Monday, April 22, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Today is a special day, it's Earth Day!  Every day should be Earth Day but ....  We can all do our part by thinking about how many disposable type items we use instead of a re-usable one.  We can think of what we plant in our yard to give a food source to bees and butterflies.  I leave my clover and dandelions in spring when there is nothing else around for early emegers to eat instead of mowing it off.  We can plant things they like as well and it doesn't have to be expensive.  Flowers like Zinnias, Echinaceas, Cosmos, and even Marigolds are easy to start from seed and I almost always find bees or butterflies enjoying them.  My image of the day is of  a Painted Lady butterfly on an Echinacea in one of my gardens.

Sunday, April 21, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I captured this image of 353 sitting outside the roundhouse while I was waiting for a meeting to start.  I was there for the annual Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion where I get to help fire on this locomotive for 2 hours for 4 days.  It's a fun experience and I am grateful that things worked out that I get to do it.  353 is over 100 years old now.  

Saturday, April 20, 2024


 I was able to see and photograph several Cedar Waxwings that were in the trees above my pond eating berries.  I think they were off of Hackberry trees.  I was surprised they were not in the Crabapples but maybe they had gotten all of them already.  It was very nice surprise to see them as I had missed seeing them last year.  I was able to capture one of them actually going for a berry.

Friday, April 19, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  I have another new group of Tulips that I planted that have begun to bloom.  They were in a spot that was not quite as sunny and warm as the others.  I love the nice orange color of them.  I chose this image due to the lovely bubbly bokeh created by the weeds in the grass behind.  😆  As you know, if you are a visitor to my Blog, Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 18, 2024


 Today's photo is one that I took almost a year ago now on a visit to the Overland Park Arboretum.  They have these beautiful Allium flowers that grow beside a pond there.  I admired them so much I have planted some at home which are beginning to come up and I look forward to having them closer.  On this particular visit, I got lucky because there were butterflies around that day and I got lucky and captured a Red Admiral butterfly flying towards a group of blooms.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's wildflower is one that is blooming right now in my area.  It is called Star of Bethlehem and is in the Lily family and blooms in April and May.  All parts of the plant are poisonous and can kill livestock if they eat it.  The plant's leaves look a lot like chives or wild onions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


 I have been able to see a large amount of ducks in our area this spring.  This is a pair of, what I think, are a male and female pair of Northern Shovelers.  They were on a pond I ride by that seems to be a good spot for ducks but they have a tendency to fly off when I stop to photograph them.  That will probably be a future image.  😏

Monday, April 15, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Hope this one is better than the last.  Anyway, I recently bought this flower to put in my garden but we had been having some pretty cold nights so I had it in the house.  This is an Anemone that I photographed against a wall that I really liked how it came out.

Sunday, April 14, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I took this image of the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad train as it headed out for a run this past October.  The locomotive, former Santa Fe 3415, is now out of service for a while as it is undergoing it's FRA inspection.  I will miss seeing it run this year.

Saturday, April 13, 2024


 I have been able to capture a lot of birds this Spring.  The Meadowlarks overwinter but I don't get to see them much.  In the Spring, while bike riding, I am seeing them somewhat often though rarely get a chance to photograph because as soon as I stop, they fly off.  I got lucky with this one that just kept moving a little way down the fence.  These birds are our state bird here in Kansas.

Friday, April 12, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  What a week.  Anyway, the Daffodils are all about done now but these were blooming earlier this week.  I love the color of them and the way it accents the frilly center.  This image had some great bokeh in it so sharing today because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, April 11, 2024


 The Killdeers are back so it is officially Spring!  On a bike ride a couple of weeks ago now I was bale to capture one in flight for the first time and I thought it turned out fairly well.  Killdeers are one of the first birds to return to my area each Spring.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is one of my favorites that I planted in my yard and seems to have survived.  This is Queen Anne's Lace.  These were not found in my yard though.  It has the red spot that is supposed to be the drop of Queen Anne's blood that dripped on lace she was making which is how the name came about.  It blooms June through September.  The blooms last a fairly long time compared to some other wildflowers.  It can be aggressive and crowd out other nearby plants.  It is in the Parsley Family.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


 On Monday, 4/8, there was an eclipse of the sun over North America.  We were not in totality but I still went out to capture it as we got to around 85 to 87 percent.  I would have really liked a chance at total but from the news it sounded that to travel would be fairly crazy with all the people trying to do the same thing.  Even at 85% it was cool to see and experience as it got cooler and darker out.  This is my composite of what I was able to capture.  It started a bit earlier than I thought so I missed the very beginning.  I shot this sequence with my camera on my telescope. 

Monday, April 8, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Happy Total Eclipse Day as well for those who will be able to see that.  We will be about 85% but hopefully sunny and able to see it.

My image for today is of another of my Amaryllis that bloomed this year.  This one is blooming now and was very late for some reason.  I am going to over-winter the bulbs differently this year because a couple did not bloom at all.  Anyway, this one was a bit pinker and had more white in it when it first opened and got darker as it is aging.  It put out 3 blooms.

Sunday, April 7, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I took this image last weekend while outside on a nice day cleaning the weeds out of the railroad.  I recently got a scrap of AstroTurf to use as crops on the farm.  I set up a little scene to show how it was being used and I liked how it turned out so I am sharing it for today.  See if you can spot the other steam related item in the scene.  😄

Saturday, April 6, 2024


 A few weeks ago I captured this image one night.  Over several days I worked on processing it because it is an image you can't just look up into the sky and see.  This is the Flame Nebula which is near the left most star, Alnitak, in the Belt of Orion.  Below the Flame Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula can also be seen, sort of.  😉 This is a stack of 15 images and I learned while doing this that I need a lot more.  😁  The Flame I was able to bring out fairly well with processing but the Horsehead is fainter and did not work as well.  With more images to work with you capture more and more light and detail.  I will try this one again next winter when Orion is higher in the sky again.  It's getting dark way too late these days too which makes it difficult as well.

Friday, April 5, 2024


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I was able to capture my first Honeybee this past week.  It turned cold again after that though it is supposed to be warming up by today.  Anyway, I captured it enjoying the Grape Hyacinths that grow in the yard and have to be over 30 years old because they were there before I moved in.  Also, I am sharing this image today due to the nice bit of bubbly bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious! 

Thursday, April 4, 2024


 It's a double digit day today!  😁  During a bike ride on a warm day last week I stopped to capture a very cooperative horse.  He or she, posed very nicely for me and let me take it's portrait.   I love horses, such beautiful animals.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites and it was a very good year for them last year as there were a lot around and they bloomed a long time.  This is a very large group of Black-eyed Susans that were growing in a ditch along the road.  They usually bloom May through September and are part of the Sunflower family.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024


 I have been able to see and capture different ducks at various times this spring, especially over my Spring Break in early March.  Different ducks were around as they migrated through the area.  On this particular day I was able to capture a male Bufflehead with several females and also, I think, a Teal, as they were feeding on a local pond.

Monday, April 1, 2024


 Happy Monday and new week!  It's also the start of a new month and hopefully no more winter weather.  I had another Amaryllis bloom late and another is blooming now.  They were quite spread out this year.  This one is a red and white variety with white highlights towards the center.  This one only put out 2 blooms but they were nice to see.

Sunday, March 31, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the blog!  Today's image goes back to Pennsylvania and one of the rides I went on last year.  This is the Northern Central Railroad which has a replica 4-4-0 American style oil burning locomotive.  It's a beautiful looking and sounding locomotive.  I have a couple of videos on YouTube where you can listen to it and see it run of which this is one.  NCRR Locomotive by Drone

Saturday, March 30, 2024


 Today's image is the second one I took with my telescope.  I was practicing with different eyepieces and the moon was a good subject to use during the day when I could see what I was doing.  😊

Friday, March 29, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today I am sharing a Question Mark butterfly image where you can see the question mark on the wing that it gets it's name from.  It's upside down as it sits here.  Today is all about the bokeh so that is another reason why this image was shared as Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, March 28, 2024


 Today I am sharing my first catch of the year for one of my most difficult birds to capture.  They are one of my favorites, Great Blue Heron, very prehistoric looking but are always a challenge.  This is the position I almost always get them in, flying away from me before I even get very near to them.  🙄

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Spring has sprung though it has been very cold in the mornings the last couple of days and didn't feel like it.  Today's flower is one I am looking forward to seeing again.  This is Missouri Evening Primrose.  They bloom from May through July and open at sunset and close in the heat of the next day.  They will stay open longer if it's cloudy out and this was the case when I saw these. The flowers face up until pollinated and then face down.  These flowers are very drought resistant as well which is good for our area as we have trouble getting consistent rain.  😏

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


 I heard this Phoebe outside a few days ago.  I quickly went to get my camera thinking it would probably leave by the time I got back but it was still there and I was able to snap off one shot before it flew off.  They get their name from their call.

Monday, March 25, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  My first Tulip bloomed this past week.  It is a new one that I planted last fall and the area it is in warmed up much faster than another area I planted some bulbs in and they are only about 2 inches tall.  

Sunday, March 24, 2024


 It's a double digit day!  😁 It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image is our locomotive at the water tower at the C&H Railroad.  We were there playing on a nice day last November and I took this image.  It is a bit staged as there was no water in the tower at the time.   

Saturday, March 23, 2024


 I bought myself a telescope late last year after much deliberation on what type to buy.  Ironically, since I bought it, on days when I had the time, it was usually cloudy or really cold.  In preparation for the upcoming solar eclipse, I bought a sheet of sun filter foil and made a filter for the scope and was testing it out this past Sunday.  I also used my camera on the scope successfully for the first time as well and took this image of the sun.  I liked how you could see some sun spots, one up near the very top and then a group of 3 down in the lower part.

Friday, March 22, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is one of a flower that I love seeing around and makes me happy.  It's technically a wildflower but I am sharing this image of it today dues to the lovely bubbly bokeh because Fridays Are Bokehlicious!  This is an Ox-eye Daisy bloom up close from last summer.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


 Last week I was able to capture my first butterfly of the year.  I had seen a few Sulphurs flying around a couple of days before this but was not able to get an image of any.  While on a bike ride on a river walk trail I spotted this one and was able to get a few images.  This is a Mourning Cloak butterfly which over winters as an adult and is usually one of the first to emerge.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one of my favorites but I can never seem to get it to come back the next year in my gardens.  It's weird as I find it growing wild so it has to be returning and not freshly planted.  This is Indian Blanket Flower which usually blooms May through September.  It is also known as Gaillardia. The Kiowa Indians believed it brought good luck and it is the state wildflower of Oklahoma.  It gets it's name from the fact that it usually grows in large groups and looks like a blanket of color.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


 I was off work last week and was able to go on some longer bike rides and visit some areas with ducks that were passing through the area.  This image was one of my favorites that I was able to capture.  I am not sure what type of duck it is though, not up on my duck IDs.  😋  My guess, because of the black on the butt and dark beak is a male Gadwall.  

Monday, March 18, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week.  This is a photo I took last spring and never got around to sharing.  I hope to see something similar soon this year.  This is an image of a couple of Peony blooms.  They did really well last year and hoping the same for this year.


Sunday, March 17, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I'm looking forward to being able to run my Garden Railway trains again.  This is an image from one of it's first runs this past year before I put out any buildings.  This engine is battery powered so I don't have to worry about any track cleaning.  😂

Saturday, March 16, 2024


 Lately I have not had much of an opportunity to photograph colorful sunrises, the sky was either fairly dreary or the timing wasn't great.  With the time change I hope to get a few more now that it will be a bit darker in the morning for a while.  This is one from the end of February that was fairly colorful.

Friday, March 15, 2024


 It's Friday!  Not saying TGIF this week because it's the last day of my week off.  😏  Today's image has some bokeh goodness in it because Friday's Are Bokehlicious.  I captured this image last spring of a Monarch butterfly enjoying the Mock Orange blossoms on one of the bushes in my yard.


Thursday, March 14, 2024


 Ive been cleaning leaves out of my Gazebo pond.  It's quite the chore every spring as there are many trees around it and it seems that all the leaves end up in the pond.  I have taken out at least 6 big baskets full of them so far, I have lost count.  Anyway, while cleaning the other day I saw my first frog.  It was very small, only about 3/4 of an inch long.  I captured this image with my phone.  I believe it's a Leopard frog due to the dark spots on it.


Wednesday, March 13, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of Spider Antelopehorn Milkweed.  It usually blooms April through June.  The fruits of this plant will resemble Antelope horns which is where that part of the name comes from, not sure about the "spider" part.  When the plant is injured it will ooze a white milky substance.  Monarchs can take this in and it makes them taste bad to predators.  This milkweed is not their primary diet though.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024


 Today's image is of a Cardinal I was able to capture this past winter.  They were cooperative subjects for me at times which was very nice.  Usually they are moving around a lot.  I captured this male resting in the Walnut tree above the Trumpet Vine where they are usually hiding out in the backyard.

Monday, March 11, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Spring is quickly approaching.  I have Crocus blooming already which is making me excited for warm weather and gardening.  We received some badly needed rain afterwards which was great for everything coming up.

Sunday, March 10, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today I am sharing an image of the Wagner locomotive that I get to help run in Minnesota.  It's a 14 inch scale and was sitting at the Roundhouse before we steamed it up.  The Roundhouse is in the process of being expanded to accommodate some new rolling stock that was acquired last year.

Saturday, March 9, 2024


  It's been warm lately so spring is on the way.  I can share snowflakes and not feel cold.  This one is another 9 image stack that I captured on a very cold day in January.  I loved the tiny little snowflake that attached on the upper right like a jewel to the bigger flake.  I also left the little one that was developing off to the left which reminded of a jewel as well.

Friday, March 8, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  I captured this female Praying Mantis last year in a few images.  This is one I hadn't shared where she is upside down in the Cosmos looking for a meal.  I am sharing this image today due to the bubbly bokeh in it because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, March 7, 2024


 With our recent warmer weather I am looking forward to flowers and sights of nature like this one.  I captured this Crab Spider in the Ironweed this past August waiting for a meal.  It probably was a good spot as I usually saw a lot of insects around the Ironweed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Lead Plant.  Lead Plant blooms June through August.  It is a native legume and it's roots can go as deep as 16 feet making it quite drought tolerant!  It's name comes from silvery grey hairs on the plant that give it it's lead color.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024


 Today's capture is of one of my favorite birds.  I captured this BluJay
sitting in my in-law's Bradford Pear tree after just getting a peanut from the feeder.  He/she paused long enough for me to get a capture which is pretty rare.  They usually grab one and are gone.

Monday, March 4, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  For Valentine's Day I received some flowers.  One of them in the arrangement was this neat giant Mum which I found rather photogenic.  I'd love to grow some like this one.