Tuesday, May 17, 2022


 On Sunday evening there was a lunar eclipse occurring.  I only photographed the first part of it due to I have photographed a full one before and I am getting older and needed to get to bed as it was a work night.  😄  I only had time to work with one photo but I was rather pleased with it.  When viewed large especially, you can see stars in the image as well.  Not a sight you can usually photograph in one exposure with a full moon.  I thought the color turned out well too.  I'll have to share my sequence one day after I have time to process the images I took.

Monday, May 16, 2022


 Happy Monday and new week!  My mother-in-law had a lovely small blossomed Orchid that was in full bloom on Mother's Day.  I shot it with some strong sunlight from the back and I liked how it turned out.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I have shared this locomotive before in a couple shots from above.  This is Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive 1223 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  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 appeared on screen several times, most notably in a couple of movies, The Broadway Limited (1941) and Hello Dolly (1969).  I love the museum's displays like this one that have it in a natural looking setting.

Saturday, May 14, 2022


 Today's image is the second of the uncommon birds for me and is also a "Lifer" for me as it is the first time I was able to capture one.  I saw this one while out riding bikes on a cloudy day so I was pleased with being able to capture it at all.  This is an Upland Sandpiper.  I saw it in a farm field.  I hope that if it is nesting it will be done by the time anything is done with that field.

Friday, May 13, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious here on the Blog so today's image is some blooms from one of my Lilacs with some lovely bubbly bokeh behind it.

Thursday, May 12, 2022


 This is an image I captured last year but never shared.  This is a lovely Ladybug on the leaf of a Common Milkweed which has a bunch of little hairs all over it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


 It's another Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  This one has been blooming quite a lot lately.  It is a wild Pansy which is also called a Johnny Jump Up here in Kansas.  Apparently the name refers to it's quick growth in the Spring.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


 The last week of April was a great one for me for capturing rare birds to see in my area. The first was this Yellow Rumped Warbler that was getting a drink at my Gazebo pond one afternoon while I happened to be over there, actually looking for Waxwings.  I just took a photo and I was thinking it looked like something new and different and it was!

Monday, May 9, 2022


 Happy Monday!  I am starting off the week with one of my favorite flowers, Bleeding Hearts.  I find I have a lot of favorites.  😀  Anyway, I find these quite interesting and they make for good photo subjects.

Sunday, May 8, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Once again we go back to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  Today's locomotive is a more unique and specialized one called a Climax.  The Climax Company made farm implements but were approached to build a locomotive for removing Lumber from mountain sides that was powerful, agile and cheap.  By making use of an offset bevel gear, they produced a locomotive that was very nimble and flexible.  It could climb steeper grades and navigate sharper turns than other types of geared locomotives of equal weight.  This locomotive was built in 1913 and retired in 1956.  In West Virginia I was able to ride behind one of these locomotives at the Durbin Rocket Railroad but I think it has been replaced currently by a different type.

Saturday, May 7, 2022


 This is how I tend to see Herons.  They are almost always flaying away from me.  I got lucky that I was fairly close before we spotted each other.  I took this at a good sized pond near where I live that I have seen some various ducks traveling through on.

Friday, May 6, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!  I chose this image with some lovely bubbly bokeh of a couple of bees enjoying the Sandhill Plum blooms in my yard a couple of weeks ago.  The Sandhill Plum was recently made the state Fruit of Kansas.  I was mainly trying to photograph the Bumble Bee and discovered it had been photo-bombed by the other bee when looking through my photos.

Thursday, May 5, 2022


 I am very much looking forward to capturing these butterflies again.  I have seen a few flying by but so far none have stopped to enjoy the Lilacs or any other things in bloom, at least not while I have been around. This is a Monarch that I captured last fall enjoying the Zinnias in my garden.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again.  Now that spring has arrived, there are quite the number of wildflowers beginning to bloom again.  This one has a lovely looking flower but is considered very invasive in our area.  This is Garlic Mustard which can get a good 2 feet tall but this one was fairly short, only about 4 to 5 inches.

As a reminder, there are Wildflowers by Color pages here on the Blog that you can use to help ID what flowers you see appearing.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


 I saw my first Waxwings last week.  I captured this one after it left the Crabapple tree because it didn't want me too close nd sat in an Elm tree.  To me their tails look as though they have been dipped in yellow wax as well.

Monday, May 2, 2022


 Happy Monday and a day with a lot of 2s in it.  😀  Tulips have some interesting details when viewed up close.  This is one of my lovely yellow and red ones.  

Sunday, May 1, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday once again on the Blog!  Once again we go back to Strasburg and the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum.  This is locomotive 1187 which was built in 1888 in the Altoona, PA shops of the Pennsylvania Railroad and then retired in 1939.  It was an H3 Class Consolidation 2-8-0 type, used for freight.  By 1924, the railroad had over 3300 class H locomotives in service which was 44%  but the 1187 is the sole survivor.

Saturday, April 30, 2022


 I was traveling back from a trip to buy Mulch last weekend and there was a beautiful storm cloud to the south.  As usual lately, we received no measurable rain once again.  We are so dry with also suffering from regular 50mph winds.  

Friday, April 29, 2022


It's Friday, TGIF.  I have a few Crabapple trees on my property.  They were just beginning to bloom when I shot this image a little over a week ago.  I liked the look of the buds with their pink color.  When they open, the blossoms are white.  this image had some great bubble bokeh so had to share it today because Friday's are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 28, 2022


 The Grape Hyacinths are quite the bee magnet.  It's great to see Honeybees around since they are endangered.  I was able to get this closeup of one flying towards one of the flowers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Recently the Sandhill Plum or Chickasaw Plum was made our state Fruit.  I had transplanted a couple a couple of years ago and they are blooming.  This is the end of one of the branches with lovely flowers.  I just transplanted 3 more and they seem to be surviving the move so I am happy about that.  Butterflies like them quite a  lot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


 The Killdeer are back in the area.  I was able to photograph my first one on a walk last weekend.  This one was quite cooperative and stayed fairly close for several shots.  I love their red eyes.

Monday, April 25, 2022


 Happy Monday!  The Tulips have started to bloom around the area.  This is one from my garden, the only set of Tulips that I have planted in recent years that comes back.  I love the color of these, mainly yellow with red streaks.

Sunday, April 24, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday once again here on the Blog!  Once again we go back to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  This is Pennsylvania Railroad  locomotive 460 which was built in 1914 and retired in 1956.  This locomotive has the distinction of being the train to carry the first Theater film of Lindberg's historic flight over the Atlantic landing in Paris to an event in Washington DC.  The train reached speeds of 115 mph but was still beaten to DC by planes.  However, the film on the train was able to be processed en-route and so was the first one to be shown at the event.

Saturday, April 23, 2022


 I have not shared a landscape image for a while, mainly because I haven't shot any as we have not had very colorful skies lately.  I came across this image that I shot back in December that I liked because it had the moon in it as well that I realized I have never shared so here you go.  😁  The image is best viewed large to spot the moon by clicking on it.

Friday, April 22, 2022


 It's a double digit day!  😀  It's also Friday, TGIF!  Today is also Earth Day!  On Earth Day I always like to promote growing plants for bees and butterflies.  Zinnias are a great one.  They are inexpensive and they can be grown easily from seed.  They bloom up until a hard frost and provide color and a food source for butterflies.  The image is a Great Spangled Fritillary on my Zinnias from this past summer.  This image has some great bubble bokeh and so it's my image for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious! 

Thursday, April 21, 2022


 The wildflowers are emerging and along with them, the insects are coming out as well.  While weeding one of my gardens in preparation to plant, I saw several Ladybugs enjoying the Henbit.  This one was cooperative enough to get a photo of.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is a bit different variety of one of my favorites, Echinacea or Coneflower.  This is a white variety I have growing in the garden by the Gazebo pond.  The pink ones are found more in the wild.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


 So now that I have realized what the birds are that I have seen while bike riding near the fields, I have kept an eye out for them more and got very lucky with this capture.  This is a male Horned Lark which was a new bird for me this year and in this shot, you can see more where the name comes from.

Monday, April 18, 2022


 Happy Monday!  The Daffodils are nearing their end and the Tulips are beginning to open.  I found the light and perspective on this bloom made for an interesting perspective.

Sunday, April 17, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another from the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg.  This is Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive 6755.  It was built in 1930 and retired in 1957.  It has an M1 designation or "Mountain" type meaning it was heavy and powerful and versatile for both passenger and freight service.  An M1's tender is fairly large to keep the engine moving.  They held 31.5 tons of coal and 22,090 gallons of water and had a scoop to collect water on the fly.  Here is link to a video on Youtube from the Library of Congress that shows an example of how this worked.  Scooping  Link will open a new window.

Saturday, April 16, 2022


 The honeybees are out and about once again and it is great to see them.  They love the little Grape Hyacinths I have growing in the side yard and provide photo opportunities every spring. 

Friday, April 15, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well and I have a lovely image with some great bubble bokeh for today.  These are a couple of my many blooming Daffodils around my yard, these happen to be by the Gazebo pond.  

Thursday, April 14, 2022


 Sunday was a great day for unusual sights.  While out on a bike ride I was able to capture this cool bird.  This is a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and I actually captured it a moment after it had caught an insect.  You can  see it in it's beak especially if you view large by clicking on the image.  They are part of the Kingbird family.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  The wildflowers here are beginning to bloom as of this past week.  I captured this Blue Mustard in bloom on Sunday afternoon.  The flowers are more purple or pink than blue in my opinion but still a nice looking flower.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022


 I captured my first butterfly of the year and it was quite the surprise.  On Sunday I was out looking for what was in bloom and observed this Tiger Swallowtail enjoying the newly blossoming Ornamental Pear tree.  I have never seen a large butterfly so early, usually my first is a Buckeye.  It was very neat to see and capture it as it flitted around the blooms.

Monday, April 11, 2022


 Happy Monday!  I thought I would start off the week with a group of blooming Daffodils from my yard.  I was gifted a few Daffodils one year from my Sister-in-Law and every year they keep expanding into an ever larger group.  A nice bright group to start the week.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I see that train a coming!  😁  This is Norfolk & Western Queen of Steam 611 coming down the track on it's way back to Strasburg Pennsylvania from Paradise on a summer day last July.

Saturday, April 9, 2022


 I am rather happy with today's image even though it didn't work out quite like I wanted.  I went out last week to try an Orion Nebula image.  I wanted to get several images to stack which allows you to reduce the grain.  It was a windy evening and I only got 2 shots out of the 8 I took to come out fairly well, the others had a bit of elongation in the stars due to slight wind movement even though I was using a really heavy duty overkill tripod.  This image is actually the very first one I took and I ended up not stacking it with the other, I just processed this one and was pleased with the results.  The nebula can be, sort of, seen by eye, it's why Orion's belt looks somewhat fuzzy.  I was really pleased and amazed by what I could capture with my camera.  I shot this at f13, 500mm, for 40 seconds at ISO 400.  As I have mentioned, my camera has had an update which allows it to track the movement of the stars by computation from the sensor to not get star trailing in long exposures required to get images like this.  I hope to try again for more images to stack to get more detail and less grain and a closer image but may have to wait for this one until next winter when Orion is back in the sky in a better position.

Friday, April 8, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  This is a capture I was able to get late this winter of a pair of one of my favorite birds.  These are a couple of Titmouse (Titmice?) birds that were sitting in the Mulberry tree in-between hitting the feeder for seed.  I chose this image for the lovely bubbly bokeh behind because Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!

Thursday, April 7, 2022


 I know it is spring but I had to share one more snowflake.  I processed this one the other day and really liked how it turned out and didn't want to wait till next winter.  😁  This is made from 27 shots, focus stacked and it was shot on March 10.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of one of my favorites.  This is Queen Anne's Lace.  I planted some of this last year from seed I had collected from some near me and I saw that it seems to have survived and is coming up.  I am looking forward to it blooming this year, it doesn't bloom until the second year.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


 Spring in Kansas means some birds are back in the area.  One of these is our state bird, the Western Meadowlark.  I was able to get a pretty good shot of one while on a bike ride the other day.  

Monday, April 4, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Spring has finally sprung but some days with as cold as it was you would never know.  The flowers know it is as they are opening up around the yard.  This is an image of my large Purple Hyacinth that I shot the other day.

Sunday, April 3, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to Minnesota and the Steam Thresher's Reunion.  This was just after my first shift of the show.  We change shifts at the Baker Depot which is at the opposite end of the grounds from the roundhouse. This is former Soo Line Switch engine 353, now 101 years old.

Saturday, April 2, 2022


 This is another of the test shots I did with my new camera update.  This is a stacked image of the Pleiades constellation, also known as the 7 Sisters.  I took 4 images and stacked them together to get a clearer image without so much "noise" that results in low light images.  I shot this with my 300mm at 40 seconds each image at F11 and 800 ISO.  When viewed large you can see rays coming off the larger stars so I was pretty pleased with how this turned out.

Friday, April 1, 2022


 Happy Friday!  TGIF!  Happy April 1, hope no one gets fooled today.  😄  Today's image is a turtle that I captured while on a bike ride last summer.  It was in the road and I moved it off to the side in the direction it was headed after I took this pic.  I liked the bubbly bokeh created by the gravel in back of it.  If you follow the Blog you know that Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  I believe it's a Box turtle.

Thursday, March 31, 2022


 Today is the last day of March.  This year is moving along somewhat quickly it seems.  Today's image has 2 of my favorite things to photograph, bees and flowers.  This is a Bumblebee I captured on one of my Cone Flowers last summer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites that I had never seen till I was out on Konza Prairie but have since found closer to me.  This is a Cobaea Penstemon or Prairie Penstemon also known as a Beardtongue.  The latter name comes from the pollen free stamen that resembles a Bearded Iris or looks somewhat hairy.  These flowers vary from a pale pink to deep purple and can grow in clusters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022


 While bike riding one day recently I saw these birds in a farm field and was able to capture one of them.  I learned while researching that this is a new bird for me.  This is a Horned Lark even though I cannot see the "horn".  They are fairly common in Kansas and are mainly seen in farmers fields.