Kaw Valley Almanac
this week’s Almanac
Please consider supplementing the shrinking food and water supplies with a birdseed feeder and some water for the next month or so. This is typically the hardest time of the year for many birds — give them a hand!
This is not seagulls in a cloudy sky — it’s snow fleas on the snow.
This photo of the first quarter moon through the cottonwood tree was taken at sunset when it was due south. Each day at sunset this week, the moon will move a little further to the east until by the end of the week it will rise a little more than an hour before sunset, almost completely round.
This female cardinal looks like she is eyeing how much bird seed is left in the feeder, a little concerned about how little is left. Birds eat a lot more seed in cold temperatures as metabolism increases and alternative food sources diminish.
This eastern gamagrass provides a native grass burst to mirror fireworks overhead as a way to bring in the new year. The calendar year is a human construct recognized by no other life forms, but happy new year anyway!
The winter solstice is on Tuesday; expect 14 1/2 hours between sunset Tuesday and sunrise Wednesday morning. In contrast, summer solstice nights last just a little more than 9 hours.
Last week, the calm water reflected the sunset and leafless trees just west of the Baker Wetlands a few minutes after sunset. This week promises to be much windier, with high fire danger and potentially severe weather midweek.
This heron is hanging out on a cottonwood branch at the Baker Wetlands near the Wakarusa River in the fading twilight. The sun sets at 4:59 p.m. all this week, the earliest sunsets of the year.
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.