Wandering a few trails around Manhattan

Cedar Ridge Trail

It seems like it is increasingly easy for me to find myself at the end of the day without having moved as much as I should be…hard to deny the brutal honesty of a pedometer that says you are woefully short of steps. To fight back some at the inertia of the office, this fall my wife and I decided to load up our dog and look for some new trails to get out and explore. There are lots of ways to get some extra exercise in, but we wanted to get outside and do some walking. We both like being outside and there are too many benefits from nature to miss out on. Since I normally have my camera with me when we go for walks, I thought I would share some photos and info on some of the trails we have wandered along the past few months. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of trails around Manhattan (and “around Manhattan” is used loosely). This is just some of the places we wandered around this fall. Continue reading “Wandering a few trails around Manhattan”

Photos from 2016

Each January since 2012 I’ve been putting together a slide show of my photos from the previous year. This has been an interesting experience for me and a fun way to review my year. It has also helped me remember all the experiences I was fortunate to have to be grateful for them.

I always do most of my photography “close to home” in and around Kansas. This year for a variety of personal reasons most of my photography was even closer to home and mostly in the Flint Hills and lakes around Manhattan. I did make one trip to the Gyp Hills, a couple of trips to the Teter Rock area and one trip to the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge.

The first photo in the video was made on January 3rd, 2016 and the last on December 28th, 2016.

I’ve already starting putting together a list of places I want to photograph in 2017 and new things I want to learn and try out. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey through the new year.

Fall in the Flint Hills

Fall Afternoon on the Prairie

There are a lot of things to like about fall, the cooler weather, the change in wildlife as bird migrations take place, the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, and of course the changing colors of the world.

I live on the northern end of the Flint Hills, the last large continuous area of tall grass prairie left in North America. The tall grass prairie used to stretch from Oklahoma up into Canada, but only around 4% still remains. Living in a prairie region, the fall colors around me aren’t the spectacular reds of the northeast or the vibrant golds and yellows of the mountain aspens. There are some vibrant yellows on the trees in my part of Kansas, which can be really striking.  A more subtle source of fall color though, are the grasses out on the prairie. When the grasses first change to their fall colors, there is a luster to them that I find really beautiful. The different hues and shades of colors you can find in the grasses if you spend time looking can be surprisingly varied and beautiful. Continue reading “Fall in the Flint Hills”