Kaw Valley Almanac
Note from the Times: The Kaw Valley Almanac is a contributed piece that runs each week. Find more information and older editions at kawvalleyalmanac.com, and follow @KVAlmanac on Twitter.
this week’s Almanac
Kaw Valley Almanac for May 29 – June 4, 2023
Here is the wonderful zebra swallowtail, found in the eastern tier of counties in Kansas, including Douglas County where this photo was taken.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Dec. 13-19, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Dec. 6-12, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Nov. 22-28, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Nov. 15-21, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Nov. 8-14, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Nov. 1-7, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Oct. 25-31, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Oct. 18-24, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Oct. 11-17, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Oct. 4-10, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2021
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.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Sept. 20-26, 2021
It’s a great time of year to take walks in nature and see its abundant beauty.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Sept. 13-19, 2021
Insects continue to be prolific, with lots of monarchs and other butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas, grasshoppers, mantids and walking sticks, and katydids and moths after dark. Help tag monarchs from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday at the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center.
Kaw Valley Almanac for Sept. 6-12, 2021
With morning lows dropping into the 60s and even 50s this week, it’s the season for fog. If there is no wind, you can sometimes see steam devils, which like dust devils are caused by warming air rising in a vortex that is made visible in this case by fog.