A sunflower stands alone on a red shale butte in the Gyp Hills southwest of Medicine Lodge.
Working under cloudy skies, Ottawa County farmer Eric Brown harvests a field of wheat east of Delphos, Kansas. His aim is to market two crops — the wheat and also the straw, which he will bale and sell to be made into cattle feed.
A red fox kit, one of three in the litter, prowls an east Salina neighborhood. Foxes are known for their intelligence, cunning and adaptability, which allows them to thrive in widely diversified habitats.
Deep ravines accented by sharp scars are prominent features of the Arikeree Breaks north of St. Francis, Kansas. The breaks were created millions of years ago by wind erosion. Where even thin soil is available, vegetation covers.
Flooding of the Cottonwood River has pushed water into the lower level of the Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill at Cedar Point, Kansas. The mill, unused since the 1960s. is listed on the National Record of Historic Places and is owned by a nonprofit corporation that is raising money to fund restoration. Despite the prominent cracks in the walls, the mill is believed to be sound. It sits on bedrock and the lower-level walls are 42 inches thick. The mill was built as a sawmill in 1867 when a log dam was built across the river; its purpose soon after was turned to grain milling, and the dam was replaced with one of stone.
A field of ripening wheat sports a scalloped edge in Logan County, south of Oakley. Many rural roads in far western Kansas lack roadside ditches, giving farmers the opportunity to maximize crop production by pulling their planting equipment around power poles and extending their fields to the road's edge. In this scene, a post-sunset storm is brewing in the west.
Roofers Andy Littrel and Don Lopez ride a lift down from the high steeple at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Liebenthal, where they are replacing the steeple's copper skin. It's a tall order. The narrow steeple is about 60 feet, and the top of it is about 168 feet above the ground. Leaks necessitated the repairs. The work is being done by Roofmasters of nearby Hays, which has considerable experience in answering calls for steeple repairs.
A Horned Lark chrips from a guidepost that marks the highest elevation in Kansas. The top of Mount Sunflower (not a mountain at all; barely a hill, in fact) is at 4,039 feet above sea level. The site, protected by a woven wire fence held with tree stump posts, includes metal-crafted signs and sunflowers as well as limestone markers. Mount Sunflower is near Weskan, in far western Kansas less than a mile from the Colorado border. It's in a desolate area served only by unpaved roads and you might think the number of visitors would be minimal. But no! Eighteen pages were needed in the registration notebook, kept in a mailbox, to log the visitors who signed in in May of 2019.
Runoff from recent heavy rains in the Flint Hills rush down a creek in northern Butler County. Runoff and flooding are common in the Kansas Flint Hills, where the thin soil sits atop rock, giving water little chance to percolate.
A jumble of grain storage structures stands at the edge of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near downtown Wilson, Kansas. The grain elevator once provided public storage, but no more. It's private.
Banks of clouds to the north add drama as a light rain falls on the prairie of eastern Ellsworth County.
A sandstone tower, showing the effects of erosion, juts from a bluff in the Horsethief area of Kanopolis State Park. The tower is among many outcroppings along the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail, which follows Bison Creek in the park.