Saturday, September 30, 2023


 A little over a week ago, while out on a bike ride, there were some clouds to the west that were capturing the light in neat ways.  There was some rain from them as well though by the time they got to our area that had stopped.  We did get some rain that evening though which we needed badly.  We still need a lot more as the ground is very dry and cracked still and the plants are still struggling.  I am worried about my Lilacs, they are not looking very good.

Friday, September 29, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF, the last one of September!  Around the Equinox every year I seem to have a common sight which I enjoy.  Monarchs, as they pass through my area, come and feed on the Goldenrod I have growing in a few spots.  I captured this one with a Bumblebee coming in for a taste as well.  I chose this image for the lovely subtle bokeh for today as Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 28, 2023


 This year has been a good one for seeing White Lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moths.  On Tuesday when I got home from work, this one was feeding from the Marigolds and Zinnias in one garden and then moved on to another of my gardens.  I liked this image as it was a bit different due to the fact that it was facing me.  You can see it's very long probocis.  They are often mistaken for Hummingbirds because of their fairly large size and the fact that they hover at flowers in the same way.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that has been in bloom recently, I took this photo last week with my phone.  This is a Maximillian Sunflower.  They usually bloom August and September.  They can grow to 9 feet tall!  It's a nutritious flower for livestock.  It was named for Prince Maximillian Alexander Philip Von Wied-Neuweid, a German botanist who discovered it while traveling in North America in the 1800s.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


 This is one more image that I was able to get of the Wood Ducks and turtles too.  I hope to see these again sometime at a different time of year when the male is in it's beautiful plumage.  It was cool to see them at all though.  Another off my checklist.  😀

Monday, September 25, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week.  Today's image is of my vintage Morning Glory.  It was very difficult to get it going this year for some reason.  I think it took 3 tries before I finally was able to get 2 plants to sprout.  Then the 100 plus temps came and started to burn the leaves so I had to protect it with a sheet which actually worked fairly well.  I love these flowers, the only problem with them is they close quite quickly after the sun comes up.  I took this image with my phone and a flashlight.  😄

Sunday, September 24, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I was in Minnesota over Labor Day weekend working the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion show.  After my shift I was at my trailer and decided to shoot some drone video.  This is a shot of the locomotive I get to fire on as it went past my camping site.  I would have liked to get it more out of the trees but because of these trees I would have lost sight of the drone which is a flight no no.  I thought it was kind of a neat shot even with the trees though. 😊

I have posted a video of 353 heading to the Baker Depot where we do shift changes on YouTube.  In the description I give a bit of information on what is going on in the cab shortly before this image.

Saturday, September 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  We had a really nice sunrise this past week and the cloud formations to the south had some really lovely highlights on them and great shapes so I had to share.

Friday, September 22, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is of a Damselfly with big blue eyes perched on a reed in my Gazebo pond.  I chose this image for today because of the lovely bokeh because Friday's are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 21, 2023


 How about a lovely butterfly for today.  A beautiful Giant Swallowtail that was visiting my Lantana flowers one day this summer.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that is a bit hard to get for me, I usually see it after it blooms when the flowers turn to puffballs like a Dandelion.  This is Wild Lettuce which, to me, looks nothing like lettuce.  It blooms July through September.  Native Americans used it for a variety of reasons, one of which is eating the greens, so there you go 😄.  They also used the milky substance it has to treat Poison Ivy sores.  I need to try that the next time I get it.  It's also known as Canada Lettuce.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


 While I was in Minnesota, I was able to spot and capture a lovely Swan family.  They were enjoying a float in the evening on one of the many ponds in the area.

Monday, September 18, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  It was a busy, short, weekend for me so I want to start off the week with something that makes me happy.  This is my Cosmos.  I tried a new variety this year.  It has a bit thicker leaves and lovely orange flowers.  I have been pretty happy with it.  Surviving the drought better than the wispy leaved kind.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I usually share trains but I am making an exception here for today.  This is a drone capture of our 20HP Minneapolis Steam Traction Engine at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's reunion.  It was threshing wheat when I took this image.

I have a video up on YouTube that is about 7.5 minutes long where I tried to show different aspects of the process if you care to watch.  I shot it with the drone and it can be found HERE.

Saturday, September 16, 2023


 In the mornings at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion, after my shift, I would walk back to the Roundhouse to get my bike and take a look at things on the grounds that I don't usually get to visit.  There is a lovely little Mill with a working water wheel that is in one of the areas.

I took a very short video of it working which can be seen HERE.

Friday, September 15, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  This a picture from this past spring of a Sphinx Moth enjoying the Lilacs back when we used to get rain.  Sigh.  Anyway, I chose this image for today due to it's bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, September 14, 2023


 I felt like sharing a lovely Damselfly on a nice bright leaf today so here you go.  😃

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that was blooming very recently but, due to the drought, probably is finished already.  This is Blue Sage, also known as Pitcher Sage where the name honors a botanist, Dr. Zina Pitcher.  Pitcher Sage can be eaten by livestock and is nutritious for them.  It's roots can extend 6 to 8 feet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


 I think I finally saw and captured a Wood Duck couple.  The male is not as handsomely colored as what I have seen in photos but the female definitely has the eye spot.  I saw these on one of the many ponds around the area I was staying in Minnesota.

Monday, September 11, 2023


 Happy Monday!  On the way home from Minnesota, I passed by a field of Sunflowers that were actually still blooming.  On the way up, all the ones I passed, the heads were down and done.  I just had to stop and take a few quick photos of which this is one.  Sunflowers make me happy so a good way to start the week.

Sunday, September 10, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I was in Minnesota at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion which is held every year over Labor Day Weekend.  The coal we were using for the locomotive at the Ortner Railroad, a 14 inch gauge, was very dusty so would create a lot of smoke when you were feeding your fire.  I liked how the sunlight highlighted it in this image.  

I created a video of the ride around it's area and it can be seen HERE

Saturday, September 9, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  The farm on the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion grounds is very picturesque in my opinion.  It's the Horse Drawn Equipment area and is kept looking very olden days.  The fact that it sits beside a lovely pond just adds to it.  I took this image one day after my shift on the 353 as I was waking back to get my bike.

Friday, September 8, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  A short week due to the holiday but they always seem longer for some reason.  I caught this image a little while ago of a Tiger Swallowtail flying to my Budhelia or Butterfly Bush.  I got lucky in that it was even in focus!  😁  I chose this image for today due to the bokeh of the grass behind because Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well!

Thursday, September 7, 2023


 Todays image is one I took earlier this year.  This is a Blue Damselfly that had a look at me while took it's photo.  It was sitting on a leaf over at the Gazebo Pond and stayed still for a portrait.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Dotted Gayfeather which has been blooming in my area for the past couple of weeks.  It is also called Blazing Star and is in the Sunflower family.  It blooms in August and September.  It is very drought resistant due to it's taproot that can reach 15 feet deep!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023


 Today's image is another of the juvenile Mississippi Kite that I got to watch climb a tree and then photograph as it sat and rested and looked for mom and dad. 😀 You can just see the mask over the eyes developing.  Adults are not striped either, they are solid colors, grey and white.

Monday, September 4, 2023


 Happy Monday, hope you have a good week!  It's Labor Day in the US, so, a holiday for many.  This is a close up of one of my Rudbekia blooms.  I'll be interested to see if it survives this heat we are experiencing once again.  Sigh

Sunday, September 3, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday once again here on the Blog.  Today's post goes back to my Garden Railway once again.  It cooled off and I was able to put out some buildings and autos to spruce up the area.  I have a video that highlights this area as well which you can view HERE.  The Sawmill, I built it over the winter and the works inside were 3D printed by the hubster using some plans I purchased off the internet.  It's lacking a steam engine to drive it, we are still working on that.  It will be just for show and not actually work but...

Saturday, September 2, 2023


 I was out watering one day and heard this loud buzzing and found this Cicada in the Mimosa tree.  I actually took this image with my phone and was impressed it turned out well.

Friday, September 1, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Happy 1st day of September too!  Yikes the year is moving along!  Hope it cools down a bit and we get some rain.  Today's image is a Question Mark Butterfly that was very well posed to show the difference in the inside and outside of it's wings and also the mark on it's wing where it get's it's name from.  Due to the bubbly bokeh I chose this image for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 31, 2023


 I had not seen any of my Leopard frog buddies for a while.  I finally saw one one day while I was out watering so quick went to get my camera.  When I came back, it had moved into the rocks to try to hide from me.  I think it thought it was being very stealthy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is a new one for me.  I have seen the plant a lot but never see it open.  This is a Venice Mallow which is also called "Flower of the Hour" due to the very short time that the flower is open.  I got lucky early one day while I watering my garden in the morning before the 110 heat hit.  It is an escaped ornamental from southern Europe.  It blooms July through September and it's seeds can remain viable for years.  I think the seed capsules are quite interesting looking as well, a couple of which can be seen.

I have also updated my Wildflowers By Color Page for White with this flower.  Don't forget these pages are available to help identify some wildflowers you may be seeing.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


 This is an image of a Red Tail Hawk I was able to get while it was sitting in a tree looking for lunch one day this Spring while I was out on a ride.

Monday, August 28, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Today's image is one I took this summer of my Pickerel Rush in the Gazebo pond.  I loved the light on this that created the shadow of the flower on the leaf.

Sunday, August 27, 2023


 It's steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I thought I would go back to full size trains this week.  This is another image of the beautiful 1800s style locomotive that I got to ride behind in Pennsylvania this summer.  This was at the North Central Railroad.  The station there at New Freedom is beautifully restored as well.

Saturday, August 26, 2023


 I had heard about birds molting but I had never seen one before.  I saw this Bluejay a couple of times last week.  If I hadn't seen or heard about what was going on, I would have thought it was diseased.  Not a good look for it.  😁

Friday, August 25, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  As I write this we should be coming off another extremely hot week so I feel I will be in need of something that makes me happy.  A sunflower with a Metallic Bee and wonderful bokeh should do it.  Sharing this image with great bubbly bokeh for today too because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 24, 2023


 My Surprise Lilies really surprised me this year.  About 3 of them came up and I thought that would be it.  We had a rain about a week and a half ago and a whole bunch more popped up.  The Sphinx Moths were really enjoying them and were quickly flitting about and dipping inside for some nectar.  It was fairly difficult to capture one but I managed a few good shots.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😃  It's also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again.  Today's flower is Cutleaf Ironplant which I always have issues with distinguishing from Gumweed.  This flowers May through September and I found this plant at the end of July.  They are woody when dry which is where the "Iron" part of the name comes from.  They have a taproot which can grow to 4 feet long making them very drought hardy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


 I realized that I never posted the result of the juvenile Mississippi Kite climbing the tree.  I took some images of it after it made it up into the tree and was sitting and resting after it's ordeal.  It was pretty hot out that day so it was panting a bit as it breathed.

Monday, August 21, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Recently my Hibiscus bloomed this perfect flower and I was able to capture it.  Usually it will have some blemish on it from an insect or whatever.  I love the dual color of the petals too.

Sunday, August 20, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I did some more work on the Garden Railway.  Did some more weeding and put down some indoor/outdoor carpet to resemble grass for a couple areas.  Still putting more buildings out but got a few set out for photo taking.  Here is the steam train passing by the freight and passenger depots.  I am building a new water tower, the last got devastated by termites, a bird feeder stands in for now.

I have an updated video available HERE if you would like to take a look.

Saturday, August 19, 2023


 Bike riding allows for opportunities for photos.  I bought a better chest harness for my DSLR which makes it easier to bring it along with me.  Having my regular camera allows for photos like this.  There is a stream that I ride by every now and then that is a good place to find Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies like this one.  While phone cameras have improved I still get the best images from my actual camera.

Friday, August 18, 2023


 TGIF, it's Friday!  I have been able to see a good number of butterflies this summer which has been quite enjoyable.  This is a lovely Tiger Swallowtail that was visiting my Butterfly Milkweed in one of my gardens not that long ago.  There was some nice bokeh in the image so I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 17, 2023


 While riding my bike I have been able to see and capture a Collared Lizard.  They are fairly common in my area but I don't often see them as they blend in very well.  I have seen this one in the same general spot so it must live nearby.  I believe this is a female as the bodies of the males are usually a much brighter green.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  This is one of my favorites and I would like to grow it even though it is prickly.  This is Prickly Poppy that I spotted while on a recent bike ride.  I need to remember to go back in about a month and collect some seed.  They bloom June through September and can grow as tall as 5 feet!  I'll have to pick a good spot where I don't have to get too close but can enjoy the flowers.  😊

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


 I was able to get a shot of a Great Blue Heron recently where it was not flying away from me.  This one actually did fly off from where I originally spotted it while on a bike ride recently.  I got lucky as it landed in a better spot in which to capture it.  The first place I saw it, I would have been shooting through a chain link fence.  Sometimes I do get lucky.

Monday, August 14, 2023


 Happy Monday!  I am growing a few Sunflowers this year, most of which are a red variety.  This one is such a deep red that it appears almost black.  It's quite lovely, I think.

Sunday, August 13, 2023


 I have been able to get my Garden Railway weeded and cleaned up enough on the main loop to get trains running this year for the first time in several years!  There is not enough time in a day.  Anyway, this is one of my battery powered locos and is the oldest locomotive I have.  It's from Aristocraft and I got it when I was first getting into Garden Railway operations or what is also known as G Scale.  I was really inspired to get my railroad up and going after going to a Garden Rwy Tour in Kansas City early this summer.

If you would like to see what my Garden Railway looks like, I have uploaded a video HERE from a couple of test runs I was doing.  I still need to put my buildings out and clean up the ones that are out.  😃

Saturday, August 12, 2023


 I have been able to see a good amount of butterflies at various times this summer.  On this particular day, a Great Spangled Fritillary was visiting my Zinnias.