Sunday, December 31, 2023


 It's the last Steamy Sunday of 2023!  What an interesting date to end the year on as well.  Happy New Year's Eve everyone!  Hope next year will be better than this one for all of us.  Today's image is a composite one.  The locomotive wasn't even taken in the evening and the fireworks are from the last time I was able to see and photograph some which was a couple of years ago now.  Hope you enjoy it.


Saturday, December 30, 2023


 The day after Christmas it snowed again.  It was fairly warm out so depending on where the flakes landed they were melting pretty quickly.  Usually I stack several images for focus.  These flakes were melting too quickly for that and fortunately I was able to get most of them in focus in just one shot.


Friday, December 29, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF and the last Friday of 2023.  Today's image is one that I captured of a Goldfinch siting in a Bradford Pear tree with some lovely bokeh behind created by the autumn color leaves.  Sharing today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!


Thursday, December 28, 2023


 We had snow again and it's very wintry now so wishing spring was here.  I felt like a nice butterfly shot for the day.  This one had a bonus of a Honeybee as well coming in to enjoy the Crab Apple blossoms.  The butterfly is one of the earliest I usually see in spring, a Red Admiral.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog and the last one of 2023.  I will share one of my favorite flowers that always make me happy to end the year.  These are Black Eyed Susans that were blooming along the road in June.  They usually bloom May through September.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


 Back to "regular" type photos now.  😊  Today's image is another of the Kestrel I was able to capture while it was hunting that I saw on my trip to Missouri at Thanksgiving.  I was able to pull off to the side of the road and get my camera and take several images before it moved on.  Very cool to see.

Monday, December 25, 2023


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, it's Christmas day!  Today's image is looking back towards the entrance to the Grand Plaza where the light show was.  It was all quite beautiful and magical looking with all the lights and decorations.  

Sunday, December 24, 2023


 Happy Christmas Eve to those who celebrate!  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Sharing something a bit different for the day.  High above your head in the KC Union Station near the model trains that were on display and over the vintage train ride that was available for children was a Christmas train.  It had Santa sitting in it and waiving and he was animatronic but looked incredibly lifelike which didn't really come through in the photo, I don't think.  Anyway, the train was a nice looking realistic steam train I thought.

Saturday, December 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day today!  😀  Today's image is one that I took on the way home from Union Station.  We stopped in Lawrence KS to visit with some friends and on the way to their house we stopped and saw the Santa Fe train in the park.  It was nicely lit for Christmas to appear as though it is moving and the smoke was flowing.  The locomotive is one that will probably never run again but it is kept looking nice with paint so the rust is kept more at bay and makes for a nice display.  I have a very short video of it HERE.

Friday, December 22, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF and the start of my winter break!  Because Friday's Are Bokehlicious, I am sharing this photo I took as I was going inside Union Station.  In a small garden area outside there were these flowers I was very surprised to see still blooming.  I believe they are a type of Aster but which type I am uncertain, possibly New England Aster.  Whatever they are they usually do not bloom in December!  Kansas City has had very cold weather as well, at least into the low 20s.  The area is a bit protected and has a lot of concrete around which may keep the temperature up.  Whatever the reason, they were lovely to see.

Thursday, December 21, 2023


 Out in the main area at Union Station, it was quite decorated up for Christmas as well.  This was a group of trees that greeted you as you enter with Mickey Mouse dressed as a railroad engineer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I am going to do something a bit different since it is the Christmas Season and highlight a different area's wildflower.  The Poinsettia grows natively in Mexico and South America and it grows in moist ravines as a shrub on rocky hillsides.  It was named for Joel R Poinsett who popularized it while working as a minister to Mexico in the late 1820s.  Many people unfortunately, throw away their plants after the holiday season is over but they can be kept for quite some time.  They supposedly need special care to return to their red state but I have never done anything special with mine and they have always turned back red for me and re-flowered.  The flowers are the very small yellow parts, the red are actually the leaves.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


 When you are in the light show at Union Station there is a water fountain show.  They have quite a number of fountain spouts that shoot up jets of water in different amounts and directions in time to Christmas music.  It's pretty impressive and was quite lovely to watch.  I have a short video here where you can see a bit of the show.  Wish I had caught a bit more of the end.  Ah well.  It can be seen HERE.

Monday, December 18, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!.  It's the week leading up to Christmas if you celebrate and hope you have your Christmas shopping done.  😅  I am going to celebrate the season by sharing some images I took on a visit to Union Station in Kansas City last week to view their light show and model railroads.  This first image is as you entered the light show.  It reminded of walking through a stargate if you were a fan of that show.  


Sunday, December 17, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Longing for spring and winter hasn't even started.  This is an image I took this past spring of my G Scale locomotive and it's train in front of the mini Lilac I have growing in the railroad.  The water tower is actually a bird feeder that I have yet to use for it's original purpose as it fits in perfectly on the railroad.  😁

Saturday, December 16, 2023


 This is another of the snowflakes I captured during our first snowfall of the season.  This one shows off a bit how most of them weren't great as they had a good amount of rime on them.  This one has it on the outer branches so that they kind of look to be coated in sugar.  This is a focus stack of 8 images.  There was a small chip off to the left edge that never formed any branches or could be a bit of a branch that broke off.

Friday, December 15, 2023


 TGIF, it's Friday!!  Today's image is another I took during the day we had some lovely light hoar frost in our area.  The dried Teasels in the yard looked like they had a nice coating of sugar.  Sharing this image today due to the lovely bokeh behind because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, December 14, 2023


 I felt like sharing a butterfly today.  This is an image I captured this summer of a Red Spotted Purple that was enjoying the Butterfly Milkweed in my garden one day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites, Sulphur Cinquefoil.  I have a plant in one area of my yard that I transplanted from an area that was being mowed all the time.  So far, it has not bloomed yet, not sure why but the plant is doing well so hopefully this year.  It has such pretty flowers.  This is an example I found along where we bicycle at times.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  Today's image is one I took last winter but I have never shared for some reason.  This is a lovely male Cardinal sitting in the Mulberry tree and looking rather cold.  It was during one of the light dustings of snow we got last winter.  He doesn't look very happy to me.

Monday, December 11, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  I thought I would start out the week with some lovely bright flowers.  I brought my Gerbera plants inside for the winter and they are doing fairly well.  They are still flowering.  This is an image of a couple of the pink blossoms that were rather perfect.  

Sunday, December 10, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back several years to a visit I made to the Colorado Railroad Museum.  I need to get back there as they have changed things quite a bit.  Anyway, this is Chicago, Burlington and Quincy locomotive 5629.  It was built in 1940 and was used in heavy freight and passenger service until the early 1960s.  It is a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement, also known as a Northern, and is the heaviest steam locomotive at the museum.  It was moved to the museum in 1963.

Saturday, December 9, 2023


 So today I am sharing another of the snowflakes I was able to capture during our day of snow where we actually got almost 7 inches!  The most we have received at one time since 2014!  Anyway, these 2 fell fairly close together so this is a 16 image focus stack of which I could have used a few more.  Ah well.

Friday, December 8, 2023


 TGIF, it's Friday!  Today's image is an autumn one that I actually took last year.  This is an image of one of the bushes by the Gazebo pond that turns a red color in the fall.  It is very thorny as well.  Not sure if it's a Burning Bush though.  Anyway, I loved the color of the leaves and with the nice bubbly bokeh I had to share it for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, December 7, 2023


 I was able to see Sphinx Moths fairly often this past year.  When I took this image one was visiting the fragrant blooms of my Surprise Lilies.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is St. John's-wort.  It usually blooms June through August and I captured this in early June.  In the western part of the state it is becoming a problem weed due to it's spread.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


 Last week I shared the first American Kestrel that I was able to see an capture in my area.  While I was traveling for Thanksgiving, I had just passed into Missouri when I saw a Kestrel hovering off to the side.  I quickly pulled over and grabbed my camera and was rewarded in that it stayed there hunting for a while longer.  I was able to get some of my closest and best shots ever of which this is one of them.  Not sure what it was watching but it never seemed to swoop down and get anything.

Monday, December 4, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  We had a neat and rare occurrence on Saturday.  We had some fog in our area which created Hoar frost!  It wasn't as large as some I have seen in the past but it made for some nice photos of a few things.  This is some Bittersweet that I captured in my yard that looks like it is sugar coated.  This is a focus stack of 2 images to get more detail.


Sunday, December 3, 2023


 It's an interesting number date today.  😀  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to October and Abilene Kansas.  On October 7, I was in Abilene helping out at the Heritage Days Festival and the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad was operating it's steam locomotive 3415.  It's a former Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Pacific type locomotive which means it has a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement.  It was operating for it's last weekend before it has to undergo it's 15 year boiler rebuild as required by the FRA. This is it on the way back to the station when the locomotive is pulling the train.  When it heads out it is on the front of the train and then moves around to the rear for the return trip.

Saturday, December 2, 2023


 We had a snow last weekend that was the most snow we have had at one time for quite some time and was quite a surprise due to it coming in November.  We ended up with almost 7 inches of it.  Most was kind of crappy and broken or rimey but I did get to capture a few that were nice.  This is one that I processed out of 4 images that turned out fairly well even though it had a bunch of rime on it.

Friday, December 1, 2023


 Happy December 1st!  Happy Friday as well, TGIF!  Today's image is one that I got while I was at the in-laws in Missouri.  They have Blue Jays that visit for peanuts and water.  The Bradford Pear tree provides a lovely backdrop with some great bokeh.  Sharing this image today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 30, 2023


 It's the last day of November, only 25 days until Christmas!  For today's picture, I saw this guy about two and a half weeks ago on a bike ride.  It was sitting across the road from a fairly large pond.  It may have been coming from a pond a little way behind it.  It was nice and bright and fairly large and kind of surprising to see at this time of year.  It's a Painted Turtle.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  In my area I usually only see Heath Asters around.  While out riding one day in October, these caught my eye as I rode past due to their purple color.  These are Aromatic Asters.  They bloom in September and October normally.  These were very short due to growing along a sidewalk and being mowed fairly often.  They normally are 6 to 18 inches tall and these were only about 2 and spread out.  They spread by creeping rhizomes.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


 Today's image is of my first Kestrel sighting for this season.  I was very happy to see one back in our area.  I have heard that they are having issues and could become very endangered soon.  

Monday, November 27, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  I thought I would start off the week with a butterfly.  This is from this past spring and is of the butterfly I usually get to see first, a Red Admiral.  It was enjoying the Ornamental Pear Tree that we have on the west part of our land.


Sunday, November 26, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to 2021 in Pennsylvania when I got to see Norfolk & Western locomotive 611 at the Strasburg Railroad.  611 is a gorgeous 4-8-4 locomotive known as the Queen of Steam.  It was on loan for a fund raising trip in PA from the Virginia Museum of Transportation.  It returned home in the latter half of 2023.  I have a short Video of it HERE while it was at the end point of Paradise PA where the locomotive moves around the train to head back to Strasburg.  Locomotives pull the train out backwards from Strasburg as s being shown in the photo for today.

Saturday, November 25, 2023


 About a week and a half ago now, there was a stunning sunrise that I got to se while on my way to work.  It was rapidly changing colors and went from these lovely pinks to a more bright orange by the time I got to work.  This is looking over the pasture at the 4H Center that I pass by every day.


Friday, November 24, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is a lovely autumn one but I actually took it last year.  My Mums did not flower very well this year due the drought and my lack of care.  They did live so hopefully they will recover and do OK next year.  Sharing this image for today due to the lovely bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😄  It's also Thanksgiving here in the US.  If turkey really was served during the first one, this would be more like what they would have eaten than the turkey we are used to these days.  I captured this guy strutting his stuff this past summer in my front yard.  The ladies are just out of sight and could have, seemingly, cared less.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is a little different due to the fact that it was taken past bloom.  These are Asters, most likely Heath Asters which are the most common in our area, after they have bloomed and have dried out.  They are shorter than normal Asters, most likely because they grew late due to the field being worked by farmers.  Farmers would prefer not to have it in their fields as it lowers the quality of their hay.  I think they are very photogenic flowers whether in bloom or past where they develop these puffballs to spread their seeds.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


 Today's image is one I took in Minnesota though I am sure if I looked, could have taken here.  It was a very good example of grass in bloom that I happened to see one day while photographing dragonflies.  I am not very familiar with grass types so not sure what this is.  I was just interested by the tiny flowers on it.

Monday, November 20, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week, the last full week of November already!  Time is flying.  Todays image is of a little spider that was photobombing my Cosmos photos one day so I decided to capture it a bit closer.  I believe it is a Crab Spider.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of our restored 1947 Ottaway locomotive and it's train in autumn on the C&H Railroad outside Topeka Kansas.  It was a lovely warm day in November last weekend and we ran our locomotive with the newly finished cars for friends and family.  The cars have been redone with wood siding to make them fit in more with the style of the locomotive.  The cars are named for the Yellowstone Survey people to make it a national park, the Moran (Thomas) - painter on the survey and Hayden (Ferdinand) - Leader.  Our locomotive is named the William Henry Jackson in honor of our favorite photographer who was on the survey as well.  We had a great time running that day and really appreciate the C&H letting us do it that day and the friends that helped load and unload as well.

There is a short video of the locomotive running on part of the railroad HERE.

The image was taken by a lovely tree in autumn colors behind the station.

Saturday, November 18, 2023


 Last Thursday morning as I was heading into work, there was a really gorgeous sunrise.  The colors were really vibrant and there was a beam of sunlight visible as well.  I am guessing this was due to how the clouds were formed.  The radio announcer I was listening to was even mentioning that people should go look at the sunrise because it was so lovely that morning.

Friday, November 17, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I am really missing these flowers already.  They put on a lovely show in late autumn, they were blooming like crazy.  These Cosmos were very photogenic as well.  I had to share this image due to the lovely bubbly bokeh, my favorite, because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, November 16, 2023


 This is an image of a male Collared Lizard I would see while riding my bike on this one road.  I have seen and shared a female from this same spot as well.  The male is more green looking than the female, whose upper body was a lot more tan.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that bloomed late in the summer this year, probably due to our drought, we have now entered Extreme Drought.  Sigh.  Anyway, this is Ivy Leaf Morning Glory.  It normally blooms July through September.  Pheasants and Quails will eat it's seeds.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 It's November so I'm sharing an appropriate bird, a wild Turkey.  I captured this one out in my backyard walking around on my trampoline.  I was hoping to see it jump but no such luck.  😋

Monday, November 13, 2023


 Happy Monday and happy New Week!  I am starting off the week with a butterfly, actually 2 butterflies.  These are a couple of Painted Lady butterflies that were enjoying my Lantana in a pot on my deck this autumn before the big frost days came.  I am trying to over winter the Lantana.  I have done it before but it's not really happy about it.  We shall see how it goes.

Sunday, November 12, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to early July in Pennsylvania when I was visiting the Northern Central Railroad.  They operate a gorgeous locomotive called the York which is actually a fairly newly built replica.  It was a nice ride through some Pennsylvania countryside though a bit short.  I would love to take a longer ride sometime.  They travel along the Heritage Rail Trail, a biking/hiking trail that was being well used the day I was there. 

I have shared drone video of this locomotive before but I have some newly shared ground video HERE.