Tuesday, April 30, 2024


 I normally see Herons as they are rapidly flying away from me.  I recently was able to have 2 opportunities within 2 days of each other to photograph one standing before it took off.  This first one, I was looking across the pond for ducks and heard the hubster going "Heron, Heron, Heron".  😆  I almost missed it as it was much closer to me than I was looking or expecting!  Obviously though, I finally looked in the right place.

Monday, April 29, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  My Hibiscus plants have been inside over the winter.  One of them had some struggles but one has done really well and was blooming again this past week.  I took this image which is actually a 2 image stack to get both flowers in focus one evening when I noticed how nice the flowers looked.  I shot it against my white background thingy.  😄

Sunday, April 28, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I usually share train photos but today I am sharing our roller.  We took it to the KESSA Steam School in Meriden Kansas.  It got it's boiler inspection there and students had an opportunity to operate it if they wanted with us.  It was a nice place to operate it as it has a large open field.  Steering of this steam roller is rather challenging.  I was finally getting the hang of it near the end of the afternoon.  We were burning wood in it this day, it has a very easy to fire boiler.  If you are interested, I have a video Here where you can see it in action.

Saturday, April 27, 2024


 Today's image is another astrophotography one that I have been trying to learn and get better at.  I have been working with this image off and on since I took it on the 4th of this month.  This is Comet 12p/Pons-Brooks that has been able to be seen with binoculars or a telescope if you know where to look.  When I captured it, it was visible shortly after sunset in the constellation of Aries and somewhat near Jupiter, which appears as a star in the image due to the longer exposure.  I used a 70mm lens as using anything larger made it very difficult to spot due to the comet being incredibly dim to the naked eye.  This is a combination of 12 ten second exposures, which were stacked and then processed in my photo program and also using a gradient extractor due to the uneven light from the horizon.  It's not perfect and I have a lot to learn but I was fairly happy with what i was able to get.  If you look closely you can see faint bits of the tail extending out, I wish I had been able to pull out more of that but the quality was degrading.  I am not sure if the comet is still visible, it was getting lower on the horizon every day.  I should have captured it in January at least.  At this point in time it was too low too get very many images before it was gone.

Friday, April 26, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  My Lilacs are just starting to bloom, it's been a weird Spring.  I have 2 different types and one usually blooms later than the other but they are both starting together this year.  The one that is later is much more aromatic and I captured this Common Variegated Fritillary was enjoying the blooms the other day and I was able to get a few images of it.  I also chose this image for today due to the lovely bubbly bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!  

Thursday, April 25, 2024


 My new tulips did pretty well this year.  This is a close up of one of them that I was able to get.  Tulips are interesting in how they open fairly wide in the heat of the day and then close back up as it gets darker and cooler.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


 It's a double digit day!  😀  It's also Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  This year seems to be the year for this flower, Prairie Groundsel, they are blooming in large groups right now and look lovely.  These flowers usually bloom from April to June.  They are in the Sunflower family which must be why I enjoy seeing them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


 Another of the types of ducks I was able to see and capture this spring were Buffleheads.  Apparently they nest in forested areas of Canada so they were just passing through.  I'm sure it gets too hot here for them.  This was a male and female pair I was able to capture while on a bike ride one day.

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.