Dreary Day in the Flint Hills
(Click on image for larger view)

When I was a kid, rainy days were depressing, cold and just plain not conducive to my well being.
On June 5th I arrived in Wabaunsee County, about 25 miles west of Topeka and it was raining as if buckets
of water were falling from the sky.  Samantha wanted out of the Jeep because of all the thunder and
lightning and I was beginning to wonder if I dare poke a camera out the window to capture the end of
Spring and the near beginning of Summer.

Dead-end roads become my pastime on days like this.  Some of my best images have been acquired
at the end of a road that went know where.  After all, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to view several
Nighthawks or the Upland Sandpipers if I'd veered onto another path and had not taken a dead end roadway on
 this day.  The Upland Sandpiper (photos 4 thru 6) above was facing an easterly direction straight into the
 rain.  I didn't have the camera far enough out the window and it shows in the upper right-hand corner.

Hours later, a break in the clouds and a little more light than when we started helped reveal
the roadside colors of wildflowers and butterfly milkweed that a typical of Springtime in the Flint Hills. 

The butterflies took us by surprise as it was still lightly raining and usually its a windy, dry day
that the butterflies are abundant in the Flint Hills.

Creeks, ponds and lakes in the Flint Hills are full this Spring and that's a sign that perhaps the water table is higher, that
in turn may sustain the luster of the blue stem grasses during those really warm days in July through September.

Even though it was dreary and sometimes dark, the colors of Spring and the renewal of life in the
Flint Hills is refreshing.

A Meadowlark, the Kansas State Bird and an Upland Sandpiper bid us farewell as we depart.


All photos © 2004 by don Palmer