Sunday, April 30, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog on this last day of April!  Today's image once again goes into the archives and back to when we were treated to a steam train coming through our town.  This is Union Pacific locomotive 844 passing under the bridge which has currently been demolished to be replaced.  844 is a Northern type or 4-8-4.  It is the only steam locomotive to have never been retired.  UP immediately put it into excursion trip use after the UP stopped using steam on it's lines.

Saturday, April 29, 2023


 I don't normally take photos of Robins.  I am not sure why, I guess because they are so common and not really a challenge as they aren't as skittish as other birds.  I had to take a few images of this one a couple weeks ago as it bathed at the edge of my gazebo pond.  I enjoyed watching it splash around.

Friday, April 28, 2023


 TGIF, it's Friday!  It's been a week.  I have seen several of these this Spring.  This is a White Lined Sphinx or Hummingbird Moth.  This is probably a once in a lifetime shot if you pay attention to the water drops and where they are coming from.  😉  It was feeding off the Lilacs.  This image had some nice bokeh as well, so, of course, I had to share it for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 27, 2023


 I was very surprised to see Damselflies at my pond already.  It was pretty warm out a week ago or so and there were several flying about around the Cattails and Iris that were coming up.  I was able to capture this one while it paused for a bit.  I loved the light on the wings.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is the Redbud.  These are the flowers from our native trees which are very prolific in our area.  It's beautiful in the spring when they are all in bloom on the hillsides and yards.  Unfortunately, they are basically done blooming already.  I wish they lasted longer.  They did last about 2 weeks though.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


 Today's image is another I was able to capture this spring of the ducks that pass through our area.  I believe these are Green winged Teals that were coming in to land after they took off because I disturbed them.  They basically just flew in a circle and landed back on the pond.  If I were to title this one, it would be Coming In To Land, Flaps Down.  😁

Monday, April 24, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  One of my favorite flowers has been blooming like crazy, Bleeding Heart.  I love the little Heart shaped flowers along their dainty stems.  Bleeding Heart flowers are fairly long lasting, can be several weeks.  In the heat of summer, the foliage may die back but the roots stay alive and the plant will re-emerge in the spring for another show.  They are toxic to people and pets.  The white petal protrusion is what gives them the "bleeding" part of their name.  They can be found in other colors like a deeper red, white (I have seen these in Minnesota), purple and even black.

Sunday, April 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to my favorite railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec.  This is the train on the the Colorado end at the Antonito station as it returned from Chama New Mexico.  After everyone unloaded they would Wye the locomotive to get it turned around for the trip to New Mexico in the morning.  A Wye looks like a Y from above and allows a locomotive or even a whole train if the Wye is large enough to get maneuvered into the opposite direction when a turntable is not available. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023


 It's Earth Day 2023  Today I would like to make the case for Dandelions.  Many people do everything they can to keep them out of their lawns.  A few, like me, let nature take it's course.  This is the reason why.  Monarchs are emerging in our area and looking for food.  Flowers are not very plentiful this early in the year but Dandelions are starting to emerge and as seen here, are providing much needed nutrients to emerging butterflies like Monarchs.  Keep the bees and butterflies in mind while planting your gardens this year.  Try to plant native flowers if you can.  Butterflies enjoy Zinnias as well and they are one of the cheapest and easiest flowers to grow and can be grown easily from seed.  I captured this Monarch last Sunday on a cool spring day after we finally received some rain and the Dandelions popped out like crazy.

Friday, April 21, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is of a group of blooms from my wild Sandhill Plum bush/tree.  It has been made the official state fruit of Kansas.  The skin can be tough and bitter but the fruit itself is sweet and tasty.  I had transplanted these from an area near my land when it was being developed and they have thrived and are blooming like crazy.  The birds like the fruit too unfortunately as I only got one plum last year.  Hope to get more this year.  I chose this image for the lovely soft bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 20, 2023


 I saw my first Honeybees of the year around the Grape Hyacinths.  They really seem to enjoy these flowers or it could just be that there isn't a lot to choose from.  I think it's the former though as I enjoy the smell of them as well.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Smooth Aster.  It blooms in September and October.  They can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


 The wild Turkeys have been back in our yard quite a bit lately.  I was able to get a few images of the male displaying to the ladies.  They didn't seem to care much and just kept looking for bird seed on the ground.  😄

Monday, April 17, 2023


 Happy Monday!  I have had my Hibiscus plants in the house to overwinter.  They have both been dropping leaves like crazy all winter even though I have grow lights on them.  Surprisingly, they have also been flowering better than they have for years.  It's very weird.  This is an image of one of the blooms that I took against a black backdrop.  These are a bit different variety as the bloom is ruffly and I believe called a "Double".

Sunday, April 16, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back several years in the archives to a visit to The Georgetown Loop Railroad in Colorado.  The Loop connects the towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume and is considered an engineering marvel of it's time.  The towns are just 2 miles apart but the elevation change is dramatic, 640 feet so the railroad at one point "loops" around itself to gain elevation and the winding trip is nearly 4.5 miles long.  It's a very enjoyable ride and the scenery is great.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


 I captured this image while on a bike ride last weekend.  I think it is my first Wood Duck capture!  The light wasn't that great this day and was overhead and harsh so created a shadow on it's face but I am pretty sure, by comparing the markings, that the one on the right is a Wood Duck.  Not sure what the one on the left is but it doesn't seem to match what a female looks like. 

Friday, April 14, 2023


 TGIF, it's Friday!  The Grape Hyacinths popped up this past weekend.  This group had some lovely bubbly bokeh behind which made for a perfect photo for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 13, 2023


 I was able to capture my first butterfly of the season.  This is a Red Admiral that was enjoying some ornamental pear blossoms.  These butterflies have been the variety I usually see first in the spring except last year when my first was a Swallowtail.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is a current one of a flower that is one of the earliest to bloom in the spring.  This is Blue Mustard though I think it looks more purple or pink-ish.   It usually flowers May through July but this has been blooming in my yard since the beginning of April.  We have been unseasonably warm this year.  Supposedly if you crush the leaves it will give you an unpleasant odor but I have never tried this.  😅

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


 Today's image is how I often see Red Tail hawks.  They are sitting on the utility poles and then fly off before i get a shot.  The ones I have gotten when flying have been really lucky ones.  This one was part luck and part readiness.  I figured it would fly off and waited to catch a photo.

Monday, April 10, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Today's image is another of my Amaryllis that I was able to capture while 4 flowers were blooming at once.  I again captured them against my black felt background to make them stand out more.

Sunday, April 9, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is a nice steamy shot of our 12 inch gauge Ottaway locomotive as it was blown down in the rain after a day of running.  You "blow down" the boiler to get rid of the pressure but also to remove any scale or debris that may be in the boiler such as rust flakes.  (Hopefully you don't have a lot of those).  Here is a link to some footage I took with our drone of it running before it rained, I may have shared this before.  WHJ Running

Saturday, April 8, 2023


 More birds today!  Today's image is another I was able to capture of the large group of ducks I saw while on a bike ride.  The majority of them took off when I arrived but then half of them just circled around and came back in to land.  I captured this as they were taking off.  Fun to see them run along the top of the water.  Several of these are Green-winged Teals.

Friday, April 7, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  We are starting to be much warmer, we even hit around 90F which is ridiculous for this early.  It is making the bees and butterflies start to emerge though.  This is an older image however of a Bumblebee I captured last summer enjoying the Marigolds.  I chose this image for today due to the lovely bubbly bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 6, 2023


 I felt like sharing another bird today.  This was another cute shot I was able to capture of a Blue Jay.  They don't sit still for long so I need to be very quick.  I captured this one in Missouri at the in-law's home.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  These are the blooms of the Black Locust tree that is found throughout Kansas.  They bloom in May and June and are in the Bean family.  They remind me a bit of Wisteria.  Often, I smell them before I see them as they are quite fragrant while blooming.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  I always thought that these birds did not hang around in winter but maybe it's a sign that their numbers are doing better because I saw them several times.  I was able to capture this pair while out on a bike ride in late winter on a warm day.  These are Western Meadowlarks, the Kansas state bird.

Monday, April 3, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Spring has sort of arrived to my area of the world.  This is my first mini Daffodil to bloom.  These Daffodils are only about 2 inches long, and the whole flower stem is only about 4 inches tall.  I am looking forward to seeing more flowers and signs of spring.

Sunday, April 2, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another nice ride to take in Colorado.  It is in Durango and called the Durango & Silverton.  The scenery on this ride is just gorgeous, most of it takes place alongside the Animas River.  My favorite photographer had photographed this railroad from the spot I was in.  This is my attempt to emulate the style of his photograph.  His photograph is below mine.

Photo by William Henry Jackson

Saturday, April 1, 2023


 In my area of Kansas, with the coming of Spring comes Spring burns.  Ranchers and others burn off the prairie grasses to make the new grass emerge more quickly and to also keep unwanted things like Cedar trees from taking over.  I have always wanted to get some photos of this at night.  It is done at night a lot because the winds have a tendency to die down then and it is easier to control.  I finally had a chance this past Tuesday and this is one of the photos I was able to get.  You can see that it looks as if it is a ring of sorts.  They set back fires to keep it under control and they kind of meet together.  I took this image with my Pixel phone and it actually turned out better than my DSLR.  The Night Sight feature on a Pixel makes for some really nice photos in the dark I think.