Daily Archives: December 12, 2014

Kansas Geology as Landscape Art: Interpretation of Geology from Artistic Works

Kansas River, by Louis Copt (2005) (oil)

Kansas River, by Louis Copt (2005) (oil)

The Kansas Geological Survey has a fascinating report on how many regional artists have portrayed the geology of Kansas faithfully and with realism.

The report is by by
Daniel F. Merriam, John R. Charlton, and William, W. Hambleton demonstrate how to interpret geology in their landscapes using eight prominent regional artists, Louis Copt, J. Steuart Curry, Raymond Eastwood, Phil Epp, J.R. Hamil, Stan Herd, Birger Sandzén, and Robert Sudlow. The written report along with wonderful Kansas landscape art is available at http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/OFR/2006/OFR06_11/ or search the Kansas geological Survey for Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2006-11.

There is also a pdf of just the artwork at kas06.pdf




Cougar      Photo Credit: Art G. (Flickr)

Cougar Photo Credit: Art G. (Flickr)

Cougar     Photo Credit: Art G. (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalart/

 The following text is from Wikipedia:

The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known as the mountain lion, puma, or catamount, is a large felid of the subfamily felinae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the second heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than to any subspecies of lion (subfamily Pantherinae).

An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. It will also hunt species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have been trending upward in recent years as more people enter their territory.

Prolific hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida panther subpopulation. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Transient males have been verified in Minnesotta, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan & Illinois.

Trails of Kansas

Table Mound National Recreation Trail / Elk City SP

Table Mound National Recreation Trail / Elk City SP

Trails of Kansas

‘by Ted Beringer

Here is a great website that features some of the best trails in Kansas whether they are for hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping or automobiles. Visit http://www.trailsofkansas.com/index.html and then click on “Kansas Trail” in the top menu. The hiking trails include out of the way places like Horsethief Trail in Kanopolis State Park, Rocktown Natural Area at Wilson Lake and the Multipurpose trail at Cedar Bluff State Park. And of course Table Mound National Recreation Trail at Elk City State Park. If you click on the photos beside the trail descriptions, a short photo album will open to provide some tantalizing views of each area. Plus they have a list of outdoor clubs in various parts of the state for you to join. It also has information on obtaining an informative handbook on Kansas Outdoor Treasure by Julie M. Cirlincuina.



Celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike in Kansas

Usher in the New Year with other outdoor lovers at one of the many First Day Hikes offered Jan. 1 at some of Kansas’s state parks. The First Day Hike is a national program hosted by America’s State Parks. All 50 state park systems will sponsor free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2015.

America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2015. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.

First Day events at Kansas State Parks are:

  • Elk City SP, 1 p.m.: Meet at Day Use Parking Area to hike along South Squaw Trail for wildlife pictures. No pets. For more information, call 620-331-6295.
  • Green Property, 1 p.m.: Meet at Green Recreational Trail Head in Pratt to hike Green Recreational Trail. For more information, call 620-672-5911.
  • Hillsdale SP, 10 a.m.: Meet at HillsdaleState Park office to hike Hidden Springs Nature Trail. For more information, call 913-783-4507.
  • Perry SP, 9 a.m.; Meet at SP Biking/Hiking trails on Kimberly Drive off West Lake Road to hike Skyline Trail. For more information, call 785-246-3449.
  • Pomona SP, 1 p.m.; Meet at Shelter to hike Buck-Brush Trail. For more information, call 785-828-4933.
  • Tuttle Creek SP. 10:30 a.m.; Meet at the Tuttle Creek State Park office for short hikes for guided bird watching on Cottonwood Trail. No pets. For more information, call 785-539-7941.

Participants should dress warmly in layers, wear comfortable hiking shoes, wear gloves and hats, bring camera and binoculars and carry water. The events are free and open to the public, but a KansasState Park permit is required which can be obtained at the park office on the day of the hike. A daily permit is $5.00 and an annual permit is $25.50.

Some trails are handicapped accessible, others are not. For detailed information on individual hikes go to http://kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/State-Parks/First-Day-Hikes.

More information about the national program can be obtained at http://naspd.org/.

Currier & Ives lithograph of country living

Home on the Western Frontier by Currier & Ives, 1867

Home on the Western Frontier by Currier & Ives, 1867

The Pioneer’s Home

by Ted Beringer

This is a digital image from the original lithograph printed in 1867 by Currier & Ives entitled The Pioneer’s Home on the Western Frontier. Although it is obviously not Kansas, it depicts a bucolic scene that visitors to the Kansas Wildlife Federation website may enjoy. It is from the National Archives in Washington that can be accessed by anyone willing to visit and search their vast digital holdings. Their website is http://www.archives.gov. You can search the site for a multitude of things or historical events that piques your interest. You can download this png file here or visit the archives and search for the 245 MB image.