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.

Friday, August 11, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is of a flower that is just now blooming for me, a Surprise Lily .  I had 3 of them pop up about a week ago and it has been very dry so I thought that was all I was going to get but we got an inch of rain the other day and now, quite a few more are popping up.  This one is in a weird area that I did not put it.  I am guessing a Squirrel or something must have buried the bulb there.  Anyway, it always makes for a lovely shot with the beautiful bokeh from the tree leaves behind and I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 10, 2023


 In my area of Kansas there are only a couple of venomous snakes that people need to watch out for, and this is one of them, an Eastern Copperhead.  I was very surprised to see this one as in summer they are mostly nocturnal and it was quite a hot day.  That's probably why I saw it in a stream.  They primarily eat small rodents, frogs, birds and large insects like Cicadas.  Their bite is rarely fatal and will often dry bite first, meaning they will not release venom.  A bite can make you feel fairly ill though.  When threatened, they will usually just freeze first as their coloration allows them to blend in well.  Just FYI, the other venomous snake in my area is the Timber Rattlesnake.  I have never seen one of these though.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is one that bloomed profusely in this area this year.  There were some ditches that were just filled with them.  These are Clasping Coneflowers and they bloom May through July.  They are part of the Sunflower family.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


 It's a double digit day! 😀  Today's image is another of a Red Tail Hawk flying overhead.  This summer, they have taken more of a backseat to the Mississippi Kites.  I see more Kites around right now but I did see a Red Tail when riding my bike last weekend.

Monday, August 7, 2023


 Happy Monday!  It's going to be a busy week for me so starting off with something that makes me happy.  This is a bloom off one of my Shasta Daisies.  They are done now unfortunately as I enjoy them very much.  

Sunday, August 6, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to the East Broad Top Railroad in Rockhill, Pennsylvania.  This is a 3 foot Narrow gauge railroad and Number 16 is a Mikado type locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement.  No 16 came to the EBT in 1916.  It underwent an overhaul in 1955 and only made a few trips before the railroad shut down in 1956.  It returned to service in February of 2023 for tourist service on the EBT.  The East Broad Top Railroad is the oldest narrow gauge railroad in the US.  The EBT was originally a coal hauler.  It has been operating as a Tourist Railroad since the summer of 2021 and is owned by the EBT Foundation.  The EBT is unique in that it is not a collection of railroad pieces but is a complete railroad.  When the EBT shut down in 1956, they shut the doors and left.  A family bought it as is and saved it from being sold off or scrapped and then sold it as is to the Foundation years later.  It was designated as a Historical Landmark in 1964.

Saturday, August 5, 2023


 Today's image is from the same park trail I was on in Pennsylvania, Thornwald Park, that I shared last week.  This is from a different spot on the trail and I decided to play with the image a bit.  I liked how it turned out, your mileage may vary.  😄

Friday, August 4, 2023


 It's Friday, TGIF!  The summer is going so fast.  Today's image is of one of my Rose of Sharon blooms.  It had some fabulous bubble bokeh so I had to share it today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, August 3, 2023


 This is a tree that I saw and photographed in Pennsylvania.  It was one of the straightest trees I have seen and I loved the wispy far away look of the branches and leaves. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  My Nipple Cactus made it through another winter OK and bloomed again this year.  It flowers in May and June.  It produces red berries after flowering.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


 Happy August!  Wow, the year is moving along.  While out biking a couple weekends ago, I was able to capture several Dickcissel birds in a natural setting.  Usually I see them on electrical wires or fences.  The arrival of these birds usually signals spring in my area and their name comes from the sound of their call.