News

Red Lights

Jul 22, 2012

Journey along some of history's darker streets and alleyways as we go in search of 'red lights districts' on the frontier.

The final farewell to an adventure well lived…

BluePop

Jul 22, 2012

A Cardinal is one type of Grosbeak – a Blue Grosbeak is another. We learn to identify this deep-blue High Plains bird with brick-red bars on its shoulders.

We are meeting with a young El Salvadoran, who has allegiance to his native country, while trying to fit in the best he can in our North American culture.

Pianos on the Plains

Jul 15, 2012

Early settlers were self-reliant in all things, including entertainment.  They would find a place for musical instruments on their trek to the unknown west.  Old photos feature pioneers standing around a pump organ in front of a dugout home.   Pianos were expensive and difficult to transport.  The organ offered an affordable alternative.   Some creative souls even placed the organ inside an empty piano case, giving the illusion of owning the rare item.  As time passed, pianos and organs went through transition in size and structure making them affordable for the middle class.  Examples of t

Solomon Seal

Jul 15, 2012

Solomon Seal is not a native plant.  Named for a scarred rhizome that has the appearance of King Solomon's seal, which is known by many as the Star of David.   It is also know for its medicinal use, and is perfect for shaded flower beds on the High Plains.

Shovelers

Jul 15, 2012

Is the Looney Tune character Daffy Duck based in reality?  The overall physical characteristics of black feathers, orange webbed feet, and white ring are not found in one species in nature, but his shovel shaped bill is.   That prominent feature, which contributes to his unique speech pattern, builds the case for Daffy being classified as a Northern Shoveler.   

Buffleheads: The Most Adorable of Ducks

Jul 9, 2012

If koalas are cuter than the average bear, then I contend that Buffleheads are most adorable of ducks.  Perhaps we are naturally attracted to black and white creatures, or maybe everything is cuter when it comes in black and white.  The best example I can site is the Bufflehead.  Even the name is cute. 

Hollyhocks

Jul 8, 2012

Hollyhocks thrive in this arid climate we call home.  It does not flower the
first year, but sends up a tall stalk the next that will bloom most of the
summer.  The best time to plant your seeds is late summer, giving it time to
sprout and get established before winter sets in.  The most common disease
is rust, which can be managed by actively removing affected areas or with
chemicals. 

Naming Mobeetie

Jul 8, 2012

Mobeetie has a long history of firsts.  First established town in the Texas Panhandle, first post office, first court house, first judicial system and jail, first school, and first reported tornado- a killer storm that took seven lives in 1898.  To this day, even though a virtual ghost town, it is considered the,  "mother city,"  of the panhandle.

My taste buds are still seeking out food from Central America, so I am visiting an El Salvadoran restaurant in Garden City to appease my pupusa craving.

Western Bluebirds

Jul 1, 2012

The High Plains is a haven for many a mixed flock of Bluebirds. We learn how to identify one member, the Western Bluebird, and consider what sets this particular blue bird apart.

Longhorn History

Jul 1, 2012

A look at the background of one very tough breed that helped  to feed the west.

Early Birds

Jul 1, 2012

Most plants in Skip's garden got a jump on spring, producing foliage, buds, flowers, and fruits earlier than usual, and thus allowing an amazing harvest of ripe tomatoes in mid-June.

Heading home

Jul 1, 2012

Airports and Arrivals… the journey home begins.

We are sitting down on the shore of the largest lake in El Salvador, Lake Coatepeque, to watch the sun set behind the mountains as we say farewell to our time in El Salvador.

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jun 28, 2012

 A look at a vegetable that is an artichoke in name only.

 A famous playwright used his Kansas roots to create memorable characters and settings.

Kingfishers

Jun 26, 2012

Big-headed blue-and-white Kingfishers rule a watery kingdom, diving headfirst into the water after prey and digging elaborate burrows for raising young.

In part two of exploring Mozote, we will meet with two local men to hear their touching stories of the massacre and the civil war of El Salvador.

Artichokes

Jun 21, 2012

 Impulse buying results in a trip down memory lane and a new challenge for Skip's gardening skills.

Hoover Pavilion

Jun 20, 2012

A special building in Wright Park has been home to social gatherings in Dodge City for many years.

Anting

Jun 19, 2012

Anting is a bizarre inter-species ritual of birds and ants that results in a beneficial dose of formic acid for the birds. We explore why 200 different kinds of birds worldwide have been caught in the act of anting.

This is the first of a two part series from Mozote El Salvador, a village that was massacred in 1981.  We are meeting with a local woman to learn more.

Larkspur

Jun 14, 2012

A father's gift is regenerated each year, leaving a legacy of 'little blue flowers' to brighten the garden  and the heart.

German Russians

Jun 13, 2012

A look at an immigrant group who helped to settle the far northwest corner of Kansas.

Tanagers

Jun 12, 2012

Tanagers are brilliant tropical birds that spend their lives in the treetops, gracing the summer air with lyrical song. We investigate the several tanagers found in the High Plains.

We are in Tacuba this week, were the first communist rally was held in El Salvador.  We are joining native Osiris Gutierrez to learn more about  the history of this town and this country.

Spirea

Jun 7, 2012

A look at a flowering shrub that has maintained its popularity on the high plains from early-day homesteads to modern-day domiciles.

Fort Elliott

Jun 6, 2012

 The Red River Wars necessitated the formation of a command post in the Texas Panhandle known as Fort Elliott.

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