Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Fishing with My Camera

Common Carp

The first fish hatchery in Nebraska is near my home town and is part of a state park. The fish hatchery is no longer functioning, however, the original building and several ponds remain. The ponds are stocked with different types of fish. Fishing is allowed. I have more fun watching the fish swim around and see them jumping out of the water. (Still trying to get that photo!).

A few facts about the common carp:

  • Brought to the United States in 1831
  • Largest Carp captured was in France and it weighed 100.5 lbs (45.59 kilograms)
  • Live in fresh water such as rivers and lakes
  • Native to Asia
  • Food – the carp basically eat anything they can find

Below are a few of the additional photos I took of the carp.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog! Hope you liked the photos!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless


Back Yard Photographer – Sunflowers

The sunflowers in my yard have gone through quite a bit this year as they were trying to establish themselves in the garden. Squirrels and rabbits thought they were tasty and almost destroyed the plants completely. But these sunflower plants, stood strong and survived. These are dwarf sunflowers and only stand about two and a half feet. Butterflies and bees are now enjoying the sunflowers.

This year I focused on adding flowers and plants that would attract pollinators (butterflies and bees) along with adding color to the flower garden. These have turned out to be a good addition to the garden. Even though they were purchased on a whim (sales tend to make that happen!), they have worked out nicely.

Here’s a few shots taken over the past month. Hope you enjoy them!!

Painted Lady
Sweat Bee
Pearl Crescent
Group photo 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Catbird, Yes it is a real bird.

Gray Catbird

Been seeing this bird in the yard recently. He is a bit aggressive with the other birds. He chases off Blue Jays and the other day I saw him fight an Oriole for the grape jelly. He seems to be a scavenger as he eats the suet, grape jelly and wild bird seed that has been pushed out of the bird feeder by the other birds.

After I got a couple decent pictures, I decided to look up this bird and find out some details. Here is a few things I found out from

  • They are about the size of a Robin
  • They are not entirely slate in color as the have a black spot in their head and some red/brown color under their tail.
  • They live in tangled shrubs and small trees near stream side thickets.
  • They sing a long song, which can last up to 10 minutes.

This bird is in my part of the United States for breeding. They will migrate to the lower southeast part of the United States during the winter months.

Here’s another picture.

Gray Catbird on the fence

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Stormy Night

Sun peaking through storm clouds

Rain has been needed. The weather has teased with a sprinkle or two for several days. Areas nearby have received some rain, but far below normal amounts. This means that anytime there is rain in the forecast, everyone rejoices a little. Along with the dry ground (increase in fire risks), the heat and nearly unbearable humidity gives another reason to pray for rain. It seems to break the heat cycle for a few days and makes things much more tolerable. All of this makes for some really cranky people. Yes, rain has been needed.

As an amateur photographer, skies fascinate me. I find them all to be beautiful, but there is just something almost eerie in their beauty. Over a few months, I have captured a few stormy nights.

Below is from the night mentioned above, where we were hoping/ praying for rain. We did get some rain, more is needed, but it was a blessing

In the lower part of the photo where there is a slight break in the trees you can see the rain.

Rain in the distance

Below photos are from other stormy nights.

Bird Singing in the Rain

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog! Hope you liked the photos!

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Not a Mourning Dove

This is what I saw:

Northern Flicker (Yellow Shafted)

This is a Mourning Dove:

Mourning Dove

The first bird pictured is a Northern Flicker (Yellow shafted). When I looked out into my back yard to check out the birds one morning, I saw this bird in the dirt where I normally see the Mourning Doves. Since, I didn’t have my glasses on, hadn’t had my morning coffee and had only been awake about 15 minutes, I mistook this bird for a Mourning Dove. I put my glasses on and then noticed the red spot on the back of its head along with other characteristics that would not indicate a Mourning Dove. Then I knew what it was! It was a Woodpecker!!

Here’s what I thought it was, only a young one. I still hadn’t had my coffee…

So yes, I wasn’t quite right again. On the upside – I at least had the bird family right with my second guess. The first bird is in the woodpecker family, but it is a Northern Flicker (Yellow shafted). It get’s the Yellow shafted part of its name because of the yellow feathers in its wings. This is true for people seeing the Northern Flickers in the eastern part of the United States. In the western part the Northern Flickers are Red shafted as they have red feathers in their wings.

As normal, I was able to identify the bird by checking out The web site is a great source for all information about various birds. Here’s a few more fun facts:

  • Northern Flickers are ground feeders. They eat bugs they have gotten from digging into the ground with their beaks. They do not get their food from tree trunks like other woodpeckers.
  • They also perch on horizontal branches (other woodpeckers will hang on the trunk of the tree while feasting on bugs)
  • Insects are there main food source, but Northern Flickers will also eat nuts and berries.
  • From a conservation perspective, these birds are listed as a Common Bird on a steep decline. They are rated as a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score.

Even if my guesses were a bit off, I did learn a few things about another new bird that came to my yard. I also learned not to make any crazy guesses without my glasses or having had my morning coffee. 🙂

Northern Flicker

I think the red spot on the back of the head looks like a heart. What do you think?

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog!

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless