Broad-Leaf Wood-Oats

Broad-leaf wood-oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is a very unique plant that goes by many names: Spangle grass. Indian wood-oats. Wild oats. River oats. Northern sea oats. Inland sea oats. The spikelets are the most distinctive feature, being flat, broadly oblong, and about 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch long and 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide. These… Continue reading Broad-Leaf Wood-Oats

Kansas Forts and Bases

Not all of us can readily absorb military history without getting bogged down in the technicalities. Thankfully, Kansas Forts and Bases: Sentinels on the Prairie by Debra Goodrich Bisel and Michelle M. Martin is supremely readable, providing an era-by-era overview of Kansas forts as reflective of the broader picture of Kansas history overall.

Big Bluestem

Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) is one of the most iconic plants of the tallgrass prairie. Its sturdy, upright stems are usually covered with a blue, waxy coating, giving it its name. These stems grow in clumps and vary dramatically in height depending on the environment. Big bluestem can be a modest three feet tall, but… Continue reading Big Bluestem

Kansas Historical Markers

Over 120 historical markers dot the Kansas landscape, telling the story of our fascinating state. If you are looking for the Kansas historical markers, the Kansas Historical Society offers a complete listing organized by county. Each entry provides the full text of the marker, along with its address and GPS coordinates. As you visit the… Continue reading Kansas Historical Markers

El Cuartelejo: Rediscovery

Archaeologists have determined that the ultimate cause of El Cuartelejo’s demise was fire, as testified by the remains of charred posts and corn seeds. The Comanches who later took up residence near the pueblo had a legend that the ruins were struck by lightning. In any case, for the next hundred years, the walls slowly… Continue reading El Cuartelejo: Rediscovery