Archives for posts with tag: kansas

Sometimes you really luck out when you take a different way home. Bored with my same old commute, I was so lucky to find these winding back roads of our beloved Sunflower State. The first time I got lost, I used my gps. The second time, I just let it roll and I found these awesome tee pee things.


And then when this route became slightly more familiar, but no less spectacular, I decided to make it my permanent commute. There’s even an apple orchard on the way. Not to mention gorgeous golden and green landscapes.

One day, by chance, the farm I had always taken for a corn field (I’m too busy driving to pay attention to everything!!) turned out to be…sunflowers! What a fantastic lovely and sunny ending to my day.

20120807-213452.jpgMy breath got caught in my throat at the stunning sight of ten billion sunflowers. My brakes squealed as I turned around. I called my husband to tell him I’d be a little late. He told me dinner would be ready. Aw. The lovely sight of farmland (and thinking of my darlin, making dinner) never gets old.

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Also on the roadside taking pictures was a sweet Topeka woman who had a nice camera and good wide angle lens. She told me her husband had recently passed away and that these flowers were her favorite. We chatted and had a lot in common. She was as beautiful as the sunniest sunflower. I’m sure her photographs were lovely and I hope she remembers that moment in time as fondly as I do.

Kansas, you sure are special.

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Want to know more about me? Check out my About page for starters and my other adventures: Puerto Rico and The Flint Hills. Recently I got caught up in Tropical Storm Debby, but not without my camera!

Leave a comment and tell me about your best roadside experiences!

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Morgan and I couldn’t wait to frolic in the open prairie and document The Kansas City Symphony playing alongside cattle drives, cowboys and cowgirls. We packed our camera bags early in the morning and set off for the three hour drive west.

Along the way, we stopped at abandoned barns, old stone farmhouses and lofts, played in the corn fields, avoided poison ivy, looked at the cows and tried not to kill ourselves on the winding backroad farm routes. It was glorious.

Prairie grass is so soft and floaty, but Kansas is windy. WINDY. So much dirt and dust covered us head to toe. I loved every bit of it.

 

The Symphony in the Flint Hills is so special. Every year the KC Symphony plays out in the middle of the heartland. The songs evoke a far away time of our American past: frontier, new lands, freedom. When I saw the open space, I imagined this landscape hundreds of years ago sprinkled with buffalo and a completely different culture.

The event is not just about the Symphony or the Flint Hills. It has the power to bring people together from east and west to appreciate this beautiful land and remember a past that is rooted deep in the heart of every American.

It also calls on a changing present: Morgan and I documented our adventure with Instagram and Twitter (@kansaslovebird #flinthills), veggie burgers were served and devoured, and the astronomy society brought their amazing GPS telescopes so we could see the rings around Saturn in broad daylight. There was a bridge made of completely recycled materials. Hey, Kansas! You’re awesome!

The governor was there to celebrate a new nature trail, and as part of the media crew, we were invited to document! Wow!

The event was also about education: learning about the geology of this amazing place, the migratory birds, the native grasses, music, and dancing.  And of course, cowboys and cowgirls.

Morgan got a little misty when the final notes of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” coincided with the last light of the sun, while I got chills during the finale when the whole crowd pitched in to sing “Home on the Range.”

For most of the folks, the bluegrass and two-steppin’ topped off the evening. But for Morgan and me, our night wasn’t over yet. We decided to drive a bit down the road. It was pitch dark and we wanted to do some nighttime stargazing. I’ve never seen such a glittery sparkly star-filled sky. I think we saw three shooting stars. It’s true, in Kansas, you can “wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind.”

Click the link to see our video and see that Kansas WIND. Great footage, Mo Milla!

Morgan Miller is a Kansas City photographer and guest blogger for Kansas Love Bird. Thanks Morgan for being such a great gal pal and ammmmmmazing photographer. 

Take a look at the slideshow to see the adventure.

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Thanks, Flint Hills. Much love.

Made with turkey from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch • Tampa, KS

If you’re like me, you really do appreciate where your food comes from. I mean, let’s be honest. I can’t drive five miles without seeing some kind of farm animal! My dad, uncle, and granddad raised cattle and had a turkey hatchery for crying out loud.  I’ve always been aware of my food and a little too aware when I’m standing downwind of a cow pie… But, as a working mom, loyal wife, blogger, teacher and small business owner, it’s easy to get sidetracked with all those attractive little boxes of food everywhere.

When I can have local and organic food, I know it’s special. Not always possible, but it really makes a difference. Tomatoes taste better off of my backyard vine, strawberries are sweeter picked from a patch, lettuce is crispy and earthy, and burgers are juicer.

Detail from Local Burger’s lovely mural by Heather Reynolds

Local Burger in Lawrence, KS makes it easy to feel good about the food on your plate. The food comes from local farms, and local vendors. Even the ketchup is local.

Bison, elk, venison, turkey, chicken, all local! And if you want to take some home, you can.

When I’m ready to try red meat again, I’ll be getting it from Local Burger.

I know meal planning can be a challenge. In my world, quick easy take-out meals are essential at times. But even still, I try to be conscious, healthy, and aware of my food.  There’s really nothing quicker than a banana or an apple.  Or a delicious meal from Local Burger.

Today, I had the most amazing turkey burger; even the pickles were special. It was classic: lettuce, tomato, onion, and of course, ketchup. My side salad was tart with vinegar and apples. The service was fast and friendly. Thank you, Jess.

It really is the World’s Most (delightful) Local Burger. At least here in Kansas.

 More detail from Local Burger’s mural by Heather Reynolds

Symphony in the Flint Hills with guest blogger coming next week! Today I used Camera+ for the photos you see here.

Don’t know if you knew this, but Kansas’ state flower is the sunflower! How sunny and cheery. I love it.

A sincere thank you to all of you who stopped by to read about my adventures and life in the Midwest. From my family to yours, we genuinely thank you! Keep on with that adventurous spirit stay tuned for more creative people, travels, eats, and my own personal brand of nutty hijinks, and don’t forget to keep your sunny side up! Next stop, The Great Sand Dunes and other adventures coming soon; I sure hope to see some buffalo and those space-agey wind mills!! Largest ball of twine, here I come (my husband’s a good sport).

More to come…