Back 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.
Here’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.
Second, 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.
You may also find this book to be useful in identifying clouds when keeping records in The Weather Wizard’s 5-Year Weather Diary.
Looking 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!
There’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!