Saturday, December 31, 2022


 Happy New Year's Eve!  We made it to the end of 2022.  It was a long year in some ways and it went very fast in others.  Hopefully the next year will be better.  We shall see what it brings.  About the photo, yes I am quite the party animal.  😉

Friday, December 30, 2022


 It's the last Friday of the year, wow, it flew by.  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I am sharing this photo for today.  Since it is still the season, these are a couple of my Christmas decorations that I have had, almost since I was out on my own more years ago than I would like to think.  😂  They have some lovely bubbly bokeh behind them created by the Christmas tree lights.

Thursday, December 29, 2022


 Oops, I am a bit late posting today, I usually have them set to go but got behind.  We are back to warmer weather and I feel like sharing a photo that reminds me of summer.  This is a Bumblebee enjoying some Marigold flowers in my garden.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  It's the last one of 2022.  Today's flower is one that is fairly small and usually grows in clusters.  This is a Daisy Fleabane.  They usually bloom May through September.  They were thought to keep fleas away by ancient Europeans but there is no proof of this.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


 The Blue Jays have been fairly cooperative in letting me get their photo lately when they visit the ground feeder bowl I have below this tree.  This is one of the images I was able to get a couple weeks ago.

Monday, December 26, 2022


 Happy Monday!  This is the African Violet I shared a couple of weeks ago.  It opened up and it has white flowers.  They are a bit smaller than the other 2 I have but lovely.  I captured this in the sunshine

Sunday, December 25, 2022


 Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!  Happy Steamy Sunday to everyone! I wanted to make today's image both seasonal and steam related.  This is what I came up with.  Just a part of my village with a sky photoshopped in and a steam engine ornament.  😃

Saturday, December 24, 2022


 Happy Christmas Eve to all who celebrate!  Happy Saturday to everyone else.  😊  This is an image of a lovely Santa that I have on the tree from my mom. Hope you have been good and Santa comes to visit you tonight. This image has some great bokeh in it as well and it's not Friday but bokeh is good any day!

Friday, December 23, 2022


 It's Friday, woohoo, TGIF!  It's been a wild couple of weeks and it is now the start of my vacation.  Today's image is of one of the locomotive Christmas Ornaments that have been made and given to me by a friend of mine.  I chose this image for today because of the season and, well, trains, and also because of the lovely bubbly bokeh.  Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, December 22, 2022


 It's a double digit day!  😀  Since it is a special week, I thought I would share an image that looks appropriate for the season.  This beautiful male Cardinal was sitting in a Hawthorn tree munching on berries.  It reminds of a bright red ornament on a tree.  LOL

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the blog!  Today's flower is Blue Wild Indigo.  It is in the Bean Family and blooms in May and June.  It produces seed pods that when mature will rattle in the wind.  It can be found growing in rocky soils and along road sides.  It is most prevalent in clay soils and limestone areas.  I have some growing in a couple of my gardens but for this particular photo, I found this on a road side.  It's another flower named as "blue" but I have observed it to be more purple than blue.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022


 These birds are very common around here and in some places are considered a nuisance with their numbers.  I liked this image because of the light.  I captured these Canadian Geese flying overhead near sunset one day.  I love the color it gave them.

Monday, December 19, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Today starts the countdown to Christmas!  Hope you are not feeling too much pressure these days.  That is the downside to Christmas.  As I get older I wish it didn't involve presents and was just a time to get together.  Anyway, we are in a cold snap and I am wishing for summer and butterflies.  Here is an image that warms me up.  This is a Tiger Swallowtail on Wooly Verbena that I took back in July.

Sunday, December 18, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I am dipping back in the archives for this one.  This is a shot I took while traveling in Colorado.  This Santa Fe locomotive is on display in Lamar in front of the Colorado Welcome Center there.  It served the Santa Fe for 47 years and performed, freight, passenger and switch duties in Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.  It is a Prairie type locomotive, a 2-6-2.  Back in 2021 I shared it from the front end, here is a link to that post if you want to see the other angle ATSF Other Angle  I kind of like this image as it gives the impression it is moving away from me.  😊

Saturday, December 17, 2022


 While out walking a little over a week ago, we had another gorgeous sunset.  I decided to try a panoramic shot with my new phone which is something I seem to forget that it can do.  This was the result.  It was quite the vibrant sky.  I only cropped off the bottom a bit and added a bit of vignette to it.

Friday, December 16, 2022


 Woohoo, it's Friday, TGIF!  What a week, so glad it's done.  I need a nice cheerful image for today and these always make me happy to see.  These are some Black-eyed Susans that were growing beside the Gazebo pond this year.  They have some wonderful bubbly bokeh behind as well and that always makes me happy too and, as you know, Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, December 15, 2022


 Today's image is one that I am quite happy with how it turned out and it took me a while to do.  I took this image back in mid November but I needed to process it and it took me several nights of tweaking to get a result I was happy with and watching YouTube videos for tips on those tweaks.  This is the Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters which is an open star cluster.  In dark areas this cluster can be seen with the naked eye but it can be fairly faint.  I took this image using a 300mm lens and my camera on it's astrophotography setting.  I shot 9 images at F11, 20sec, 3200 ISO which were then stacked together to get rid of some noise in a program called Deep Sky Stacker.  I then worked on it in my Photo program to bring out the gas clouds around the stars.  I am pretty pleased for my first effort on bringing those clouds out, how this turned out.  I am looking forward to redoing my Orion Nebula image this winter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!    Today's flower is one I usually see mostly in the spring and early summer but I saw some this year in October!  This is Wild Alfalfa and it's normal bloom time is May through July.  It is another drought resistant plant and it's roots can go down as much as 10 feet to find moisture.  The height of the plant can be from 1 to 4 feet.  The roots have been used in early days to make a tea to treat head aches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


 This is how I usually see these birds, flying away from me, but I was rather pleased with it anyway.  This is a Great Blue Heron and I was happy with the sharpness of it due to it being fairly close and showing more detail than I usually get as well.  I took this shot at the Baker University Wetlands in Lawrence Kansas this past May.

Monday, December 12, 2022


 Happy New Week!  It's a double digit day today to start it off.  I am dreaming of summer these days.  I wanted to share something to make me happy.  These are my new favorite garden flowers and I am looking forward to growing some more this summer.  These are a couple blooms of my pink Cosmos.

Sunday, December 11, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I felt like sharing a B&W photo today as I love steam engines in B&W, it somehow makes them more dramatic to me.  This is the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad locomotive Santa Fe 3415 as it left on one of it's excursions during it's last weekend of operation for the year.  I took this image from some video I took.

Saturday, December 10, 2022


 On Monday while I was out for a walk the sun was setting and the sky was changing constantly so I had to keep stopping for a photo.  It began with a spot of yellow surrounded by a bit of orange color and transformed into this gorgeous fiery sky which then faded away.  It's very interesting to watch how colorful it becomes the further the sun goes down.  It's the opposite in the morning but I don't see those as often.  😉

Friday, December 9, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  It's been a long week.  My image for today is of my red Daylilies with some great bubbly bokeh behind.  Those who follow this Blog know that Friday's Are Bokehlicious! 

Thursday, December 8, 2022


 We are in a cold snap these days that really makes it feel like winter so I am dreaming of summer.  This is one of my frog buddies that actually posed for me.  Hopefully he is having a successful hibernation and I will see him again this spring.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my new favorites, Sulphur Cinquefoil.  It blooms in Kansas in May and June normally.  I have transplanted some in my yard that was growing where we mow to the area where I have native plants and grasses.  It was surviving last summer and I am hoping it will come back this year as I find the flowers quite lovely.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022


 So, last time I captured my first Kestrel in a tree good photos.  This time I am sharing an image that was another accomplishment I was very happy with, I captured one in flight.  I was out walking recently and there was a bird that I could tell was a raptor of some sort flying over a field and almost seeming to hover at times so I took some shots of it.  When I looked at them larger I could tell for sure it was an American Kestrel.  I was very pleased that I was even able to capture some well focused images of it of which this is one.  

Monday, December 5, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Only about 20 shopping days till Christmas, yikes, time is flying.  I have some African Violets in my Bay window and this one caught my eye one afternoon with how the sunlight was highlighting it so I had to try and capture it and I think it turned out fairly well.  I liked how it showed off the little hairs on the plant.  This is the first time this one will have flowered for me and I am curious to see what it's flowers will look like.

Sunday, December 4, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to the Strasburg Railroad Museum in Pennsylvania.  This is one of the locomotives that currently is stored outside and the weathering on it shows that so it made for a nice B&W subject.  The museum is currently raising money to build an addition to get all their pieces indoors, it will be great when it is accomplished.  This locomotive is Pennsylvania RR 3750 and was built in 1920 and retired in 1958.  It is a K-4 Pacific type 4-6-2 which was a very successful locomotive type for them due to it's speed and power.

Saturday, December 3, 2022


 It's another interesting digit day.  😊  November in Kansas has always been great for some beautiful sunsets and this year was no exception.  This was a particularly pinky one I photographed on a walk in the early evening as the sun was going down.

Friday, December 2, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  It's also an interesting digit day.  😀  Today's image is one of my Surprise Lilies that had some really great bubbly bokeh behind them.  I am sharing it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, December 1, 2022


 Happy 1st day of December and the last month of the year.  On a walk a couple weeks ago I was treated to something I have wanted to be able to capture for quite some time now.  I saw a fox running across the road!  I only had my totally manual lens with me as I was testing it on some birds but because I was doing that, I was somewhat ready when the fox appeared and was able to capture a few shots of it of which this was the best one.  So I not only saw one but was able to capture it!  Woohoo.  😃

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog and the last one of November.  Today's flower is an image of the Common Sunflower, the state flower of Kansas and one of my favorites.  They bloom July through September normally but I saw some  blooming up till the first hard freeze we had in early November.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


 I was out walking a couple weekends ago and went by one of the ponds in the area where I have seen some different types of ducks.  I was able to see a couple that were probably on their way through the area.  One is a Lesser Scaup I am pretty sure but the brown one, most likely a female, I am not sure.  A female Scaup should have a white patch by the beak and this one does not.  She had been stretching a bit but I missed part of that due to some grass that blew in front of the lens for a moment.

Monday, November 28, 2022


 Happy Monday!  We are on the downhill slide to Christmas now, not many shopping days left!  Yikes.  I am dreaming of summer with this image today.  This is my Balloon flower which gets it's name, as you can probably see, from the unopened flower buds interesting shape.

Sunday, November 27, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another drone image, this time taken during the Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion this past September.  This is the Porter locomotive and it's train as it was leaving the area where it loads passengers not far from the main gate.  You can see several steam traction engines lined up along the main road.  This is just a very small portion of all there is at the show.  One of the restored train depots is visible as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


 We had a better than expected autumn.  With the drought causing the leaves to fall so quickly I was thinking there would be no color to be found.  I was happily mistaken.  This is an image looking east on the Republican River that flows north of town out of Milford Lake and eventually joins up with the Smoky Hill and Kansas River on the east side of town.  The joining of these rivers is what gives my town it's name of Junction City.

Friday, November 25, 2022


 Happy Friday! I am not so TGIF this week as I have had a few days off.  😉  Anyway, today's image is one I found while going through my photos last week.  This is a Praying Mantis that was blending in quite a bit with the leaves of my Gazania flower.  I chose this image for today because of the wonderful bubbly bokeh behind because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 24, 2022


 It's Thanksgiving here in the US.  Hope you all have a good one if you celebrate or just have a good day if you don't.  :-)  Here is a nice autumn colors image for the day.  This is a branch of, what I think is, a Barberry Bush by my Gazebo pond after it turned very red this autumn.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of the late bloomers here in Kansas.  This is Blue Sage also called Pitcher Sage.  It can bloom from July to October but it seems to mostly be seen, at least in my area starting in September.  It is in the mint family and is nutritious for livestock.  It is named for Dr. Zina Pitcher, a US Army surgeon and botanist.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022


 It's a double digit day!  I recently bought a lens to use for astrophotography.  I ended up purchasing an older 300mm totally manual lens.  I purchased it based on reviews that it was supposed to be incredibly sharp which is what I really needed for what I want to do with it.  I decided to take it out on a walk a couple weekends ago and captured my first American Kestrel of the winter.  I have to say, I was suitably impressed with the lens and it's sharpness.  This is cropped quite a bit as well.  This is an adult male.  I was pleased to be able to get it in a tree as well as they are usually sitting on the light poles or electrical wires.

Monday, November 21, 2022


 Happy Monday of a holiday week!  We have had some really cold weather so all the outdoor flowers have gone now.  During the summer I usually have these outside but brought them in to overwinter and then plant again outside.  This is Lantana, a different color than I had tried before.  I love the pastel colors.  It is doing better inside than it did out, not sure if the yellow one it was planted with overpowered it.  Lantana is a butterfly and Hummingbird magnet usually.  

Sunday, November 20, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I had bought a drone this past year and played with it a few times while doing some steam activities.  I would have liked to have played with it more but it was very windy all the time and even though the drone does pretty well in wind, it's not really optimum conditions to be flying an expensive piece of equipment in.  This image is a cropped view of the Wagner I get to operate in Minnesota.  I made a short video of it which shows it on a loop around it's area HERE.   The image is from the video.  This locomotive was originally operated at a park near Niagara Falls before it made it's way to the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.

Saturday, November 19, 2022


 All the leaves on my trees are basically gone (dropped on the ground).  I took this image shortly before my Oak trees lost them all.  I have been doing this particular shot for several years now.  I need to go back and see how much the branches have grown since I started.  I love how the colors are captured in the autumn from the late afternoon sunlight.

Friday, November 18, 2022


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  This is strand of my Sea Oats Grass that I captured this autumn before something ate it to the ground.  Hoping it will survive that and come back in the spring.  Not sure what would eat it like that, it was pretty dry at the time, you would think animals would have gone for something more tender.  Anyway, this image had a bit of lovely bubbly bokeh so had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 17, 2022


 An older moon shot in the blue hour.  There was a lunar eclipse last week but I missed seeing it.  I've seen a couple and I was too lazy and tired to get up to look.  😁  I'm looking forward to less moonlight because I just got a new lens that I want to try some astrophotography with.  Clear skies as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  The wildflowers are basically done here in Kansas as winter seems to have arrived and we have had some freezes.  I have lots of pics to keep going to spring though.  Today's flower is Snow On the Mountain.  I find this plant to be a lovely one even if a bit invasive.  It is related to the Poinsettia and blooms June through October.  I captured this one in my garden in July.  it has a milky sap which can act like Poison Ivy and irritate skin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022


 I have seen this happen several times and I finally got a decent capture of it.  There were 2 crows that were chasing off a Red Tail hawk.  I find it funny because the hawk is larger and I would think more fierce but I saw this 2 days in a row a couple weekends ago.  I guess because it is 2 to 1 and they tag team against the hawk it seems.

Monday, November 14, 2022


 Happy Monday!  I'm starting the week off with one of my favorite flowers.  This is a different variety of Echinacea that i had growing in my garden but I think it did not survive this past summer.  They are lovely but not as hardy as the native ones.  They are also known as Coneflowers.

Sunday, November 13, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  This is a fun shot I took of our 12 inch scale Ottaway locomotive as we blew down the boiler on it.  The pressure had dropped a lot by this time so it was not quite as steamy but there was still a bit.  We were getting ready to load it back on the trailer to take it back home.

Saturday, November 12, 2022


 I have not posted a waterfall image in a while.  We actually got a good amount of rain last Friday into Saturday, at least 2 inches if not a bit more.  The waterfall in the housing area to the west of me was flowing rather nicely so I took a couple of shots and this is one of them.  I liked the autumn colors around it as well.