Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 Today's date is a palindrome date.  😀  It's also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Pink Smartweed, a fairly new one for me.  I haven't been able to find out why it is called Smartweed.  It blooms July through October in moist disturbed areas like ravines and streams.  It is in the Buckwheat Family.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


 Spring is finally here officially!  Today's image is another of an event I have seen and been able to capture a couple of times now.  Kestrels can hover in the air while hunting.  It is quite cool how they can stay in one place and then dive down to catch their prey.  I recently saw a close up video of this on YouTube that was pretty cool.  Here is the link:  Hovering Kestrel on YouTube

Monday, March 20, 2023


 Happy Monday!  This is one more of the snowflakes that I captured in late February.  I was very pleased with how this one turned out.  This was a 12 image stack for focus.  I liked the bits of color in the lower branches especially the lower right orange flash of color.

Sunday, March 19, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another of the Queen of Steam, Norfolk & Western 611 on the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania.  It has been spending some time out there running excursions and raising money for it's new home in Virginia.  This locomotive is a Northern 4-8-4 type like UP's 844 I shared last week but it has been shrouded.  They did that to some locomotives to make them look more futuristic and streamlined in the later days of steam.  It was built in 1950 and retired only nine years later.  Due to it's excellent condition it was donated to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Saturday, March 18, 2023


 I captured this cutie while it sat for a second in the Mulberry tree.  This is a Black Cap Chickadee who is another bird that never sits very still.  They are constantly moving in the branches down to the seed and back again.  I got lucky when I was ready when it sat for a moment in-between this movement.

Friday, March 17, 2023


 It's Friday and Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  It's the last official day of my Spring Break.  Sigh.  Anyway, today's image is another to remind of summer.  I captured a Monarch enjoying my Cone Flowers in my yard this past summer.  Our temps keep bouncing around from nice and warm to cold, really looking forward to them stabilizing out on warm.  The bokeh is created from the leaves from the trees behind the flowers.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


 Today's image is one I captured while on a bike ride last summer.  There is a spot where I can rely on seeing Jewelwing Damsels.  It is by a creek and I captured this one perched on a leaf above it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my new favorites, Sulphur Cinquefoil.  It blooms in May and June usually.  I transplanted some in my yard and so far it seems to have survived the winter so I am pretty happy.  They are in the Rose family and I find them quite lovely.  Unfortunately deer like them so I will probably have to find a way to protect it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


 I like to photograph birds in natural settings and usually when I get a chance to capture a hawk not in flight it is perched on an electrical pole.  I got lucky on this day last week and captured this Red Tail Hawk sitting in a tree.  It sat there for quite a while and allowed me to get relatively close which I thought was odd but when it flew off I saw why, it had a snake it had captured.  Good hawk.  😋

Monday, March 13, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Really hoping we are done with winter but here is another snowflake image I was able to capture in late February.  This one was 22 images stacked together for focus.  I was shooting at F 4.5 with a shutter speed of 1/200.  This flake had some pieces stuck to it which is part of the reason it needed a good amount of images to bring it into focus.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is one that I took a number of years ago on a trip to Colorado.  Former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad locomotive 1819 sits at the Colorado Welcome Center in the town of Lamar.  It's a Prairie type 2-6-2 locomotive that was built in 1906 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works.  It was retired in 1953 and donated to Lamar in 1956.

Saturday, March 11, 2023


 Today starts my Spring Break!  I thought I would share another of my male Cardinal images.  This was taken a second or two before the image I have shared last weekend.  It's interesting how fast they change in position and seemingly, their expression as well.

Friday, March 10, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is a subject that I love to photograph and usually provides some great bokeh.  Bokeh is important today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  This is a 12 Spot Dragonfly once again showing off why it has that name.  😊

Thursday, March 9, 2023


 Today's image is one that I hope to see more of this coming summer.  This is a Monarch butterfly that I was able to capture in the Mulberry tree.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again!  This weeks flower is a fun one to see.  They seem rather dainty but also seem to last longer than some.  These are Clasping Coneflowers and they bloom May through July.  I photographed this group in June of last summer.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


 Another bird that I find hard to catch is today's image.  Downy Woodpeckers always seem to be on the move and rarely sit still so I have to be very fast to catch one.  I got lucky one day when it was moving around the Mulberry tree on it's way to the birdseed below.

Monday, March 6, 2023


Happy Monday!  Hopefully we are done with snow now but I did have another opportunity to photograph some flakes this winter.  I captured these two flakes on the back window of my car.  I liked the faint reflection off to the left side of each flake due to photographing them on glass.  This is a focus stack of 17 images.

Sunday, March 5, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of Union Pacific locomotive 844 as it left my town in Kansas several years back on one of it's excursions.  It's always fun to have a steam train pass through town.  844 is a Northern type locomotive meaning it has a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement.  It was delivered to the UP in 1944 and was never retired.

Saturday, March 4, 2023


 Today's image is one I thought turned out rather cute.  I was taking pictures of this male Cardinal in the Mulberry tree checking out the food below and captured it with it's head turned in a cute way.  It almost looks like it is looking at me but I am not sure it could see me, I take these photos from inside the house.

Friday, March 3, 2023


 It's a double digit day today!  It's also Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well so I have chosen this image to share today.  This is another image of the leaves of my Amur Maple tree after they turned red this past autumn.  The leaves from other trees behind are providing the nice bokeh.

Thursday, March 2, 2023


 It's a Palindrome Number day!  😃  I took this image a couple of weeks ago now.  I processed it a couple of different ways and had a hard time deciding which I liked better as they both had pros and cons.  Both were stacked from 9 images.  One I basically just processed like a normal photo and this one I did the techniques used by some astrophotographers.  I think this image had a bit more detail in it.  This is the Orion Nebula which is located in the Sword of Orion when you are looking at it.  It can be seen with the naked eye if you are in a fairly dark location.  I took this image using my Pentax K3 III camera with a manual 300mm lens and astrotracer which allows me to take the 10 second exposures that I did to not blur them from the movement of the stars during that time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


 Happy 1st of March!  Spring should be on the way soon!  Today is also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's flower is one that is very important.  This is Common Milkweed, the one that Monarchs need.  I was fortunate to get some to transplant well.  I captured the flower while it was in a lovely ball state.  The flower doesn't last long unfortunately and it has a fairly strong smell while blooming.  It blooms June through August.  This photo has some great bokeh too and bokeh is great any day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


 It's the last day of February already.  Today's image is another I have been able to capture of a Red Tail Hawk.  The opportunities have been pretty good this past winter.  I captured this one in some nice light back in December as it flew by.

Monday, February 27, 2023


 My Amaryllis finally bloomed again for the first time in 2 years.  I actually have a couple of bulbs that have put up a flower spike.  This was the first to open though.  The time they spent outside this year must have been what they needed to thrive.  I captured them against my black felt background.

Sunday, February 26, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Todays image is from this past October when the Abilene & Smoky Valley railroad was operating former ATSF locomotive 3415.  It was it's last weekend of operation before it went in for it's FRA inspection and tube replacement.  I decided to give this image a B&W treatment to give it a rather timeless look.  It was waiting to head out with it's dinner train.

Saturday, February 25, 2023


 I captured this image of a Blue Jay in the Mulberry tree a while back.  I thought it looked rather cute as it was looking at the food below.  I have a mix that includes peanuts that they like to come and get.

Friday, February 24, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  I am looking forward to summer and hoping for more sights like this.  This is a Monarch that was visiting my Zinnias.  The lovely bokeh was created by some Marigolds in another spot.  Sharing this image today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, February 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  Today's image is of a dragonfly that is very common to my area.  This is a Twelve Spot showing off very well why it is named as it is.  😁

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


 Today is a consecutive number day.  😀  It's also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog as well.  Today's image relates to last weeks image.  This is Musk Thistle or Nodding Thistle after it has fully opened.  They look like a big pink puffball.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


 Today's image is another of the hovering Kestral photos I was able to get recently.  It is very cool to see them do this and then dive for a meal.

Monday, February 20, 2023


 Happy Monday!  I loved the light on these Penstemons that grow by my Gazebo pond.  This is basically straight out of the camera with only a slight crop and resize.  I am not sure of the variety of Penstemon but they spread well or maybe too much depending on your point of view. 😉  I planted some in another area in the hope that they would spread there as well.

Sunday, February 19, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I am still back in the archives.  Today's image is from a trip to Nebraska a few years back.  This is a Big Boy that is on display in Omaha.  It is one of 20 that were built and operated between 1941 and 1959.  It is on display in Kenefick Park named for a former Union Pacific President, John C Kenefick.  He had a dream for 2 of the largest locomotives to be perched overlooking Omaha and in 2005 this became a reality.  4023 is partnered with diesel locomotive Centennial 6900.  If you enter Omaha on I-80 from the east, you can see them above you in the park.

Saturday, February 18, 2023


 I find these birds so cute but they are rather difficult to capture for me because they move around the tree so quickly.  This is a Nuthatch.  They can be seen moving face first down a tree.  I got lucky and this one paused long enough for a few shots.

Friday, February 17, 2023


 TGIF!  It's Friday, we made it!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well and I have a lovely bubbly bokeh image for today.  This is my water Iris that I have been cleaning up all the dead leaves from in my pond the past couple of weeks.  They are quite lovely when in bloom and since I have been cleaning them up over the winter they have really thrived.  They are also known as Bog Iris.

Thursday, February 16, 2023


 We are supposed to have snow today, we shall see if it happens as I get these ready to post early.  I am dreaming of summer these days.  This is my favorite grass as I find it very photogenic especially when backlit by the sun.  This is June Grass that I photographed last June out on Konza Prairie.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is considered invasive but I find it a lovely one.  This is Musk Thistle or Nodding Thistle.  It can spread very rapidly and crowd out other vegetation.  It can even seed after being cut down if not thoroughly destroyed.  I find the flower head quite interesting though with it's patterns, it's very photogenic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


 Today's image is one that I was able to capture as a Red Tail Hawk took off from a light pole along the street I was walking on.

Monday, February 13, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Today's image is of a flower that took FOREVER to bloom.  I planted this in late June due to some extenuating circumstances.  By frost time they still had not grown very much and I couldn't bear to let them die so I put them in a small pot and brought them into the office.  It just bloomed 2 weeks ago!  How crazy is that.  I figured it wouldn't bloom till I put it back outside but it surprised me.  This is a Rudbekia which is a variety of Black Eyed Susan.

Sunday, February 12, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another archive one, this time from the railroad at Mount Pleasant Iowa, the Midwest Central.  This is the #6 also known as the Maria and is the flagship of the railroad.  It is an 1891 Baldwin Works 2-6-0 from South Carolina.  It was restored and first operated on the MC in 1960.  I took this image of it from the cab of their Shay locomotive several years ago while there for one of their Halloween runs.

Saturday, February 11, 2023


 This is another of the Cardinal images I was able to capture fairly recently when we had a bit of snow.  This male Cardinal was taking refuge in the Trumpet Vine in the backyard and made for a lovely subject.

Friday, February 10, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Friday's Are Bokehlicious as well so I have the perfect image for today.  I took this image of one of my large yellow Marigold flowers and the shorter ones created some great bokeh.  All of these were volunteer flowers.  There were quite a lot and I am wondering how many will regrow for this year.

Thursday, February 9, 2023


 I am really looking forward to summer and seeing these guys around again.  This is a Twelve Spot Dragonfly that I was able to capture rather close up.  Dragonflies and Damselflies are very cool creatures in my opinion.  They can be fairly tolerant of having their photo taken.  I love their huge eyes, very alien looking.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I am looking forward to warmer weather and wildflowers growing again.  In the meantime, this is one that generally blooms later in the summer in my area but can be found June through October.  This is Snow On the Mountain which is in the Spurge family and is related to Poinsettia.  I find the plant rather lovely, it is not a good cut one though due to the milky sap it exudes when cut.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


 We see these birds in the winter in our area usually but this one I captured while on a walk in St Joseph Missouri one afternoon.  A Bald Eagle was sitting in a tree looking for a meal in a field.

Monday, February 6, 2023


 Happy Monday!  I thought I would share another snowflake image that I was able to capture the day after Christmas.  I liked that it was 2 different, pretty complete snowflakes stuck together.  This is a 14 image focus stack.  

Sunday, February 5, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another from the archives.  This is the Union Pacific's Challenger locomotive when it was traveling through western Kansas some years back and I drove to see it.  3985 is an articulated (hinged to allow it to go through curves) locomotive with a wheel arrangement of 4-6-6-4.  The 2 sets of 6 driving wheels have their own steam cylinders.  It was built in 1943 and retired in 1962.  It was restored in 1981 and ran excursion duties until 2020 and was the largest operating steam locomotive until the Big Boy. UP donated the locomotive to the Railroading Heritage of Midwest America who plan to restore it back to operating condition and it was moved there last year.

Saturday, February 4, 2023


 I have been able to get some really great Cardinal images recently, for me anyway, nice and sharp and well posed.  I could do Cardinal Saturday for the month at least.  This male was perched in the Mulberry tree after a light snow.

Friday, February 3, 2023


 It's another interesting digit day!  😁  It's also Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is from my garden a couple of weeks ago.  I have some Teasels that dried and they had snow hats on.  LOL  I chose this image for today because of the nice bokeh in it created by the other Teasels and dried foliage behind because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, February 2, 2023


 Happy Groundhog Day!  Hopefully spring is on the way.  Today is also a kind of interesting digit day.  😋  Today's image is of a butterfly that is usually the first one I see each year those this past year I was surprised by a Swallowtail.  This is a lovely Buckeye butterfly on the the Ironweed that I captured a while back.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


 Happy first day of February!  Spring should be on the way in not too long a time in my area.  It's also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog.  Today's image is a bit different.  I took tis photo very recently.  This is Canada Goldenrod in winter after the flowers have dried.  The stalks stay green for quite a while into winter.  It normally blooms July through September.  It is falsely accused of causing Hay Fever.  It's pollen is spread by insects and not the wind.