Get Ready for September 2016

Are you ready for fall?  Spend a little time watching the birds, caring for the animals, and stocking the pantry. Invest in a dog owner’s home veterinary handbook. Feed your backyard birds. Discover why people built round barns. Stock up for the winter. Learn about pH. Weigh the pros and cons of draft animals. Explore…

6 Great Birdwatching Resources…and a Bonus!

Don’t let that summer heat turn you off of birdwatching. Fall migration season is just around the corner! Are you ready? Stock your birdwatching bookshelf with good identification tools before you need them. Here are a few that we’ve enjoyed: Peterson Field Guides to Birds: Every birdwatcher needs a good field guide, and these have…

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider…

Get Ready for June 2016

June is just around the corner. Take some time to sharpen your knowledge of farming, music, crafts, and history. Find out how glyphosate-resistant crops work. Brush up on your mandolin technique. Teach your kids how to knit on those rainy days. Discover the story of the Stetson hat. Make a strawberry shortcake. Collect five things…

5 Steps to Birdwatching Expertise

Every truly dedicated birdwatcher wants to perfect the art of bird identification.  He wants to be able to look out the window and say with complete confidence, “Yes, that’s a female Prothonotary Warbler.  Rare in these parts.” So how do you master your craft? Take heart!  There’s no magic formula or special talent needed to…

Get Ready for March 2016

Get ready for spring!  It’s time to plan new projects, start a garden, and get outside to enjoy nature. Start a new garden or orchard. Plan your farm water system. Take on the 5-minute brainstorming challenge. Learn more about growing your favorite vegetables. Learn about the breeding birds of Kansas. Start a farm journal. Find…

Spring Migration in Kansas

It may only be February, but the birds know that spring is just around the corner! Want to watch our feathered friends usher in a change of season? Here’s just a sampling of what to expect: Early February: Killdeer are among the earliest birds to arrive in Kansas. Late February: Waterfowl species switch over, with…

Attracting Turkeys to Your Backyard

One of the great advantages of living in rural Kansas is the opportunity to see wildlife up-close and personal. At this time of year, many of us find ourselves thinking about turkey.  While spring is probably the best time to see turkeys in Kansas, since they are abundant and rather noisy, these big birds are…

Wilson State Park

The proposed location for Wilson Reservoir created unique problems right from the start.  The United States Bureau of Reclamation originally planned to construct the lake to provide water for irrigation in a relatively dry part of Kansas.  However, the dam was to be constructed on the Saline River, named for its high salt content. Since…

Webster State Park

While many Kansas reservoirs were constructed to counteract flooding in the eastern part of the state, some were built to combat drought in the western part.  The area of Webster State Park was settled rapidly during the late 1800s and even the first two decades of the 1900s, but after about 1920 a spell of…