Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Northern Cardinals

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eastern Phoebe

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 2009 Snow in Kansas

On Tuesday December 8th we experienced a large snow storm in north central Kansas with between 12 to 15 inches of snow falling and strong winds which drifted the snow. Along with the snow were bitter cold temperatures and wind chills far below zero. This was a small portion of a huge storm system that brought extreme Winter weather to around two thirds of the United States. Here are a few photos I took in the morning after the storm ended.

This country road had big drifts which were too big to make it through even with a tractor.

American Kestrel

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday Morning at Milford Lake

On Saturday morning I went to Milford Lake which is about an hour's drive from my home to do some birding with friends. The weather was somewhat cool early but turned very pleasant as the morning progressed with not much wind (for Kansas) it was sunny at times but did cloud over toward noon. Though we didn't manage to see too many species of birds we had a very enjoyable time.

Some of our birding group...From left to right Bob Kruger, Lindsborg; Doris Burnett, Manhattan; and Chuck Otte, Junction City, the Geary County Extension Agent and leader of the monthly bird walks.

Intake tower Milford Lake Dam

A scene in the pond area below the dam

Another view in the pond area

The dam is along the horizon

Great Blue Heron

Scene along the southeast side of the lake

Crystal clear lake water

Limestone cliffs along the lake shore

Cove and boat landing

Pleasant View School, District No. 3
One room school houses were once common in rural Kansas but most were closed by 1960.

Sumac adds color to a November day

Red-tailed Hawk in the top of a cedar tree

A few hedge apples remain on the Osage-orange Trees....also called Bois d'arc (meaning wood of the bow in French) or Bodark. The Osage-orange trees are native to Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. The trees were widely planted in Kansas in the 19th Century and used as hedge that served as a fence for cattle and other livestock. The Native Americans used the branches to make bows, the wood is used by farmers and ranchers as fence posts since it extremely strong and rot resistant.

Hedge apples on the ground

Seed pods on a Locust Tree

Eastern Red Cedar with seeds

Seed pods on a Golden-rain Tree planted in the State Park

Buckbrush berries

Many roads had to be abandoned when the lake was built including this one.

Waves crash on a sand beach

Wetland Area


Road leading down to the Weststar/Martin Wetland Area

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tufted Titmouse

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Farm Scenes in Kansas

Fall is one of the busiest times on the farms of Washington County. It's the time for harvest of Corn, Milo (Grain Sorghum), Soybeans, and Sunflowers. This is also the time that Winter Wheat is planted. This was an especially difficult Fall for farmers to get the work done, with slow maturing crops, about two to three weeks behind normal and rain interrupting the field work. The harvest is finally winding down in early November with several days of favorable weather. These are scenes across the County and northern Clay County of the Fall crops and harvest.

Corn has been planted on more acres each year in Washington County, as farmers plant less Milo. This is a field just east of Hanover.

Cornfield in the Little Blue River bottoms east of Washington

A large hill south of Barnes with a cornfield in the foreground

Winter Wheat is planted in late September and October and is harvested in June and July the following year. This is a field of newly seeded wheat near Hanover.

Wheat growing on a hillside

Soybean field in the foreground and the ruins of a country school in the background between Hanover and Washington

Harvesting Soybeans on my farm along Peats Creek west of Linn

A field of Sunflowers awaits harvest on my neighbor's farm near Linn

Closeup of a Sunflower seed head

Milo (Grain Sorghum) is widely grown in Kansas, in fact the state is number one in Milo production. It's primarily used as livestock feed. The next photos show fields of ripening Milo.

Milo field north of Hanover

Closeup of Milo

A field of Milo northeast of Washington

Harvesting Milo near Linn

My Brother-in-law harvesting Milo in northern Clay County on Veteran's Day

Many farmers have semis to haul grain from the field to the elevator

The grain elevator in Greenleaf

A pile of Milo at the Farmers Coop in Hanover