Kaw Valley Almanac
this week’s Almanac
With a shrinking, waning moon and fair skies predicted for much of the week, this might be a very good time to observe the night sky.
This greenish-tinged limestone is full of fossils, including a short seven-segment section of a crinoid stalk, a plant that was quite prolific in oceans where Kansas is now some 250 million years ago.
Nov. 17 is the peak day for deer-car accidents, with some 700 of the 10,000 annual collisions in Kansas occurring on that day. Drive carefully, especially around dawn and dusk.
If you are a daytime person, find a sweet gum tree like this one and watch the star-shaped leaves falling to the ground this week.
With recent rains, puffball mushrooms have been popping up. These join a surprising variety of other fall mushrooms including chanterelles, pleurotis, lion’s mane and hen of the woods.
This time of year can provide incredibly lush landscape photos as the trees become more colorful by the day. But beware — deer-vehicle collisions peak soon.
Deer activity is starting to increase with the beginning of rutting season. Drive carefully, especially after sunset and before sunrise when deer are most active.
This still vibrant prairie or downy gentian is a good reason to continue to walk an area prairie, even as sunflowers and goldenrods finish up. The warm season grasses will begin turning color just like the trees this week.
Asters come in a variety of colors, and their name is derived from the Latin and Greek word for “star.” This will be a good week to observe both the floral and celestial asters — fall constellations, Jupiter, and Saturn.
The purple silky asters and the yellow blossoms of the Great Plains goldenrod await you at the Prairie Park Nature Center prairie, located southeast of 27th and Harper in Lawrence.
It’s a great time of year to take walks in nature and see its abundant beauty.