Monday, July 31, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  Here is an image of a single Hackberry butterfly that I saw in a sea of them.  I thought it looked rather picturesque in the sunlight with the dark woods behind.

Sunday, July 30, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image once again goes to the Northern Central Railway in New Freedom Pennsylvania.  The locomotive is known as "The York" or "The William H Simpson" and is a replica 4-4-0 American type.  It was built in 2013 by the Kloke Locomotive Works in Elgin Illinois.  Kloke also built it's sister locomotive "Leviathan" which I was able to see during it's maiden outing in Owosso Michigan back in 2009.  They are both gorgeous and impressive steam locomotives.

As mentioned last week, I have some video of it that I shot by drone during my visit on July 1.  Link is HERE.

Saturday, July 29, 2023


 While out in Pennsylvania, I would go walking with my brother a couple times a day.  We are both trying to stay in shape.  This is from a lovely park trail in Thornwald Park, we went to and hiked one evening after dinner.

Friday, July 28, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  This week has been a scorcher, in the 100s with no end in sight so far.  Anyway, the Mississippi Kites are nesting in a tree in the yard again.  Somehow, last weekend, their fledgling ended up on the ground and apparently couldn't take off from there so it ended up climbing up into this tree.  It was interesting to see, I caught a few shots of the last part of it.  I should have been taking video but never think about it.  I had to share this image, partly because it's different and mostly because of the wonderful bubble bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, July 27, 2023


 This tree is on my brother and sister-in-law's property and is just gorgeous.  It is some kind of Maple, I think, that is red all the time, not just in autumn.   I love shooting trees straight up into them for a bit different perspective.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  One of my favorite wildflowers is blooming all over the area.  It's a good year for them as there many large groups.  This is Black-eyed Susan which is part of the Sunflower family.  They bloom May through September.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


 So today's image is one I captured a couple weeks ago and is a common way for me to see these birds.  I captured this Great Blue Heron as it flew away from me from a pond but I was ready and able to capture a shot where I could see it's head too, usually I just get a butt shot.  😅

Monday, July 24, 2023


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  My Cosmos are blooming and looking quite lovely.  This is the second year I have grown them and it has proved to be a good one.  I tried another variety of them this year as well and they are just starting to bloom.  The flower reminds me of a Coreopsis but the foliage is much more lacy.  This is a group of them in my garden by the road.

Sunday, July 23, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😃  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today is another new one for me from Pennsylvania.  This is the Northern Central Railway of York in New Freedom, PA.  It uses a replica 1860s locomotive which is gorgeous and sounds really great as it is chugging along.  The only downside was the length of the ride.  We were only able to go on one of their shorter rides the weekend I was there, the longer ones were charter only.  It is a very nice ride along a popular bike trail.  You can even take your bike on the train and then get off and either ride further on or back, something I would love to do in the future.

I took some Drone footage of this train which can be found HERE as well if you are interested.

Saturday, July 22, 2023


 So last weekend I was out biking and had an encounter with a deer.  It was off in a Soybean field as I came up to a corner and started to move.  I anticipated where it would emerge and was right and was able to capture a few shots of it leaving the field such as this one.  As it got onto the road it stopped and looked at me and proceeded to actually take a few steps toward me while I captured shots of it as it did so.  It was an interesting and surprising experience as I did not expect it to come closer.  It finally had enough of me and turned around and started off in the opposite direction.

Friday, July 21, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I was taking photos of some Daylilies a while back and there was a Metallic Bee that emerged from one of them to get it's picture taken.  Due to the lovely bubble bokeh in this image, I am sharing it for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, July 20, 2023


 I have seen several Monarchs around this year which has been quite nice.  I was able to capture this one on my Cone Flowers/Echinacea recently.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my flowers in my Gazebo pond.  This is Monkey Flower, more specifically Alleghany Monkey Flower.  It flowers June to September.  It is usually 12 to 50 inches tall, mine is mostly about 36 inches tall.  This would have been a great subject for Friday as it is quite Bokehlicious but bokeh is good any day.  😁

Tuesday, July 18, 2023


 While out on a bike ride about a week ago now, I was able to capture my first Killdeer shot for the year and was lucky enough to capture 2 of them at once.  I had heard them many times but had not seen them.  Killdeers are a type of Plover and their name comes from their call.  They nest on the ground and where I saw them, made me wonder if there was a nest close by.  They like gravel areas, open fields, lawns and golf courses. 

Monday, July 17, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  My "baby" Rudbeckia, also known as Black-eyed Susans, plant which went through a couple of starts and grew through the winter is doing very well in it's spot in the garden.  I love the look of them with the dual color petals.

Sunday, July 16, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I have a new railroad to share.  I was out in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago and visited 2 new railroads.  This is the first.  This is the East Broad Top Railroad in Rockville, PA.  The railroad was built in 1872 and is the only surviving 3 foot gauge common carrier east of the Rockies.  It's shops, which date to the 1880s are among the best preserved examples in the US.  The railroad was completed in 1874 and originally serviced the Iron furnaces and coal mines in a 33 mile corridor.  It was sold in 1956 to a private family and then the EBT Foundation purchased it in 2020 and just went back into service after much restoration in 2022.  The railroad has 6 surviving steam locomotives.  No 16, a Mikado type, 2-8-2 wheel arrangement, has been beautifully restored to operation as of February 2023 and is what I got to ride behind.   

One of the drone videos I shot while at the railroad can be viewed here.

Saturday, July 15, 2023


 I was out in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago now.  On the way back from a train ride I stopped and captured this image of the Laughlin Mill in Newville PA.  It was built around 1763.  It has undergone restoration in the past and since 1896 has been used by the water company to pump water to the people in the city.  It is the most photographed mill in Pennsylvania, probably because of it's easy accessibility.

Friday, July 14, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  My Cosmos are blooming nicely and attracting nature.  I was able to capture this Checkerspot butterfly enjoying one of the blooms the other day.  I chose this image for the lovely bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, July 13, 2023


 My Gazebo pond has quite a number of frogs.  It's so funny to walk up to it and hear them all squeak and jump into the water.  Makes me laugh every time.  This is one of them though.  It thought it was being coy and hiding from me but I was able to get a shot of it at almost eye level.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  The Elderberries have been having a good year it seems.  I see them blooming everywhere.  I find them another flower that is very photogenic.  Love the buds when they look like little balls before they open to create a large fluffy flower.  They bloom May through July and are in the Honeysuckle family.  They are a good source of vitamin C and can be eaten raw but are much better in jellies or even wine.  The plant generally only lives about 3 to 5 years but new plants continue to emerge from the roots.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


This is yet another capture I made of the Red Tail Hawk that was observing me while flying overhead.  I had to get it while the getting was good.  😁

Monday, July 10, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  Today's image is one I captured a couple weeks ago now of my Echinacea or Cone Flowers growing in my garden railway.  They are a bit out of proportion but they love it there as they have spread quite a bit.  Anyway, I loved the mood set by the light on this group.

Sunday, July 9, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image once again goes back to Rollag Minnesota.  I was there in June for the WMSTR Steam School.  I took this image as I was putting the locomotive away until it's next outing in July.  Along with the neat buildings that were donated, there was also this very cool Crane car.  The crane even operates on it.  The builder was a man named John Beck and his attention to detail was just outstanding.  So happy that he wanted to donate some of his work to the railroad here, it's a wonderful addition.

Saturday, July 8, 2023


 The farm at Rollag is quite picturesque I think.  The lovely red barns and the white farmhouse seem so representative of farms in the old days.  The pond just adds to the scene for me.  I captured this image one evening on a walk back to my campsite.

Friday, July 7, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  It's also a double digit day. 😀  Today's image is of some lovely Fleabane flowers that I took while it Minnesota.  They seem to have a bit different variety there, they are fluffier looking and have a pinkish cast to them.  I chose this image for today due to the lovely bubble boke because, as you know if you follow this Blog, Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, July 6, 2023


 Last week I was about to go outside and I saw this Sphinx Moth flying around my Day Lilies.  I ran inside to get my camera and was lucky enough that it was still there and I was able to capture some photos of it.  I usually don't see them around when it's so sunny out.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023


 It's another Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  It has been a good year for Yucca, it has bloomed and looked lovely in several places.  Yucca is in the Asparagus family and if you look at an un-bloomed stalk you can definitely see the resemblance.  Yucca roots can extend horizontally 30 feet!  If you soak the roots in water and then rub them, they create a lather that you can use like a soap which is why it is also known as "Soapweed".  It flowers in May and June.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023


 Happy Independence Day to those of you in the US!  I don't have any current firework photos, however, I find these flowers to be like nature's fireworks.  These are Alliums, they are in the Onion family.  I found and photographed these at the Overland Park Arboretum this spring.

Monday, July 3, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Starting off with some butterflies again.  These are more of the Hackberry Emperor butterfly swarm that I was able to experience.  These are some of the males that sit in the trees in the sun facing downward and watch for females.  The Hackberry tree is it's host and where it get's it's name from.  I saw this huge swarm at a Field Station outside Lawrence Kansas.

Sunday, July 2, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  We are halfway through the year already, my goodness, time is flying.  This is another image of my live steam locomotive on a friend's layout.  It was taken at sunset and the train is by the coaling tower that is pretty impressive.  I thought the image looked like it could be a real train at first glance.

Saturday, July 1, 2023


 The moon and Venus were fairly close to each other last week and I was able to see and capture it.  I had gone out to bring in the Oriole's jelly so as not to attract any animals to it during the night and saw this sight.  I liked this image with a bit of tree branches in it.