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.

Friday, November 11, 2022


 It's a neat date today, a double digit as well.  It's also Veteran's Day in the US.  It's also Friday, TGIF and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  Todays image with some lovely bubbly bokeh is of a group of leaves from my Golden Rain Tree as they were changing color for autumn.

Thursday, November 10, 2022


  I have not posted a bee image for a while.  They are all probably hibernating these days since the cold has arrived.  I look forward to seeing them out and about in the spring again.  I captured this Bumble on the Goldenrod back in September.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022


 It's Wildflower Wednesday once again here on the Blog.  I feel like sharing a flower that makes me happy.  This an image of some Common Sunflowers that were growing alongside my garage this past summer.  They are the state flower of Kansas.  While I enjoy Sunflowers I am not going to let them grow there any longer.  They grow very tall and get very messy and are almost impossible to pull out when they are done flowering because the stems get so big and the roots are fairly deep.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022


 I was out walking on Saturday because it was fairly cool to try and ride a bike.  I saw these planes making circles in the air somewhat around the airport area.  It looked like they were trying to form up as a formation.  They finally did and flew past where I was walking and I got this shot.  I had to Google what they were as three of them were painted sort of WWII military style but they are not that old.  They are Vans RV 4s which are ones you can build yourself but can be used for acrobatics due to the styling and engines.  A cheap one costs 250,000 dollars and the expensive one is $400,00!

Monday, November 7, 2022


 Happy Monday! My pink Gerbera Daisy is going quite well.  I have never seen so many blooms on one of these at one time.  It was lovely.  I took this image and 2 weeks later they were still looking great and more flowers were coming.  It's a hybrid that blooms constantly unlike the normal Gerbera which I could never get to rebloom.

Sunday, November 6, 2022


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to my visit to Strasburg and the railroad there.  They were in the news this week with a very unfortunate incident that makes me cringe every time I see it.  Somehow, several people were not paying attention.  Here is a link to a very short video on YouTube. (Updated Link, apparently the other was taken down for Copyright) It's unfortunate and glad no one was hurt.  This is locomotive 475 from the Norfolk & Western Railroad that is the main locomotive that has been in use at Strasburg for the past several years.  I am sure it will be repaired and people will have some training.  Missing that the switch was not set was by several key people, the Conductor, the Fireman and the Engineer.  All 3 of these people are supposed to be watching for anything.  I know as a fireperson on the trains I work on I have to stay attentive and call out to the engineer about crossings because they cannot see my side very well.  From what I have read, this switch is not normally ever thrown and it was probably the fault of the maintenance of Way people but they still should have been alert.  I took this image at Paradise where this incident occurred as I watched the very procedure take place when this happened.  The locomotive moves from one end of the train to the other to go back to Strasburg so they are always on the end of where they are heading.  Fortunately, from what I have seen the damage was actually fairly minimal and the smokebox door is being welded back together.  They expect it to be back up and running for Christmas trains by the 19th as long as the FRA allows it. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022


 Today's image is another example of our lovely autumn that we have had this year.   I took this after work one afternoon last week as I was heading home.  This is looking west on the Republican River towards Milford Lake from the bridge off of Washington Street.

Friday, November 4, 2022


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Even though we had a hard freeze already this year, there are still some butterflies around, mainly Sulphurs and Cabbage Whites.  I saw one of these after as well but they have not been seen for a while.  I captured this image back in July of a Painted Lady on a Zinnia.  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I chose this image for the nice creamy bokeh.

Thursday, November 3, 2022


 Except for the very hard freeze we had in mid October, we have been having a fairly lovely autumn with temps in the 70s F on several days.  Some of the trees have been really lovely as well.  This is an image I did with my phone of our very old Oak tree that I quite liked.  The trunk on this tree is huge.  It was a good year for nut production as well because the ground beneath it is filled with acorns.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022


 Well, today is a neat number day, all ones and twos.  😃  It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is Curly Cup Gumweed.  This is another flower that usually only June through September but I found this still in bloom in Mid-October.  The roots can grow to 6 feet long making it fairly drought resistant.  The name comes from the fact that the plant contains a gummy sap.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


 It's November!  Yikes the end of the year is coming fast.  My photo for today goes back to the Baker Wetlands in Lawrence Kansas.  This is an Egret I was able to capture as it surveyed it's surroundings.  I think it is a Snowy Egret but not sure as it doesn't seem to have the fluffy plumage they have.