Tuesday, October 31, 2023


 Happy Halloween everyone!  Hope you have a fun day!  A bit of trivia.  Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows' Eve which is the evening before All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day.  Halloween has it's roots in the ancient Celtic festival 0f Samhain which was a pagan religious celebration to welcome harvest at the end of summer.

Hope you enjoy my image, it's a photo manipulation of a couple of different images.

Monday, October 30, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week.  Autumn has really arrived now and we will be having a lot cooler temperatures than we had been.  I doubt and of my flowers will have made it through the cold weekend.  That part makes me sad and very much looking forward to spring again.  Anyway, this is my Toad Lily, a rather unique flower.  I only got 2 blooms off of it this year because something ate most of it half way down before I was able to protect it.  I will have to keep protection around it earlier now as it is not the first time something has eaten it.  This is a 3 image focus stack.  Toad Lilies get their name from the spotted flowers and warty sac-like bumps which are the nectar secreting glands.  They originally came from Japan.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  A couple of weekends ago, I got to go do something fun.  Just outside Saint Louis to the southwest is the Wabash Frisco & Pacific Railroad.  It is one of the very few 12 inch railroads like ours that can be found to visit.  The WF&P has been in existence since 1939 and has been operating in it's current location of Glencoe, Missouri since 1961.  They have a mile of track so its a 2 mile, 40 minute ride out and back.  This is the locomotive we got to ride behind.  The WF&P has 14 locomotives in total, some being restored.  The 928 is a beautiful locomotive with a great sounding whistle.  It is a Mountain type, 4-8-2 wheel arrangement and burns oil.  It's is the only locomotive that was built by the WF&P.  I have a very short YouTube video HERE where you can see it in operation and hear the whistle.

Saturday, October 28, 2023


 As I type this it is still in the 70s but the forecast is for high only in the low 40s.  I am not ready.  Today's image is one I took on the way home from something work related on Tuesday.  Our autumn has been lovely despite the drought.  I have been surprised that the leaves are saying on the trees as long as they have.  Of course I had to share something train related.  This is the Union Pacific track and bridge between my town and Abilene, Kansas.

Friday, October 27, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  My Cosmos have been flowering quite beautifully since it has cooled off this autumn.  I was being a bit artsy with this image.  I liked the lighting on it and the lovely bubbly bokeh behind.  Sharing today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 26, 2023


 Today's image is one of my Bullfrog buddies that will probably be going into hibernation pretty soon.  It's supposed to get pretty cold this weekend in my area with our first hard freeze on Sunday night.  It's so funny to walk up to the pond and hear them squeak and jump into the pond.  One of the things I miss in the winter.  It makes it challenging to photograph them too as you can't get very close and they are gone.  I used a telephoto for this image.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

10/25 23

 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is one that has been blooming the past few weeks.  This is Pink Smartweed and can be found from July to October.  In my area this year, I have only seen it in October.  It is in the Buckwheat family.  I am not sure where it's name comes from.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


 Today's image is of a Dickcissel bird that I captured out on Konza Prairie in June.  They are signs of spring in my area when they return and I have not seen any for a while now so guessing they have moved on for the winter.  They get there name from the call they make.

Monday, October 23, 2023


 Happy Monday!  It's a double digit day!  😀  I thought I would start this week off with a butterfly.  This year was pretty good for a variety of butterflies I was able to see and capture.  This is a Red Spotted Purple that I was able to capture on my Butterfly Milkweed this past summer.

Sunday, October 22, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  At Heritage Days in Abilene for the past 2 years, I have been firing this engine during the festival, for the most part.  I say, "for the most part" because when the steam train leaves, I go get video of that.  😄  Anyway,  the Abilene Museum has an original CW Parker carousel that normally runs on electricity but during the festival is run on steam.  This is the original engine to the carousel.  It had been separated from it at some point and then re-united years ago.  It's cool that it is still operable and that it is with it's original carousel.  Both were built right there in Abilene, Kansas.  We fire it on wood, mostly Hedge.  If interested, I have a short video of it operating on YouTube HERE.  I corrected the video, somehow it produced without sound and I did not realize it.  Weird. There is a bit more info on the engine and operation in the video description.

Saturday, October 21, 2023


 We had a beautiful sunset a little over a week ago.  I was working in the kitchen and looked out and saw the lovely color so ran out with my phone and quickly grabbed an image.

Friday, October 20, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I was walking out to my garden where I have Cosmos growing to see if there were any good photo ops.  As I was walking I was reflecting that I had not seen many Praying Mantis this year at all.  To my great surprise, what should I see walking around the blooms....a Praying Mantis!  What a weird coinky dink.  I took this picture of it hanging from one of the blooms and looking at me.  Had to share this image due to the lovely bubbly bokeh as well today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 19, 2023


 Today's image is of a lovely Ebony Jewel-wing Damselfly I was able to spot one day while on a bike ride.  There is a creek area where they usually can be spotted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  I was surprised to see this flower last week while on a bike ride.  The blooming period is supposed to be July through October but I have never seen it bloom this late.  This is Common Evening Primrose.  Native Americans used the whole plant in various ways.  Seeds for food, they cooked and ate the leaves as greens, they boiled the roots like potatoes, and they also soaked the whole plant and applied it as a poultice to bruises.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023


 This is another image of the Swan family I was able to see and photograph in Minnesota one evening as I went out to get gas for the trip back home.   I find it interesting that the young ones are grey in color.

Monday, October 16, 2023


 Happy Monday and new week!  I thought I would start off the week with a butterfly.  This is another image of a Monarch enjoying the Goldenrod in my yard this autumn.  I think that most of the butterflies have left for warmer areas but it was nice to see so many Monarchs this year.

Sunday, October 15, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  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.  They thought that last year would be the last but found that the hours had been miscalculated and were able to operate for another year.  Amazingly enough to me, as much as I love trains and the ATSF railroad in particular, I have never ridden behind this engine, I have only photographed it.  I have a video of it HERE heading out for it's first of 2 runs and coming back from the second.

Saturday, October 14, 2023


 I know I shared a similar image last week but I was out again for a bike ride this past week and saw this sight and had to capture and share it.  As usual, other parts of the area were getting rain and we were not.  The light on the combines and dust  with the rain behind, made for a rather dramatic looking image.  

Friday, October 13, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  It's Friday the 13th, appropriate for the month of Halloween.  😅  Hope it's a good day for you, it usually is for me but we shall see.  I thought I would start the day off right with a photo of one of my favorite flowers, Echinacea or Cone Flowers.  I had to share this photo today due to the wonderful bubbly bokeh behind them because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, October 12, 2023


 My Red Salvia has been a reliable plant for me, surviving even in 100 degree weather well.  The bees like it as well which is nice.  I captured this Bumblebee enjoying it one afternoon recently.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  This is one that has been in bloom in my area for a while now.  This is White Snakeroot.  It blooms August through October and grows 1 to 5 feet tall.  Plants contain a toxin called Tremetol which can be transferred to humans by milk if cattle should eat the plant which they usually don't.  It is believed that this milk sickness is what caused the death of Abraham Lincoln's mother.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023


 It's a double digit day!  😀  I captured an image of a juvenile Mississippi Kite in a dead tree in the ravine in back of my house.  I wonder if this is the same fledgling that I saw climbing a tree earlier in the year.  It would make sense.  Adult kites do not have all the patterns on them, they are a more solid color grey.  They are identified by the mask on their eyes.

Monday, October 9, 2023


 Happy Monday!  Hope this week is better than last.  Starting off the week with an image of one of my African Violets that flowered for the first time ever.   It has a beautiful gradient violet color that starts dark on top and goes to while at the bottom.  I did an artsy backlit shot and this is a 3 image focus stack.


Sunday, October 8, 2023


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another drone shot I took of locomotive 353 and it's train pulling out of the Baker Depot.  The Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion show featured military vehicles this year and the flat car behind had a couple on it for display one of a which you can see the front of on the very right side of the photo.

If you haven't seen it yet, I have a video on YouTube that shows this in action HERE

Saturday, October 7, 2023


 We have been in a fairly bad drought for a while now and it has gotten much worse in the last few months.  My garden didn't do well at all this year due to the heat and dry conditions even though I watered it ever day.  Just nothing like rain.  I kept saying we were going to turn into the Dust Bowl again and when I saw this situation while out bike riding this past week I just had to stop and get a pic.  They were harvesting soybeans and creating quite the dust cloud.  Ironically we got a rain that night for the first time in weeks.  We need a lot more though.

Friday, October 6, 2023


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  To tell you how this week has been, I almost forgot to post this, so TGIF indeed.  Today's image is another of the Monarchs that were visiting the Goldenrod in my yard.   There were 5 of them around and I was able to capture 3 at one time.  The lovely bubbly bokeh in the background made this photo perfect for today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  Not sure how many flowers or butterflies will still be around after tonight as it is supposed to get near freezing.  Not ready for that.

Thursday, October 5, 2023


 One of my favorite grasses is in it's prime right now.  This is an image of my Sea Oats Grass.  In late summer the seed heads turn a golden/brownish color and look lovely when backlit by the sun.  This image is from the group I planted by my Gazebo pond but I also had a surprise this year and I have a group of Sea Oats right in one of the beds in front of my deck that must have been planted by a bird as it is no where near close enough to have been the wind.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites and it is blooming right now.  I believe this is Hairy Aster.  It is identified by hairs on it's stem which I did not capture in this image.  Correction:  I double checked and this is actually Heath Aster.   There are several types of Aster in our area and you have to look close to tell which one it is.  Hairy Asters bloom in September and October.  Heath Asters bloom during the same time, usually to only 3 feet. They can grow to 5 feet tall.  I find them very photogenic.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


 Forgot to set the time for this to post when I created it.  Sorry it was late.

This is an older image, from late this spring of a Baltimore Oriole.  This is a female and she had come to enjoy the grape jelly we put out for them.  There are days that we can fill these 3 times when they are really hungry.  Plus this past year we had, at least, 3 pairs.  They are fairly difficult to get a picture of, this was photographed through the door.

Monday, October 2, 2023


 Happy Monday!  I love the new Zinnia varieties.  They used to be just solid colors as far as I remember anyway but lately they have these striped or flecked varieties.  They remind me of candies.

Sunday, October 1, 2023


 It's October, wow the year is flying by!  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is another that I took with my drone at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion of locomotive 353 and it's train.  There is a companion video on YouTube HERE which is a continuation of last weeks video.  We change shifts here at this depot.  To the upper right, just out of the photo is where they are loading and unloading passengers as well.