A Dry Year

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.