Saturday, July 31, 2021


 While I was out in Pennsylvania,  I went down to Dulles in Virginia to the Stephen Udvar-Hazy Center which is an Annex of the Smithsonian's Air & Apace Museum.  It's quite the cool place if you like all things flight related.  This is one of the last pics I took there while waiting for others in my party to meet up with me.  This is the SR-71 Blackbird, a very cool plane which is still the fastest plane in the world, and the space shuttle Discovery can be seen behind.  

Friday, July 30, 2021


 TGIF!  It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  Today's image with some lovely bokeh is of a butterfly I was quite delighted to see as I have not seen one for a while.  This is a Great Spangled Fritillary on one of my Zinnias.  The Zinnia is a new color for this year and reminds me of a peppermint candy.  I captured this image this past Saturday.

Thursday, July 29, 2021


When I am in Minnesota, I usually get to observe and captured Redwing Blackbirds.  This year was a good one for females.  I captured this one in the reeds on the edge of a pond near where we were camping.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


It's Wildflower Wednesday!  I posted a butterfly on one of these recently.  These are a group of my Teasels in bloom.  They have a lot of character in my opinion, very interesting flower heads.  They always seem to attract bees and butterflies.  They spread a lot so if you plant, be sure not in an area where you don't want that.  I see quite a lot of them growing by road sides.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


 I am so happy, I saw my first Monarch catarpillars on my milkweed!  I had rescued this Milkweed from some road construction by my house several years ago now and each year it has continued to thrive and produce more plants.  I saw this little guy on one of the leaves a few evenings ago.  He was pretty small so must have been fairly newly hatched.  There was another larger one on another plant.  Yay.  Hope they both survive and do well.

Monday, July 26, 2021


 While I was out in Pennsylvania and at Hershey Gardens I saw this very cool flower.  They had a neat "Children's Area" which was not just for kids.  It had a lot of flowers that butterflies and bees love.  I found this flower very cool looking and it was attracting bees while I was there.  It is called a "Globe Thistle" and I looked it up and it should grow well in my area of the country as well.  I am going to look for these or seeds for them next spring.

Sunday, July 25, 2021


 Happy Steamy Sunday!  Today's image is from Paradise Pennsylvania which is the town east of Strasburg that their trains travel back and forth to.  I captured Norfolk & Western 475 while it was heading back to it's train to pull it back to Strasburg.  On the trip out, the locomotive is on the end of the train pulling it backwards because there is no way to get it turned around easily.  It uncouples and goes around the train on a side track and then backs on to re-couple and head out for the return.  475 was the locomotive that was running with 611 last year when I saw it as well.

Saturday, July 24, 2021


 As I was driving to and from Pennsylvania I went through a number of very heaavy rainfalls that made driving a lot of fun, not.  On the way back, in Illinois after having just gone through one in Indiana and into Illinois I saw this beautiful rainbow in the rearview mirror and had to pull over and take a shot.  It's not often I see both ends of one and a double one at that.  This is a 2 shot panoramic photo.

Friday, July 23, 2021


 TGIF!  It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious.  Today's photo with some nice bokeh is of a Black Swallowtail butterfly that I captured recently on my Teasel flowers.  The leaves from the trees and grass behind made for some lovely bokeh for this image to set off the butterfly.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


 I have seen a few of these young Praying Mantis around.  I captured this little guy on my watering can.  I gave him some exercise and he gave me a laugh as i turned the can around to get a better shot and he kept moving around the can.  I thought he was pretty cute, maybe she due to the muted color.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog.  It's also a double digit day.  😄 The Queen Anne's Lace has really exploded around here.  I am growing some but it has not gotten large enough to flower yet, I started it this spring from some seeds I collected.  I hope it does as well as the others in the area.  I find it very photogenic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


 While I was in Pennsylvania, I got to go to Hershey Gardens one day.  What a great place.  There were all kinds of beautiful flowers and a Butterfly House that was quite fun.  Photos of those things to come.  The Gardens also had some really interesting trees.  I loved this one with the twisting and curving trunks. 

Monday, July 19, 2021


 We have had Mississippi Kites in our area for the last 3 summers now.  Usually I get to photograph them sitting on a wire but recently, while on a bike ride I was able to capture one in a more natural setting.  They are usually fairly cooperative birds for a photo which is nice.

Sunday, July 18, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday!  I was in Pennsylvania a week ago and got to do something steamy.  The Queen of Steam, Norfolk & Western locomotive 611 is out in PA again for a fund raiser. I captured it on it's way back to Strasburg on one of it's runs for that day.

Saturday, July 17, 2021


 Today's post could have been for Steamy Sunday but trains are more my thing.  This Minneapolis steam tractor was parked by the horse barn for a while while I was up in Minnesota this past Father's Day weekend.  It made for a nice rural photo.  

Friday, July 16, 2021


 TGIF!  July is half over already!  Yikes.  Today's image is of a butterfly I have only seen in Minnesota.  It is a White Admiral.  We have Red ones in Kansas.  I found the blue and red highlights on it rather lovely.  I chose this image for the soft leaf background bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!

Thursday, July 15, 2021


 Today's post is a little different.  I want to draw attention to something I added to my Blog a few weeks ago that those who just look at the Photo of the Day may not have noticed.  At work we have had a Hydropnic Tower provided to us.  It's an experiment to see what we can grow and then hopefully utilize in our program.  I have been updating it each week to show the growth and progress if you would care to check it out and follow along.  You can actually purchase a tower like this or one for the home from Juice+.  The link to the Tower progress can be found in the links at the top of the site along with the Wildflower Pages and Butterflies.  Be sure toclick on the photo to see the details.  I have left these large to be able to see everything quite well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


 It's Wildflower Wednesday on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites to photograph.  This is Black-eyed Susan.  They are quite abundant this year and I find them very photogenic.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


 I captured this Hummingbird at a friend's house a few weeks ago.  I prefer more natural settings for my bird shots but I really liked the light in this one and also the pose of the Hummer as it was just landing on the feeder.

Monday, July 12, 2021


 I love Gaillardia, also known as Blanket, flowers.  They always do well for me during the current year but never seem to return.  I am trying once again in a new spot.  I will see what happens this spring.  I love the look of the blooms of this one, a little different than others I have had.  Maybe this will be the one to return.  They grow wild in Kansas as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2021


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another recent one from Minnesota.  This is a view of former Soo Line locomotive 353 steamed up outside the roundhouse.  They had steamed it up to check it out in preparation for running during Steam School.  I am looking forward  to being able to fire on this locomotive again this year when they are able to hold the Reunion again.  It will be 101 years old.  Covid got in the way of it's major birthday.

Saturday, July 10, 2021


 This is another view of that barn on the grounds of the Steam Thresher's Reunion.  I actually took this image laying on the ground.  I wanted the grass in the foreground to show up well.  I love the look of this grass, looks like it is being windblown even when there is no wind.  It is called Foxtail Barley Grass.

Friday, July 9, 2021


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!  I captured this lovely bokeh image of a Bublebee buzzing around the tall Penstemons in my Gazebo garden pond.  I have not seen many Honeybees for a while but the Bumbles are sure around a lot.  I love the bubbly type bokeh in this image caused by the sunlight on the leaves behind.

Thursday, July 8, 2021


 I captured this butterfly recently in my garden on a Coneflower and I am not sure what type it is, it does not match anything in my book exactly.  I submitted it to but have yet to hear anything back.  It was very pale underneath, almost white with the orange band extending from the lower wing to the upper slightly but fading out.  The top side of the wings appear tan.  If anyone has an idea, be sure to drop me a line in the comments.

Edit: 7/24/21 has ID it as a Gray Copper Butterfly.  They are not as common as the others I post for Kansas but have been seen in various locations in the state.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


 It's a double digit day today and it is also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  So many are in bloom these days, it is hard to choose just one.  This is one of my favorites that is blooming currently, Bee Balm.  I like the shape of this variety and it produces interesting seed pods which can be seen in the lower part of the photo.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021


 While in Minnesota I usually get to see some Loons.  I was almost dissapointed this time around because there were none at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge that I saw.  Going out for dinner one evening though, in the pond on the outskirts of the property where I was staying there was a lone Loon, the only one I saw the whole trip.  I heard them one evening, their call is very interesting.

Monday, July 5, 2021


 Going back to Spring for today's image.  This is another view of one of the several beautiful yellos Iris that I had growing over at the Gazebo pond this spring.  They were quite large and beautiful this year.

Sunday, July 4, 2021


 Happy Independence Day America!  It's also SteamySunday here on the Blog.  I decided to play with an image and see if I could create something that worked and I think I did.  I like it anyway.  😁  This is a locomotive from the Cumbres & Toltec at the lunch stop at Osier.  The sky is added and the photo adjusted to look more realistic.  This is another photo that just goes to show you can't really trust all the images you see to be real.

Saturday, July 3, 2021


 On my last evening in Minnesota there was quite a lovely sunset as I was waiting while our engine was being cleaned out.  I was just observing and taking photos.  😄

Friday, July 2, 2021


 TGIF!  It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  I captured this image of a Hackberry butterfly on my Echinacea or Cone Flower in one of my gardens on Sunday.  More flowers in the background are creating the lovely bokeh for this butterfly.

Thursday, July 1, 2021


 Happy July!  I captured this Bumblebee as it was landing on a wild Wisteria bloom at the railroad I play at outside Topeka.  Amazing how those little wings move that big body.