Wednesday, September 28, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of a Maximillian Sunflower in bloom that I captured last week.  Maximillians bloom August through September throughout Kansas.  It is palatable and nutritious for livestock.  It is named after the botanist who discovered it, Prince Maximilian Alexander Philip von Wied-Neuwied.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022


 I was able to take photos of a Scissor Tail Flycatcher a few times this year which was pretty cool.  The last time I was able to capture one, back in July, it had just captured something for lunch.  

Monday, September 26, 2022


 Happy Monday of the last week of September.  I haven't made it over to see my Morning Glory blooming over at the Gazebo pond this year very much.  I was able to see several blooms open a couple weekends ago on a day that had a cloudy morning.  I love how the blooms look like they have lights in them when back lit by the sun.  This one was a great example because the surrounding area was so shady.

Sunday, September 25, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog.  The last one for September, wow this year is moving right along.  I took this image over Labor Day weekend of the Wagner locomotive that I get to help operate.  I liked how the smoke looked in the sunlight.  The track for this one is 14 1/4 inches but the locomotive is almost double the size of my Ottaway.

Saturday, September 24, 2022


 On the bike ride home from dinner last Friday evening I was treated to a rather lovely sunset that I just had to stop and photograph.  This sidewalk they put in in our town is quite nice to ride on when it's getting dark.  They are supposed to be extending it out to the high school.  It will be nice when finished.  The lights they chose gave it a nice touch.

Friday, September 23, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  What a week.  Today's image is another of one of my favorite wildflowers, Echinacea or Coneflowers.  They are pretty much done blooming now.  I tried cutting some back to see if they would rebloom as things I have read said they will but mine did not really.  It's been hot and dry here so I am sure that didn't help.  Anyway they were lovely while they were in their prime.  I captured this one with some lovely bubbly bokeh behind and am sharing it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 22, 2022


 It's a double digit day!  😊  I have seen a few more butterflies around these days.  The Painted Ladies have been around a lot more.  I captured this one on my Butterfly Bush or Budldleia a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's wildflower is one that has been blooming around the area for the last few weeks.  This is Dotted Gayfeather.  It usually blooms in August and September.  Native Americans utilized the roots to make a tea that could help with stomach aches.  The taproot of the plant can grow to 15 feet deep making it very drought tolerant.

Remember there are the Wildflowers by Colors pages here on the Blog to help you ID what you are seeing.  They can be found across the top of the Home Page.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


 Today's image is one from this past winter, early spring.  I was able to see and capture Red Shoulder (aka Shouldered) Hawk in a tree.  Not a common one I get to see.  I took this while out walking one afternoon.

Monday, September 19, 2022


 I had dug up and transplanted a baby Mimosa (Silk) tree about 4 years ago now I think.  The tree grew like crazy last year and this year as well.  It got a few flowers on it for the first time as well this year which I am sharing a capture of here.  The leaves are folded up for the night as I took this image in the evening as I was watering.  I was surprised to see the flowers as other trees of this type had flowered a few weeks ago in our town.  Not sure if it was late blooming because it is young.  I love the hairy whispy looking flowers these trees have.  They are not native to Kansas and can be considered invasive, but I like them and will keep it from spreading.

Sunday, September 18, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  We took our locomotive to the railroad that we get to play at outside of Topeka every now and then.  We were very pleased with how it performed.  At the end of the day it started to rain quite a bit so we had to load it back up in the rain.  Before we could do that we had to let pressure off so here it is blowing down the boiler near the pond for a nice steamy shot.

Saturday, September 17, 2022


 I haven't shared many butterfly images this summer, mainly because I haven't seen all that many.  I have been treated to a few though and this is one of them that visited my yard earlier this summer.  This is a Great Spangled Fritillary that was enjoying the Cone Flowers in early July.

Friday, September 16, 2022


 TGIF, it's Friday!  We got a bit of rain last Saturday.  The next day it provided an opportunity for some raindrop photos.  This is a 3 image focus stack of one of my red Dipladenia buds with a lot of rain droplets.  I chose this image because of the interesting bokeh created by the aperture of my camera.

Thursday, September 15, 2022


 I captured this neat guy at my Gazebo pond last Sunday.  I had never seen this variety before.  I love it's blue eyes.  Not sure what type Dragonfly it is or it might even be a Damselfly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  The Common Sunflowers have been blooming quite profusely everywhere the past couple of weeks.  Here are a couple of fairly perfect looking ones blooming by the garage last week.  These are the Kansas state flower.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


 I was able to observe several Western Meadowlarks late this past spring.  I am always happy to see them because they seemed to be declining in past years.  It is the Kansas state bird.  I captured this one off to the side of the road in a field singing.

Monday, September 12, 2022


 Happy Monday and new week!  These flowers are called Surprise Lilies and this group was a surprise to me.  It was a beautiful bouquet of them in a spot I was not expecting to see any at all, much less a group of them.  They are lovely while blooming but they are all done now.  They have a nice smell while blooming as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I was in Minnesota over Labor Day weekend at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  I was able to play with my new drone a bit, not as much as I would have liked due to the wind though.  This is locomotive 353 stopped for loading by the water tower.  I was playing with the drone after my shift on it during the beginning of the day.  This view shows only a small portion of the grounds, it's a large place with lot's to see and do. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022


 I was in Minnesota last week where I was mostly getting to fire on trains.  I had to start fairly early in the morning though not as early as the ones who actually fired up the locomotives.  This was a sunrise I observed on the first day as I headed over to the Roundhouse.  

Friday, September 9, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  It's also a double digit day!  😃  Here is an image of some of my favorite flowers, Echinacea or Cone Flowers.  These are a white variety that I have growing over by my Gazebo pond.  They have some lovely bokeh behind so I chose this photo for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 8, 2022


 There have been some Damselflies around the yard off an on this summer.  I was able to capture this one in a garden in my front yard not too long ago.  It posed nicely on one of the Limestone blocks I have edging the garden and I liked the shadow it produced.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Trumpet Vine which blooms from June through August.  It spreads like crazy and gets in areas I wish it would not and keep having to remove.  I would have thought twice about planting if I realized that.  It does hide things well which is why I planted it.  Hummingbirds love the flowers and I usually can capture them at it but so far have not been successful this year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


 This winter I am looking forward to seeing the hawks again.  They are around all year but are much harder to spot with all the foliage on the trees.  This is a Red Tailed Hawk I spotted sitting in a tree as I returned from a walk one day late last winter. 

Monday, September 5, 2022


 Happy Monday!  It's a holiday for a lot of people in the US, Labor Day.  Here is an image of a little Crab Spider seeming to wave hello on a Cone Flower.  It was probably trying to wave me away from photographing it.

Sunday, September 4, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is a very steamy shot of locomotive 611 which was operating at the Strasburg Railway in Pennsylvania last summer.  The Norfolk & Western engine's home is in Roanoke Virginia but it had come out to PA to do some excursions to raise money for it's various needs like storage.  On it's way out of Strasburg, locomotives pull the train backwards and then in Paradise, maneuver around the train to the front to pull forward. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022


 I had my drone out again to update the software and then practice with it a bit.  The sun had set but there was still some lovely color.

Friday, September 2, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is a lovely bokeh filled background to one of my red Daylilies.  This image was chosen for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 1, 2022


 Happy September, the year is moving along so quickly!  I was redoing the rocks on my waterfall in my backyard pond this past weekend and had this little guy visit.  This is a Great Plains Skink or Blue Tailed Skink, I believe.  He was very cooperative and I was able to get this shot with my phone which is all I had near me at the time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I had to share another shot of one of my favorite wildflowers, they make me happy.  They are still blooming in my garden by the gazebo pond.  These are Black-eyed Susans.  Their bloom time is May through September and are in the Sunflower family which is probably why I like them so much.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


 Today's image is another of the bird's I saw an captured for the first time this year.  This is a Summer Tanager that I was able to capture in a more natural setting as it sat in a tree in-between it's visits to the suet.

Monday, August 29, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Today's image is of my new Gerbera hybrid.  I now have the original yellow, an orange and now this pink variety.  I love these as they are always in bloom.  I captured this just after I watered it so there were water droplets on the leaves.  

Sunday, August 28, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog.  Today's image goes back to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.  This is locomotive 6765 Mountain type built in 1930 and retired in 1957 and was one that could scoop water into the tender on the fly.  I felt like a B&W treatment for this image today.  Steam locomotives make great B&W subjects I think.

Saturday, August 27, 2022


 I recently bought a drone and Have been practicing flying it and learning what it can do.  I want to eventually use it for train photography.  I was out at our new high school because I needed an open area to test some flight features.  The sky was quite interesting to the west as it was approaching sunset.

Friday, August 26, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  The Surprise Lilies are up and blooming for the last couple weeks.  I captured this group with some lovely lighting and bokeh and I am sharing this image today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 25, 2022


 On a recent bike ride I went looking for Jewel-wing Damselflies and I was not disappointed.  I captured this one on a leaf over a stream with another coming in to land.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that has been blooming rather profusely the past month.  This is Showy Partridge Pea.  It blooms July through September and is a member of the Bean family.  The leaves are touch sensitive and fold when touched like Cat's Claw Sensitive Briar.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


 This was a new bird for me this year.  I was able to capture them at a few different times when I knew what to look for.  This is a pair of males that I captured one day while on a bike ride.  I was wondering if one was a female but they both have black eye masks and females don't have that.

Monday, August 22, 2022


 Happy Monday!  It's a double digit day today!  😀  Starting off the week with a lovely flower from my garden.  This is one of my peppermint striped Zinnias.

Sunday, August 21, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday once again here on the Blog!  Last weekend over the 2 days we fired up our 1947 Ottaway locomotive again and had some successful runs.  Saturday started out a bit disappointing but ended rather well after we discovered a couple things, one of which is some loose linkage.  Sunday we had successful trials the whole time so we are just about ready to take it to the railroad we play at and test it on a good run of track instead of the small bit we have set out.  Yay, finally after 9 years of work it is ready, very happy.  In this image it is building steam.  The tall pipe helps create draft to give oxygen to the fire.

Saturday, August 20, 2022


 Last week, this moon was in the news quite a bit because it was the last "super moon" of the year and it also coincided with the Perseid meteor shower.  I didn't see any meteors but I did get this image of the moon.  300mm lens at 800 ISO and 1/160 shutter speed at f11 for detail.

Friday, August 19, 2022


 Woohoo, it's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious so today's bokeh filled image is this one that I took of a group of my Surprise Lily blooms this past week.

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 I was out watering the plants on my deck on the weekend and saw this guy hanging out in one of my Gerbera flower plants.  I took a couple pics and then turned the pot around to get this head on shot and loved how it turned out.  I think it's a type of tree frog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  This flower is considered invasive in my area but I find it around occasionally.  This is Musk Thistle and it provides an interesting subject to photograph I think.  They are considered invasive because they spread quite rapidly and are hard to eradicate.  Even after digging them out of the ground they can still produce seed.  When they bloom, from May to August, they have a pink puff head.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


 Over the winter we have these birds as visitors.  When it gets pretty warm out they head out, guessing they like colder weather and head north.  Opposite of me.  😄  Anyway this is a Dark Eyed Junco that I actually captured at a park I was walking at one day last winter.  It is sitting on the dried berries of a Sumac plant.

Monday, August 15, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Starting the week off today with a close up image of a couple of Alyssum blooms.  

Sunday, August 14, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  It's steamy in a different way where I live, 100 F today.  UGH  Anyway, today's image goes back to Pennsylvania last year and the Strasburg Railroad where Norfolk & Western locomotive 611 was visiting and during some excursions.  I caught this shot as it was coming around a bend and heading back to Strasburg from Paradise PA. 

Saturday, August 13, 2022


 I have never seen fungus/fungi or mushrooms like this before.  They were growing between the bark of this log.  It's rare to see red ones for me as well and when I do they are usually very small.  I thought these were neat so had to share.  😀

Friday, August 12, 2022


 TGIF, It's Friday!  Today's image is one I was able to get this week of a beautiful Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly that was visiting the Ironweed that is growing beside my back deck.  I was surprised to see 2 little bees in the image as well when I viewed the image larger.  They did not seem to be bothering the butterfly very much at all.  Today's image is shared with you due to the lovely bokeh in it because Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!

Thursday, August 11, 2022


 Recently I discovered one of my young Cedar trees was just infested with Bag Worm sacs.  I was working at removing them from the tree when I discovered this guy hanging out in a branch.  It's a fairly young Praying Mantis who was cooperative and let me get a few pics of it.  I have been wondering if they eat Bagworms, it would have had a feast.  He also blended in really well and I was lucky to have even seen it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites.  These are Black-eyed Susans and have been blooming around my yard in various places for a few weeks now.  They bloom May through September and are part of the Sunflower family and are in the species Rudbeckia.  These make me happy to see them like Sunflowers, they are bright and cheery.