Monday, November 12, 2012


Long, dusty country roads
In some ways, Kansas isn't too far removed from South Dakota - well, except it's usually about 10-15' warmer - they both have seemingly endless miles of gravel-bounded farmland and fields and lots of friendly people.  In places it seems as if you can see forever on a clear day - or at least the 10+ miles to the next small-town-with-elevator.  Whoever dubbed them the skyscrapers of the prairie certainly had it right!

Drifts of milo
 You do see more wheat and milo (grain sorghum)  than in SD, but there's also a lot of corn.

Wheat stubble
The view driving into town never gets old - and T keeps telling me spring and summer are even better color-wise.  The sunsets - and sunrises - are certainly spectacular.

Right out our bedroom window

Sunrise over tank batteries

Oil well
Of course KS has a few more oil wells and accompanying tank batteries storing oil and separated-off salt water - they don't smell so pretty.  But like hogs, it's the smell of money....  Luckily, there aren't any real close to us.

What is close to us, and which I can't wait to explore with the ponies is an absolutely gorgeous "dead mile" - well, not really a dead mile, since there's actually no track.  It's more a huge, unfenced swath of rolling prairie that stretches for a mile north and a couple miles(?) east. 

Just screams, "Come ride here!" doesn't it?

This gate is just over a mile up the road to the north.  T knows the owner and I'm crossing my fingers and planning a neighborly delivery of fresh baked goods that he won't mind if we leave a few hoofprints across it.

Mule deer

I'm guessing we'll scare up at least a few of deer, too.  For sure, there's no shortage.

Next trip down we work on corrective fencing and pony-proofing the barn area.  The existing fence is barb-wire, so the plan is to run electric around the inside perimeter to keep them off of it.  There are some trees that need to be trimmed up, and a few deadfalls that need to be cleared.

Barn, northeast side
The barn loft opens to the south - we'll need to clean out a bunch of old hay, but I'm told that needs to wait until it gets cold so that any snakes - yep, we'll be waiting until it's FREEZING! - are dormant.

The metal building is an old granary/equipment storage space.  It's sound and appears to need only minimal cleaning out, but I haven't done too much poking around inside yet.

Barn, northwest side
Doors to the barn are on the west - it opens out onto a series of sorting corrals, which right at the moment are wall-to-wall weeds.  A clean-out priority.  The old stocktank in the picture is part of a large and highly varied collection of metal junk that needs to be loaded up and hauled away, but that's a ways down my to-be-accomplished list at present.


Melissa Lynn D said...

Snakes in the hay loft? How do they get up there? I'm going to be scared any time I climb into a hay loft from now on!

SunnySD said...

I'm guessing they come in with the hay? Not sure, though. We had garter and bull snakes in the hay barn when I was growing up, but Upper Michigan doesn't have any poisonous snakes so we always left them along to eat mice & bugs.

Kansas apparently has the more deadly sort, thus the waiting until it freezes. Definitely not happy-making!!!

Kellie said...

Man, I sure love Kansas. To me it's just beautiful and a peaceful place to be. Could be just my chilhood perception of staying with my Grandparents and how wonderful it was - from the wheat harvest to helping maintain the local cemetary (i know that sounds strange, but our family always took are of it). Guess I always thought when I "grew up" I'd move there. lol

You guys are getting a real nice looking place. Love to go riding through your neighbors place too!

SunnySD said...

Thanks - it's a really pretty state, and I like what I've seen of it so far. I never thought I'd live quite that far south, but you just never know what life's going to bring next.

I think it's cool that your family cared for the local cemetery. So many of the really old family/small town ones have fallen into disrepair and no one looks out for them.