Sunday, June 30, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  We are halfway through the year already!  Wow, time flies.  Here is another posed image of the 14 inch Wagner on the Ortner Railroad.  I took this image near the amazingly detailed miniature station that was donated to the railroad last year.

If you would like to view a video of the locomotive operating where this and other neat buildings can be seen, I have a YouTube video here that I shared a while back.

Saturday, June 29, 2024


 I captured this image while out on a bike ride one day recently.  This field was being harvested for wheat.  I was going to crop it in closer to show the dust cloud that was being created better but I decided I liked how this showed how large the field was compared to the combine working it.  This field is relatively small in comparison to some.

Friday, June 28, 2024


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I have been able to se several large types of butterflies this Spring/early summer.  I captured this male Black Swallowtail that was enjoying my Butterfly Milkweed recently.  I chose this image for today due to the lovely bubbly bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious!

Thursday, June 27, 2024


 In Gunderson Pond on the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion grounds, there can be found quite a number of turtles.  I captured these 3 on one of the logs.  I am pretty sure that these are Painted Turtles.  They are the most widespread native turtle of North America.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is one that is very common it seems, Red Clover, which looks more pink to me.  😂  It can be found blooming for quite a long time,  May through September.  It is used for soil improvement and produces good quality hay for livestock.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024


 I was lucky to see these birds again this Spring.  I captured them eating berries out of the Hackberry trees one afternoon.  They seem to just pass through on their way to where they nest for the summer which is, unfortunately not in my yard.  I love their masks, very cute.

Monday, June 24, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  It's a double digit day too!  😁  My image for today is an artsy version of one of my Amaryllis blooms from this past late winter.  It's against a rock background.

Sunday, June 23, 2024


It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I was in Minnesota last week doing steamy things at the Ortner railroad with the Wagner locomotive a 14 inch large scale engine.  I helped operate it for the 3 days of the weekend for Kids Day and Steam school.  During some quiet time I took a few images of it in different spots around the area.  This is by the station and Coaling Tower.  The Roundhouse which is going to be expanded can be seen in the back left.

Saturday, June 22, 2024


 When I am in Rollag, Minnesota I am compelled to photograph this farm area.  I find it very picturesque with it being situated next to the large pond.  The clouds help as well.

Friday, June 21, 2024


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  Today's image is of my Weigelia as it bloomed this past Spring.  I have it in a pot by my deck and it has come back year after year.  Sometimes it has surprised me as it lives through some bitter cold temperatures.  I chose this image for the great bubbly bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious! 

Thursday, June 20, 2024


 I was in Minnesota this past weekend and working with the Large Scale Wagner locomotive.  I was getting it ready to move out onto the turntable but there was this little guy was chilling on the rail.  He looked a bit sleepy to me.  I moved him before I went out with the locomotive to be sure it would be OK.  He had very sticky feet and seemed happy to sit on my arm as I took him off to the side.  I believe it's a type of tree frog, most likely a Cope's Gray Tree frog.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's image is of one that has been blooming recently.  This is Smooth Sumac which blooms in May and June.  Something interesting about this plant is that it is in the Cashew Family.  The fruit, also known as Drupes was used by Native Americans to make sunscreen and also red and black dyes.  I love these plants in autumn as the leaves turn a beautiful red color.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024


 Today's image is of a common bird in my area, a Red Tail Hawk.  One of the ways to identify them are the short bars that extend down from the tops of their wings about a quarter way in from the tip.  They can be well seen here as it was gliding above me.

Monday, June 17, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  I had another opportunity to photograph some Clematis blooms.  My neighbor has some growing that have become bigger each year.  I think this is the third year for them.  They are a lovely purple/blue color depending on the age of the blooms.

Sunday, June 16, 2024


Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!.  It's also Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Here is another look at my new Emma locomotive made by Accucraft.  From this angle you can see a bit of the controls for it.  In the front side window is a glimpse of where you put the oil to lubricate the locomotive as it runs, it mixes with steam.  In the back, the lower bronze knob is the gas control and the upper silvery one is the throttle.  The circular tubing, visible from the back side window, goes up to the steam pressure gauge.  The locomotive is an 0-4-0 Tank engine modeled after the kind that carry their water over the boiler.  This one has no fuel tender but probably should have as there is no where to store it if this was an actual locomotive.  Also, for some reason, the whistle was lost before I got it.

If you missed it, there is a video of it HERE where you can see it running.

Saturday, June 15, 2024


 We have finally broken our drought period but I fear that it will stop and we will go back into one.  We have been getting a good amount of rain lately and the ponds are finally full around the area.  The sunset after one of the storms this past week was an interesting orange color which doesn't seem to come through in the photo as vividly as it was in real life but is still lovely I thought.

Friday, June 14, 2024


 Happy Friday, TGIF!  I was taking some photos of one of my new Poppies and saw that I was being photobombed by this little guy.  I believe it is a small Katydid but I am not absolutely sure.  I chose this image for today because of the couple of bubble bokeh because Friday's Are Bokehlicious! 

Thursday, June 13, 2024


 While out on Konza  Prairie, I saw my favorite grass.  I was not able to photograph it at the time due to leading a walk but I went out after and was able to find a bit and get a couple photos.  This is June Grass which is appropriately named because it blooms in June.  It is a very photogenic grass I think when photographed back lit by the sun.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog once again!  The year is going so quickly.  This flower is enjoying a good year as it is very abundant in my area.  This is Catclaw Sensitive Briar.  I love it's puffball blooms.  The name comes from the claw-like barbs on the stem and the fact that the leaves fold up if you run your finger along them.  It's pretty cool to experience.  They usually bloom May through September.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024


 While I was out on Konza Prairie walking to see the sunset, I was treated to the sight of a Nighthawk bird feeding quite close and then hovering right above me.  They are very cool birds, I think.  They hover looking for something to eat and then they dive and make this interesting noise (created by the air rushing over it's wings) as they go down to catch whatever they have found.  It's quite fun to watch. They are usually out hunting at dawn or dusk.  It is neither nocturnal nor a hawk so the name is a misnomer.  They make no nest but they and their young are easily camouflaged on the ground by their color.  They have one of the longest migration routes of all North American birds and can be frequently found out of range.

Monday, June 10, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  I have always loved Fuchsia flowers but never had a plant of my own.  I bought one this year and have been enjoying it quite a lot.  The flowers have been described in many ways, from earrings to lanterns to skirts.  This is a closeup of 2 of the blooms and you can decide for yourself what you think they look like.  😊

Sunday, June 9, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  I recently purchased a new Live Steam locomotive from a friend during a get together.  He had never used it so it is essentially a brand new locomotive and on Memorial Day I ran it for the first time.  After getting a few bugs out, including the fact that the port to put the Butane in was loose and leaked (just needed tightening) I ran it around my railroad.  It performed wonderfully actually except that, due to no fault of the locomotive, it needs to be remotely throttle controlled due to the grades on my layout, on the downgrades it would run pretty quickly.  In the image you can see my winter project, I scratch-built the water tower.  The ladder was 3D printed.  I based it off a Rio Grande style one.  I have a video of the engine running in this area on YouTube if you would like to watch.  More info is there as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2024


 Last weekend was the annual Wildflower Walk out at Konza Prairie.  It was a lovely evening and they had a huge turnout.  I led a group of about 20 fun people.  After we got back I went back out a short way to watch the sun set over the prairie and I took this image.  That's an Echinacea in the foreground and behind is a lovely example of a Butterfly Milkweed.

Friday, June 7, 2024


 It's Friday, TGIF!  Fridays Are Bokehlicious so here is today's bokeh image.  I started some Rudbeckia last year from seed and it did fairly well and flowered a bit.  This year it is coming back even stronger with more blooms and this is one of them I captured after a recent rain.  It has a lot of my favorite bubbly bokeh behind it.

Thursday, June 6, 2024


 It's a double digit day!  😊  While out walking last week I saw and captured a snail that was on the sidewalk.  It was sure showing where the term, at a snail's pace, comes from.  😂

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


 It's Wildflower Wednesday here on the Blog!  Today's flower is Russian Olive.  It is fairly abundant in my county.  Wildlife uses it for food and nesting.  It is often times planted for a windbreak.  It spreads by suckers and can become aggressive.  It usually blooms in May and June and I found it on May 2.  It has a very strong smell when blooming which is not unpleasant.

Don't forget, there are Wildflowers by Color pages here on the Blog that contain a lot of the more common ones seen and can be used to help identify the flowers you may see.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


 Today's image is more ducks!  😁  I captured these out at Milford Lake while on a bike ride.  I loved all the action in it though I found it quite silly that they felt the need to get away from me, I was not all that close.  There were some Buffleheads and Northern Shovelers in this group and maybe some others.  I like how a couple look like they are running across the water.

Monday, June 3, 2024


 Happy Monday and happy new week!  Today's image is of a flower I like a lot but have never tried to grow.  This is an image of my mom-in-'law's Clematis that was blooming while I was there for a visit in early May.  Not sure why I have never tried to grow these flowers.  I guess I just have never figured out the perfect spot.

Sunday, June 2, 2024


 It's Steamy Sunday here on the Blog!  Today's image goes back to my trip to Pennsylvania last year and the East Broad Top Railroad.  It's like stepping back in time when you are there because it was just closed up and left as it was.  I felt a monochrome treatment of an image of it was appropriate.  I like steam train images in monochrome, they lend themselves well to the treatment I think. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024


 Happy June! On the same day that I observed the colorful lizard I was able to get a fairly close photo of a Great Blue Heron.  It was standing in the middle of the spillway at Milford Lake.  I got lucky and it actually didn't fly off while I took some images of it.  I didn't try to get too close either so that helped I am sure.