Pros and Cons of Gardening in Kansas

Gardening in Kansas is quite a bit different than gardening in most other states—and that can be both good and bad. The Kansas climate is unique, which presents challenges and opportunities found nowhere else in America. So what exactly is different about gardening in Kansas, and how do we adapt?   Pros Long growing season….

United States Drought Monitor

Drought is something that Kansas country families have to take seriously. Farming and ranching, even on a small scale, are extremely water-dependent pursuits. If you want to keep up to date on droughts in your area, take a look at the United States Drought Monitor, a tool jointly produced by the USDA, NOAA, and the…

10 Resources for Beginning Gardeners…and a Bonus!

Spring is in the air at last! Are you ready to start gardening? If you have never planted a garden before, you may still be doing your research, hunting for resources that will get you off to a good start. We’ve pulled together a short list of posts, links, and books to help you out…

Historical Atlas of Kansas

If you like maps and you love Kansas history, have we found the book for you! The Historical Atlas of Kansas by Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self contains over 70 maps presenting different aspects of life in Kansas, past and present. Maps include: Landforms. Precipitation. Native flora. Spanish and French claims. Early Indian tribes. Forts…

The 100th Meridian in History

To the early emigrants moving westward across America, seeking to fulfill their Manifest Destiny, the Pacific Coast was the goal. Between the frontier towns of America and the two promised lands of Oregon and California lay a number of obstacles. The Rocky Mountains were one of the most obvious difficulties to be overcome. But even…

Weather Folklore: Animal Prognosticators

Some weather-related folklore depends on animals to predict the weather. You are probably already familiar with the groundhog and the woolly bear caterpillar, but there are quite a few more animal prognosticators out there! Can we rely on animals for an accurate forecast? Let’s find out. If the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2,…

Weather Folklore: Changing Seasons

Many weather-related folk sayings attempt to provide long-term forecasts. Old-timers relied on them to figure out whether a hard winter was coming or whether a late frost was on the way. Were the old-timers right? We’ll find out! If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Partly fiction. Even…

Weather Folklore: Rain or Shine?

Throughout the years, people have come up with some interesting ways to try to predict the weather. While it is easy to dismiss this fascinating body of folklore as superstition or hasty generalization, some of the old sayings have stood the test of time. The trick is to separate the fact from the fiction. Over…

What Type of Climate Does Kansas Have?

What type of climate does Kansas have? It just depends on who you ask. There are several different systems of climate classification, and each one will give you a slightly different answer.   The North Temperate Zone The northern hemisphere is often loosely broken into three regions: Polar. Temperate. Tropical. The north temperate zone lies…

A Field Guide to the Atmosphere

One of the many interesting things about Kansas is the weather. You never quite know what to expect here—vivid blue skies, awe-inspiring lightning displays, whirling dust devils, sparkling snow drifts…anything’s possible. If you want to know a little more about how the weather works, consider A Field Guide to the Atmosphere by Vincent J. Schaefer…