Smoky Hills

The Smoky Hills region, occupying the north-central part of Kansas, consists of three separate bands of hills running from southwest to northeast. The western band is the Chalk Buttes, a relatively flat area compared to the other two, but with geological surprises that give it a charm all of its own. The middle band is…

Red Hills

Red Hills, Gypsum Hills, Gyp Hills, Medicine Hills—they go by all of these names. But whatever they’re called, there’s nothing quite like this region of rust-colored buttes, mesas, sinkholes, and caves to give a person a strange feeling that “we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We are, though! The Red Hills are located along the south-central…

Links: Zone and Frost Maps

When is it time to plant lettuce? When do you sow wheat? It all depends on your local climate. Some of you may be scurrying to hunt up frost information for your area in preparation for some late-season planting. Here are three resources to help you out. They’ll come in handy next spring, too.  …

Ozark Plateau

The Ozark Plateau, located in the very southeastern corner of Kansas, is characterized by rolling hills and forests. Occupying only 55 square miles in Cherokee County, this is the smallest physiographic region in the state.   Soil The soils on the steep slopes of the area are moist, but they are also thin, rocky, acidic,…

Link: Online Bird Guide

Ah, the joys of country living.  Spending time with the animals, discovering that overgrown cucumber in the garden, listening to the birds…. Kansas is blessed with a gorgeous array of bird species—songbirds, hawks and owls, herons and egrets, and even a surprising number of sandpipers, seagulls, and other birds we tend to associate with coastal…

Osage Cuestas

The Osage Cuestas (pronounced Kwestas), encompassing nearly all of eastern Kansas south of the Kansas River, are a region of hills and ridges, steep on one side and gently sloping on the other. Because the Osage Cuestas cover so much area, there is plenty of variation in the terrain, though not as much topographical relief…

The Old-Fashioned Windmill

Harnessing the power of wind is by no means a novel concept. Those little old farm windmills, dwarfed by modern wind turbines, have their roots in the Middle East, where they were used as far back as the 800s. From there the idea spread to both Asia and Europe, and then traveled to American shores…

High Plains

Historically a region of shortgrass prairie, the High Plains now hosts an extensive system of irrigated agriculture.

Glaciated Region

The Glaciated Region occupies the northeastern corner of Kansas and is roughly bordered by the Kansas River on the south and the Big Blue on the west. Geologists named the area based on a theory that two glaciers once covered the landscape and shaped the terrain. Rocky hills and wide valleys with accompanying floodplains provide…

Flint Hills

If you’ve lived in Kansas for any length of time, you’ve heard of the Flint Hills, the largest remaining tallgrass prairie on the continent. 4.5 million acres of bluestem pastures and rolling hills about two counties wide stretch from Cowley County in the south to Marshall County in the north. Many Kansans (and non-Kansans, too!)…