finally got some worthwhile snow last week.  It had a lot of Rime but the shapes were defined as opposed to the broken up or shard looking stuff we had been getting.  I took this image on my car.  I am not totally thrilled because the sparkles in the paint that you don't really notice when looking at the car normally really get defined in macro.  The flakes were lovely though.  😀

Monday, February 1, 2021


 We made it to February.  Since this is the month of Valentines I thought this image was appropriate.  A lovely pink Rose from my garden this past summer.