Monday, October 31, 2022


 Happy Monday and Happy Halloween!  Today's image is just something fun I created for the day.  Of course it had to reference one of my favorite subjects.  Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, October 30, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image, once again, is centered on the locomotive from the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad.  This is Santa Fe 3415, a Pacific 4-6-2 engine.  I was able to see it operating on October 1, 2022.  

Saturday, October 29, 2022


 Autumn is really popping around here.  I was surprised because a lot of trees lost their leaves early due to the drought, like my Red Maple.  On top of that we have had a lot of high winds, like 50 mph gusts, to blow what was there down.  What is left is putting on a nice show though.  I went out to take some photos with my new phone and this is one of them.  Of course I had to photograph one of my favorite subjects, a railroad.  😊

Friday, October 28, 2022


 TGIF, It's Friday!  Today's image is a lovely colorful autumn image of some of the Maple leaves from my tree.  When I thought to check to see if it had changed color I found that it had dropped the majority of it's leaves, most likely due to the drought we have been having.  It did have several colorful leaves left though.  This had some lovely bubbly bokeh so I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 27, 2022


 Not many butterflies are left, if any now that we have had some really cold mornings.  There may be a few Sulphurs around still, they seem pretty hardy.  This is one I saw just a couple of weeks ago.  This is a Question Mark butterfly.  I was surprised to see it out and about as they are usually pretty elusive.  This one even let me photograph it with my phone which is where this photo comes from.  It's cropped in a bit but not much as it actually let me get fairly close.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog, the last one of October.  The end of the year is coming fast.  Today's flower is one I got the same day as last week's.  I am glad I got them because they both froze the next day.  This one is Buffalo Burr.  The name comes from it's tendency to grow around Bison wallows.  It is very drought resistant and very aggressive.  When the plant ages it breaks off at the stem and rolls like a tumbleweed scattering seeds as it goes.  It blooms from May through September typically but I found this in October last week.  This is a 4 image focus stack to get the flower and the burrs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022


 This is a bird I imagine I will be seeing and trying to photograph more now that winter is arriving.  This is a Red Tail Hawk and they are around all year but seem to be seen much more in the colder months, maybe because there are other birds around like Kites and Vultures during the warmer months.  I captured this one flying fairly overhead but away from me as they usually do.  

Monday, October 24, 2022


 Happy Monday and new week!  My yellow mini Mum was quite lovely a week ago before the hard freeze.  I love how the yellow flowers turn an orange - bronze color as they age.  The younger color is the very blurred one at the top left.  😁

Sunday, October 23, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Yesterday we should have been in Topeka running this locomotive for the last time of the year but for only it's second time on some real track since it has been restored.  This photo was taken just after we had off loaded it from the trailer onto the turntable to move it out onto the track.  I'm writing this early so hopefully it went as well as the first time back in September.  😃

Saturday, October 22, 2022


 It's a double digit day today!  😀  On the last day of September, it had rained in some places off to the west.  I didn't get any but it provided the view of a lovely rainbow out my office window that morning.

Friday, October 21, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  I had to share this photo today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious and this had some great bubbly bokeh in it.  I took this image against the leaves on the oak tree and it created the great bokeh.  This is my orange variety of Gerbera Daisy.

Thursday, October 20, 2022


 This is a Twelve Spot Dragonfly, one of the few that I find easy to identify.  This one was being rather cooperative for me sitting on a rock that borders one of my gardens.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Pink Smartweed.  This is a flower I first found in our area last year, but, as much as there is around I just must not have been in the right place at the right time.  I took this photo on Monday afternoon before our first hard freeze that night.  It usually flowers from July to October and is in the Buckwheat family.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


 This past May I was at the Baker University Wetlands in Lawrence and was able to get some of my best bird shots ever.  This is a shot of a Bald Eagle that was still around the area and was flying right toward me.  I couldn't believe my luck.

Monday, October 17, 2022


 Happy Monday!  Cosmos were a new flower for me to try to grow this year.  Started out all white and then all pink.  I saved some seeds and am going to try to grow them again and more of them.  They are another flower that make me happy to see.  Here is a lovely group of them in a row.

Sunday, October 16, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another of the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad's Pacific type Santa Fe locomotive 3415.  I took this image of it while they were loading passengers.  It's a quite impressive engine.  Hopefully it is able to be back up and running in no longer than the 18 months predicted and maybe quicker.  15 year FRA inspections require the boiler tubes to be replaced which is rather expensive.  

I made another vide of it where I utilized both drone and regular video to show it getting ready and then leaving on one of it's 3 excursions for the day.  The video can be seen on Youtube HERE

Saturday, October 15, 2022


 I have not been on an actual vacation in a while where I just got away and saw something new.  This is from a visit to the Grand Canyon a few years back.  The day was actually fairly hazy but with new knowledge in how to process images I was able to get rid of a lot of that and bring out more detail.  The Grand Canyon is such an amazing place to visit and see for yourself.  Pictures don't really do it justice.

Friday, October 14, 2022


 TGIF, it's Friday!  Friday's are Bokehlicious and I have a bokeh filled image for today!  I was watering in one of my gardens last weekend and after I finished I saw there was a spider web that I had gotten wet and it had captured a lot of droplets in it.  I took this close up photo of some of the drops and the surrounding ones created a lot of bubbly bokeh which is my favorite!

Thursday, October 13, 2022


 Today's post is of one of the Dragonflies that visited my pond this year.  They did not seem to stay around as long this year but I was able to capture a few of them while they were there.  I liked the light on this one.  Dragonflies are hard to ID for me.  I believe that this is a Blue Dasher.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of some Asters that have established themselves at the edge of one of my gardens.  The butterflies and bees were really enjoying them this past weekend.  Asters are difficult to tell apart but I believe this variety is Hairy Aster.  The main stalk has very small hairs on it.  It blooms in September and October.  Asters are part of the Sunflower family.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022


 Today's image goes back to earlier this year and my visit to the Baker Wetlands in Lawrence.  This is a Redwing Blackbird that was posing quite nicely for me.

Monday, October 10, 2022


 Happy Monday!  It's a double digit day today as well!  😄  Today's image is one I captured before I left for work one morning.  This is the bloom of an heirloom Morning Glory that the original seeds came from a friend of mine's mother.  It really is a "morning" flower as it closes very quickly when the sun comes up so is difficult to get an image of.  I took this photo with a flashlight.

Sunday, October 9, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's post is about a steam engine from my all time favorite railroad, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe.  The Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad restored locomotive 3415, a Pacific type (4 - 6 - 2 wheel arrangement) Baldwin built in 1919 and saw regular service out of Argentine Yard in Kansas City until it was retired in 1954 and donated to the city of Abilene, Kansas.  In 1996, the city donated it to the ASVRR.  It sat on display until 2005 when restoration began.  It has been running excursions since then and is now due for it's 15 year FRA inspection.  The ASVRR will also be looking at the engine and repairing anything it may need during this time.  It is expected to be down for 18 months at least while all this takes place.

I was in Abilene and able to capture several photos and videos of it during some of it's last runs.  I have some drone footage shared HERE where I once again messed up moving the camera because I was not paying attention because I was taking this photo.  Sigh.  Anyway, I was glad to be able to see and capture it run before it's long break.

Saturday, October 8, 2022


 A couple of weeks ago now I went out and took some images of the Milky Way core.  It's the center of the Milky Way galaxy and has a lot of detail and beauty in it which makes it the subject of photos.  This is my first attempt at getting a good image of it.  

There were some difficulties because my chosen spot to photograph it had much more light pollution than I was expecting and also the moon was out to the west and causing even more light pollution.  It was windy out as well so I was not able to get as many good images as I wanted.  This is a stack of 6 images.  You use stacked images to take out some of the noise created while using long exposures and high ISO levels in the camera.  I then watched several videos to learn some techniques to bring out the detail in what I captured and this is the result after I tried those techniques.  Not the best one ever, but I was happy with my first effort. The glow at the bottom is the light pollution I am talking about.

Friday, October 7, 2022


 TGIF, it's Friday!  Another long week.  Today's image is of a Hollyhock flower that I captured in Minnesota.  There is a large group of them that is always in bloom on Labor Day weekend by the shower house we use during the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion.  I loved the bokeh in this one so because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I had to share it today.

Thursday, October 6, 2022


 The Painted Lady butterflies and the Autumn Sedum seem to be a great duo.  When the Sedum blooms, they appear and take advantage of it.  Like everything else, it doesn't last long enough but it's lovely to watch and enjoy while it does.  I was able to capture these 2 enjoying it together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one I don't get to see very often.  This is Chicory.  The flowers close up during the day.  It blooms July through September.  I was able to capture this on a cloudy day when the flowers stayed open longer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022


 I have not seen these around for a while, I wonder if they travel to cooler parts in the summer.  This is a Western Meadowlark which is the state bird of Kansas.  I captured it in late spring surveying it's domain from high up in a tree.

Monday, October 3, 2022


 Happy Monday!  I purposely grew some Cosmos flowers for the first time this year.  They have done rather well so I think I will try again next year.  At first I thought they were only a white variety but then later this summer some pink ones finally bloomed.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I was at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion this past Labor Day weekend.  I was attending the railroad safety meeting and both the full size locomotives that I get to help on were sitting outside the roundhouse steamed up.  I was able to get this shot of them which I liked with the steam and smoke.  The Porter is on the left and 353 is on the right.

I have been experimenting with my new drone and you can watch a short video I made of 353 HERE.  I need to get a bit better with the controls but I was pretty happy with how this one turned out.  It was quite windy that day as well but the drone handles it quite well so I was pleased with that.

Saturday, October 1, 2022


 The farm on the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion is rather photogenic I think.  The first evening I was there was a very calm one and produced a fairly good reflection in the pond.  The shadows were already getting long in the early evening.  Happy first day of October!