The First Methodist Church – a beautiful, historic church that is located one block north of The Morning Star – gets a new roof. Brrr. I bet it’s cold up there.
A widespread blizzard, named Winter Storm Q, passed through the midwest yesterday depositing 10.4 inches of snow on Manhattan, Kansas and even more elsewhere. Sunshine and blue skies were a welcome sight this morning, especially to travelers stranded due to cancelled flights. Here is a photo that I took earlier today of snow that deposited itself in a wave on the roof of our neighbor’s porch. I thought that it looked like something out of a storybook illustration. So pretty, but so cold!
Fortunately the worst of Winter Storm Draco, which passed through the midwest last night and this morning, missed us in Manhattan, Kansas; but we did receive our first snowfall of the year. Here are some pictures that I took this morning. It was quite cold, by the way – in the teens early on. Brrr …. I kept having to pop back in the house because my fingers were going numb and I couldn’t adjust the controls on my camera. I’m glad to be inside and warm again!
Going through my photo library, looking for images of winter, I came across this photo that I took 5 years ago today. It was a good reminder of the ice storm that struck Manhattan, Kansas and large parts of the midwest in 2007. Parts of town were without power for 10 days. As pretty as it was, brrr … it was cold!
Though the temperatures have gotten quite cold – a low of 9 degrees F. yesterday – I’ve still heard a few people expressing a wish for some real winter weather. But let us be careful what we wish for.
Like the rest of the American Midwest, Kansas has been experiencing a severe drought this year. In Manhattan, we are 13 inches below average rainfall as we approach year’s end. I was reminded of that statistic this morning. Heading out to the Konza Prairie to take photos of the changing seasons, I was struck by how low the Kansas River was when I crossed the bridge over it; so I pulled over into a boat launch area take pictures of the low water. It appeared quite shallow. I can’t imagine boating here.
The other side of the riverbed is just below the trees in the background.
The picture below is of one of the old bridge supports. (The new bridge, above, is not far away.) If you look closely, you can see where the river is trickling past in the background.
I decided to take the opportunity to photograph some of the native plants that had bloomed earlier in the year.
While doing so, I stumbled upon this piece of driftwood. For a split second, I thought that it was a rattle snake. Afterward, I was rather keen to get back in my car.
When I got to the prairie, several of the creek beds were bone dry.
The deeper ones had a little water. Small plants were thriving in the puddles at the edges where the water was drying up.
But overall, it is pretty darned dry.
Late Autumn – Early Winter on the Konza Prairie
For this week’s photography challenge, I headed out to the Konza Prairie after breakfast. I was captivated by this one ashen white tree. Notice also the moss colored tree just in front and to the right of it. Upon close inspection, there really were so many subtle colors to be seen.
Quite a few trees were covered with moss. It made them look bundled up for the cold.
What a pleasant surprise every now and then to run into some brightly-colored berries.
But then I would look at the woods, so ominous-looking, and I was happy to head home for a cup of hot tea.
My favorite thing about living in an historic neighborhood is the variety of architectural details. Unlike many modern neighborhoods in which properties are expected to conform to a set of design standards, in the older neighborhoods, there were often a great variety of styles. The Morning Star is part of the Houston and Pierre Streets Historic Residential District. The houses in this district are from the late 1800′s to early 1900′s and represent Queen Anne, Italianate, Classical Revival, Tudor, and Vernacular Folk styles. Built in 1902, our house, a Queen Anne “transitional”, is one of the newer ones. This afternoon, I went for a stroll around the neighborhood and photographed some of many details one can see just walking around. The first three photos are from our house.
Having spent quite a bit of time raking leaves over the past few days, I found myself pontificating on the subject of leaf etiquette and how to be a good neighbor. A friend interrupted me and replied, “Being a farm-girl, the concept of raking leaves is totally foreign to me.” So in all good fun, I dedicate this series of foreign-themed photos to my friend, Carolyn.…………