Monday, August 31, 2009

Hollenberg Pony Express Station, Stage Coach, and Covered Wagon

Pony Express Station near Hanover, Kansas is believed to be the only unaltered station on it's original site.

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station (also called Cottonwood Station) was built in 1857 by Gerat Hollenberg, who emigrated to America from Germany, it stands near Hanover in Washington County, Kansas. As well as serving as a Pony Express Station (1860-61) it was also a way station for travelers on the Oregon-California Trail. Gerat Hollenberg was a colorful character, he searched for gold in South America and Australia and took part in the California gold rush in 1849 before settling in Kansas. He founded nearby Hanover and served three terms in the Kansas Legislature. In 1874 his health was failing and he decided to return to Germany, a few hours out of New York he died and was buried at sea.

Each year on the last Sunday in August the Pony Express Festival is held at the Station which is a State Historic Site. This year the event was held on August 30th.

Scenes from the Mural in the Pony Express Museum

The Oregon Trail

Gerat and Sophia Hollenberg talking with an army officer

Pony Express Station

These are scenes from a mural in the Hollenberg Pony Express Station State Historic Site Museum near Hanover, Kansas.

Scenes from the Pony Express Festival held on August 30, 2009 near Hanover, Kansas

Plowing with Belgian Draft Horses

A young man from Portis, Kansas had a pair of Belgian Draft Horses at the Festival and was showing how plowing was done in an earlier time.

People Demonstrating different 19th Century Crafts at the Pony Express Festival

Several people were demonstrating different crafts from the era of the Pony Express.

Reenactors at the Pony Express Festival

There were thirty three historical reenactors at the Pony Express Festival at the Hollenberg Pony Express State Historic Site on Sunday August 30, 2009. All of the reenactors I talked with were from Kansas, with many coming from Manhattan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Birds in Washington County, Kansas

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)

Western Kingbird with fledgling

Red-headed Woodpecker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Female)

Indigo Bunting

Here are some of the many birds that we see each Summer in Washington County.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kansas Dragonflies

Until I began paying attention to Dragonflies I didn't realize that there are many different species. I found out that there are 80 species in Kansas alone, and there can be as many as a half dozen species on a small pond. Taking photos of them makes me appreciate them more, seeing the wings up close is simply amazing. You can click on each of these pictures to enlarge them, and see much more detail.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Tiger Swallowtail (in Golden Privet)

Red Admiral

Black Swallowtail (on Purple Coneflower)

Eastern Comma


Here are some of the butterflies I have taken photos of this Summer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scenes in Glenwood Springs

Historic Train Station (1904)

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Hotel Colorado

Boarding the California Zephyr

When we got to Glenwood Springs we had time before I boarded the California Zephyr to look around and have lunch. The train came into town a little early, but didn't leave until the scheduled time. There were several Amish that got on the train, you can see them in the last picture. I rode much of the time in the observation car, which is the one with the curved glass. The train follows the Colorado River for around half the route between Glenwood Springs and Denver, passing through beautiful Glenwood Canyon and other canyons. When we reached Denver I got off and walked around the downtown area for a little while, the train pulled out of Union Station just after sunset. I got back to Lincoln at 4:30 a.m. the next morning, got a cab to my pickup and then on home. I had a great time in Colorado and the train adventure on the California Zephyr was a very enjoyable and relaxing way to travel. The top picture is of the historic train station built in 1904, the second picture shows both the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge in the foreground and the Hotel Colorado (beyond the Lodge and higher up), the hotel was built in 1893, patterned after the Villa de Medici in Rome.

Glenwood Canyon

When my short stay was over my friend drove me to Glenwood Springs to board the California Zephyr for my return trip to Lincoln. We stopped off in Glenwood Canyon on the way to do some hiking. There was light rain falling that morning and also a little light fog in the canyon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Colorado Rockies from Wildernest

Poppies at Wildernest near Silverthorne

Flowers do well in the mountains of Colorado.

Gray Jay

One morning, on our hike back from Lily Pad Lake, we saw several Gray Jays.