Tag Archives: Photography

Stone Arch Bridges

Stone Arch Bridges

Do you love those picturesque stone arch bridges in Cowley County, Kansas? Do we know the website for you to visit!

StoneArchBridges.com is a unique blend of history, physics, how-to, and photography. It offers well-researched information about bridges in Kansas (and other places, as well!) that can be extremely difficult to find anywhere else.

Just to give you a flavor of what this site is about, past topics have included:

One of the many things we love about this site is that the author has really taken the time to get to know the subject. He has traveled Kansas extensively, dug through old newspaper clippings for obscure information, and even built a small stone arch bridge in his own backyard.

Whether your interest is architecture, Kansas tourism, or backyard masonry, you are sure to find something of interest here. (And be sure to browse around for some great photos!)

While you’re at it, you may also be interested in the reading the posts the stone arch bridge expert has written for Homestead on the Range. Enjoy!

2020 Reading Challenge: Nature

2020 Reading Challenge: NatureLooking for something good to read this year, or maybe just through those cold winter months? How about a reading challenge?

The theme of this year’s reading challenge at Homestead on the Range is nature. One of the key tenets of sustainable agriculture is to work in sync with nature. Another, closely related rule of thumb is to mimic nature’s systems. A good way to start is to read up on the subject.

To complete the reading challenge, you must read 12 books by the end of the year, or an average of one book every month. Each book will be in a different category. This year’s categories are as follows:

  1. A book about plants.
  2. A book about animals.
  3. A nature-themed photo book.
  4. A book about a specific ecosystem.
  5. A book about weather or the atmosphere.
  6. A book about water.
  7. A book about habitat restoration or conservation.
  8. A book about how to observe nature.
  9. A book about agricultural practices that benefit nature.
  10. A book about outdoor recreation or skills.
  11. A book about an endangered species.
  12. A book about an extinct species.

A few rules:

  • Books in electronic formats count.
  • Both fiction and nonfiction books count.
  • You can work through the categories in any order.
  • Books cannot be counted twice, even if they fit into more than one category.

Need some help finding the books? Check out The Homestead Bookshelf to browse our favorite titles. Then sign up for On the Range, your free weekly country living update (learn more here). At the end of every month, we’ll suggest a book for one of the categories.

Let us know what you decide to read! We’d love to hear from you!

5 Years of Abundant Living in Flyover Country

5 Years of Abundant Living in Flyover CountryOn July 15, Homestead on the Range passed a major milestone—the five-year mark.

July 15, 2013, saw the publication of the first post at our website. All about living debt-free, this was also the first installment in our Getting Started series. Tips for what do when the hens stop laying, the Arkansas River Lowlands entry in our first-ever guide (Kansas Regions), and a link to a free eBook titled Beans as a Field Crop in Kansas rounded out our lineup for that first week.

Why We’re Here

Our story is told in depth on our About page. Hands-on experience with learning the country lifestyle in Kansas was proof sufficient that a better source of information was needed—one dedicated to learning how to live with the vagaries of this unique state.

Country living can be a challenge in Kansas. In addition to the usual complement of beginner’s mistakes and unexpected mishaps, a newbie can expect to face everything from drought to flood, heat and humidity to biting winter winds. When it comes to the Kansas climate—expect the unexpected. And climate affects everything from the laying rate of chickens to the size of the vegetable harvest to the household electric bill.

But we believe that every Kansan can live their dreams and enjoy a country lifestyle, because we believe that abundant living is possible no matter where you are. And we are here to help. Our mission:

Homestead on the Range is a Kansas-based small business dedicated to serving country living enthusiasts by supplying them with the innovative resources that they need to succeed. Whether your family’s farm or ranch is 5 acres or 500, a business or a hobby, in Kansas or in some other part of the world, our goal is to keep you informed and inspired.

To accomplish this, we have created a number of resources with your needs in mind.

What We Do

So what will you find here at Homestead on the Range? Our posts on a wide range of country living topics are likely the first thing that will meet your eye. However, we have a few other free online resources that we hope you will find useful:

  • Guides. In-depth articles on topics ranging from vitamins to vegetables to Kansas birds. Think of them as online encyclopedias.
  • The Homestead Bookshelf. Gathering knowledge is a big part of successful country living. This is where to go for inspiration, how-tos, or just the facts. Covering topics from Bible reading to crop planting to exploring Kansas, the Homestead Bookshelf is a growing repository of quality information (and a good place to find books to complete our reading challenges).
  • The Gallery. Free stock photos relevant to country living or the Kansas outdoors can be hard to find. Our photos of wheat, composters, wind turbines, and more are available for commercial and noncommercial use without attribution. (Please see our Stock Photo Terms of Use.)

Also free to all are our email newsletters:

  • On the Range. Your weekly country living update! Every Friday, receive notice of new posts, site updates, country living tips, Scripture Passages of the Month, reading challenge hints, relevant headlines, and more, right in your inbox!
  • Publishing Newsletter. A good way to keep up with our newest book releases, specials, and freebies.

And speaking of publishing, that brings us to our books. Our publishing catalog is still in its infancy, but we currently offer The Family Garden Journal and The Worst Jokes I Know with more books in the works.

Thank You, Readers

We are on a mission to collect as much useful Kansas country living information as possible into one place, and we would love nothing better than to have you alongside!

Thank you, readers, for five great years!

My Kansas

My KansasBack in 2011, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Travel and Tourism Division, published a spectacular 160-page collection of best-of-Kansas scenes by the best Kansas photographers. This book, My Kansas: A Photographic Journey Across the Sunflower State, may now be easier to borrow than to buy. But if you can find a copy, by all means enjoy it.

This beautiful book includes photos in the following categories:

  • Small-town treasures.
  • Wildlife wonders.
  • Roads to discovery.
  • Classic flavors.
  • Elbow room.
  • Kansas legacies.
  • Cowboy country.

Scenes of architecture, birds, harvests, sunsets, and more are sure to delight and inspire. The photos are well captioned, and some are embellished with fitting quotes.

If you love Kansas scenery, you will love My Kansas. It can make a delightful gift for a fellow Kansan. Or put a copy on your coffee table, conveniently within reach of out-of-state guests.

The Book of Clouds

The Book of CloudsHere’s a hefty photo book that anyone who likes to keep an eye on the sky will enjoy.  The Book of Clouds by John A. Day provides an interesting look at atmospheric phenomena that can serve multiple purposes.

First, the clouds and optical effects we see in the sky on a regular basis are grouped in a way that makes identification easy.  We learn which clouds are high up and which are closer to the ground.  We also learn to distinguish between heaps, layers, and clouds which are actually precipitating.  By understanding the similarities and differences of each cloud type, we can readily put a name on any cloud.

The Book of CloudsSecond, useful and interesting information is provided throughout the book.  Weather enthusiasts will be happy to learn:

  • How clouds form.
  • Who named the clouds.
  • What causes storms.
  • How to forecast the weather.
  • How to observe and photograph clouds (written for film cameras, but still useful).

Finally, The Book of Clouds makes an attractive addition to your coffee table.  The color photography is truly spectacular.

This book makes an excellent companion to A Field Guide to the Atmosphere, which John A. Day coauthored.  The field guide explains the causes and effects of changing atmospheric conditions in depth, which provides a foundation for better understanding the classification system used in The Book of Clouds.  The latter can then be used to hone your identification skills and recognize the subtle variations which each cloud type can display.

The Weather Wizard's 5-Year Weather DiaryYou may also find this book to be useful in identifying clouds when keeping records in The Weather Wizard’s 5-Year Weather Diary.

Extraordinary Chickens

Extraordinary ChickensLooking for a unique gift for the chicken fan of the family? Here’s a favorite!

Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage has captured the personalities, breed differences, and striking good looks of chickens of all shapes and sizes in two books: Extraordinary Chickens and Extra Extraordinary Chickens. Disheveled crests, unusual combs, feathered feet, colorful plumage—it’s all represented. Even unique toes get some attention!

Extra Extraordinary ChickensThere’s not a lot of information in these books, although some brief breed profiles are included. Overall, they’re pretty much for pure enjoyment. But they can and do spark an interest in some of the less-common chicken breeds out there. For that contribution alone, they’re well worth it.

And while you’re at it, you may want to take a look at the Extraordinary Chickens wall calendar, another favorite, and one that certainly draws some attention.

The gorgeous photos in these books and calendar are sure to provide year-round smiles for a chicken enthusiast. Highly recommended!