Weathering Stump

May 08, 2019

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A tree stump weathers gracefully next to a small stream in the Flint Hills of Butler County, Kansas. The stump is one of several, all in a neat row, that mark the passing of felled trees.

 

A tree stump weathers gracefully next to a small stream in the Flint Hills of Butler County, Kansas. The stump is one of several, all in a neat row, that mark the passing of felled trees.

 


Roaming Free

May 05, 2019

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Wild mustangs graze on a Butler County pasture in the Kansas Flint Hills. The Federal Bureau of Land Management leases some 60,000 acres in Kansas to provide a free-roaming environment for some 7,000 horses, thereby preserving a symbol of the Old West. The horses are descendants of horses brought to the West by Spanish explorers.

Wild mustangs graze on a Butler County pasture in the Kansas Flint Hills. The Federal Bureau of Land Management leases some 60,000 acres in Kansas to provide a free-roaming environment for some 7,000 horses, thereby preserving a symbol of the Old West. The horses are descendants of horses brought to the West by Spanish explorers.


The Cottonwood

May 02, 2019

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A giant cottonwood tree, showing damage by beavers, stands tall on the bank of the Smoky Hill River east of Ellsworth, Kansas. The cottonwood, the state tree of Kansas, is often found along streams and creeks as they thirst for water and have high tolerance for occasional flooding.

A giant cottonwood tree, showing damage by beavers, stands tall on the bank of the Smoky Hill River east of Ellsworth, Kansas. The cottonwood, the state tree of Kansas, is often found along streams and creeks as they thirst for water and have high tolerance for occasional flooding.


Lake Wabaunsee

April 28, 2019

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Docks and patios are the link between high-dollar homes and the placid waters of Lake Wabaunsee, west of Eskridge, Kansas. The 235-acre lake was built during the Great Depression, providing jobs, and the sale of building lots financed the construction, which was finished in 1939. With the help of heavy rains in 1941, the soring-fed lake was full in 1941. During World War II, barracks were built to house German prisoners of war at the lake.

Docks and patios are the link between high-dollar homes and the placid waters of Lake Wabaunsee, west of Eskridge, Kansas. The 235-acre lake was built during the Great Depression, providing jobs, and the sale of building lots financed the construction, which was finished in 1939. With the help of heavy rains in 1941, the soring-fed lake was full in 1941. During World War II, barracks were built to house German prisoners of war at the lake.


Ubiquitous Rock

April 28, 2019

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Limestone rock, found just below the soil throughout the Kansas Flint Hills, was used as a building material by early settlers in the state. Here, a house made of limestone blocks sits behind a fence made of limestone stones in Wabaunsee County, south of Alma.

Limestone rock, found just below the soil throughout the Kansas Flint Hills, was used as a building material by early settlers in the state. Here, a house made of limestone blocks sits behind a fence made of limestone stones in Wabaunsee County, south of Alma.


Spring Arrivals

April 27, 2019

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Cattle dart from a semi-trailer into a holding pen that will deliver them to their summer home — a tallgrass pasture in the Flint Hills of Wabaunsee, County, Kansas. On this day, eight truckloads, each holding about 90 head of cattle, were unloaded. The cattle will be divided into 14 pastures south of Alma, where they will graze until fall.

Cattle dart from a semi-trailer into a holding pen that will deliver them to their summer home — a tallgrass pasture in the Flint Hills of Wabaunsee, County, Kansas. On this day, eight truckloads, each holding about 90 head of cattle, were unloaded. The cattle will be divided into 14 pastures south of Alma, where they will graze until fall.


Red Rocks

April 25, 2019

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Sandstone outcroppings are common at Kanopolis State Park, in central Kansas. The rock can be traced back some 80 million years, when what is now Kansas — indeed much of the Great Plains — was covered by a vast, shallow sea. It's iron that gives the rocks their reddish, rusty color.

Sandstone outcroppings are common at Kanopolis State Park, in central Kansas. The rock can be traced back some 80 million years, when what is now Kansas — indeed much of the Great Plains — was covered by a vast, shallow sea. It's iron that gives the rocks their reddish, rusty color.


Meadowlark

April 06, 2019

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An Eastern Meadowlark keeps watch in the grasslands of Ellsworth County. The bird is quite similar in appearance to the Western Meadowlark, which is the state bird of Kansas, and both species are found in central Kansas. It's difficult to distinguish one species from the other — until they sing. Both are melodious, but their tunes are sharply different.

An Eastern Meadowlark keeps watch in the grasslands of Ellsworth County. The bird is quite similar in appearance to the Western Meadowlark, which is the state bird of Kansas, and both species are found in central Kansas. It's difficult to distinguish one species from the other — until they sing. Both are melodious, but their tunes are sharply different.


Rocks and Sunshine

April 06, 2019

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A setting sun illuminates sandstone rocks on the shore of Kanopolis Reservoir in Ellsworth County. The lake level has been lowered to accommodate construction work near the dam, thus exposing more of the rocks at water's edge.

A setting sun illuminates sandstone rocks on the shore of Kanopolis Reservoir in Ellsworth County. The lake level has been lowered to accommodate construction work near the dam, thus exposing more of the rocks at water's edge.


Morning Dancing

March 31, 2019

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Sandhill cranes dance at sunup on a sandbar in the Platte River east of Kearney, Neb., The dancing is part of the mating ritual for the cranes that stop at the Platte to feed and rest during their spring migration north to breeding grounds in Alaska and Canada. The cranes spend about six weeks here, and their population is a half million or more.

Sandhill cranes dance at sunup on a sandbar in the Platte River east of Kearney, Neb., The dancing is part of the mating ritual for the cranes that stop at the Platte to feed and rest during their spring migration north to breeding grounds in Alaska and Canada. The cranes spend about six weeks here, and their population is a half million or more.


Colorful Flight

March 31, 2019

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Sandhill cranes fly a colorful, sunset sky as they leave a farm field to return to their roosting place, the Platte River south of Kearney, Neb. Cranes by the thousands spend about six weeks on the Platte to feed and rest during their seasonal migration north to destinations in Canada, Alaska and beyond.

Sandhill cranes fly a colorful, sunset sky as they leave a farm field to return to their roosting place, the Platte River south of Kearney, Neb. Cranes by the thousands spend about six weeks on the Platte to feed and rest during their seasonal migration north to destinations in Canada, Alaska and beyond.


Seeking Corn

March 31, 2019

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A sandhill crane glides in for a landing in a Nebraska cornfield to join other cranes, all with their heads down as they scavange for leftover corn. The field is just south of the Platte River, east of Kearney.

 

A sandhill crane glides in for a landing in a Nebraska cornfield to join other cranes, all with their heads down, scavenging for leftover corn. The field is just south of the Platte River, east of Kearney.