A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Alta Vista Kansas’

Alta Vista and Alma, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on March 27, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  The LG is a cruel master – after 5 USers in a row, you guessed it:  5 OSers in a row with this landing in . . . KS; 58/52; 5/10; 8; 156.3.

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Alta Vista and Alma.

Dan, you may remember Alma because of a previous landing back in 2008.  Was this the town you visited off of I-70 when you gave me a call?  Here’s a slightly expanded landing map, showing I-70:

Here’s an even broader view:

Anyway, I landed in the watershed of the Illinois Creek, on to the Mill Ck; to the Kansas R (57th hit); to the Missouri (361st hit); to the MM (769th hit).

Here’s my GE shot, showing a prairie/pasture setting rather than straight ahead agriculture:

Here’s a somewhat expanded view, showing clearly the watershed of the Illinois Creek:

Here’s a street view shot looking north, with my landing about a mile away:

Just to include a little local history, here’s a back-in-the-day picture of the Rock Island Railroad depot in Alta Vista:

Rather than feature the towns, I’m going to feature the geographic/geologic region in which I landed, the Flint Hills.   This region is not agricultural, as I noted above.  From Wiki:

Explorer Zebulon Pike first coined the name the Flint Hills in 1806 when he entered into his journal, “passed very ruff flint hills”. The underlying bedrock of the hills is a flinty limestone.

The bedrock of the Flint Hills were created approximately 250 million years ago during the Permian Period. During this time much of the Midwest, including Kansas and Oklahoma, were covered with shallow seas. As a result, much of the Flint Hills are composed of limestone (a rock created by the leftovers of limey sea critters like shell fish and coral) with plentiful fossils of these critters. Some of the bedrock is contains chert (i.e., flint).  Many of the honey-colored limestones have been used for building blocks. The non-chert-bearing limetones are best for this, since the chert is extremely hard to cut, yet it can fracture quite easily.

Beginning in the mid-19th century, homesteaders replaced the American Indian in the Flint Hills. Due to shallow outcroppings of limestone and chert, corn and wheat farming were not practical over much of the area and cattle ranching became the main agricultural activity in the region. Because the area was not ploughed over and is still sparsely developed today, the Flint Hills represent the last expanse of intact tallgrass prairie in the nation and the best opportunity for sustained preservation of this unique habitat that once covered the Great Plains.

Here’s a picture of Alma City Hall (marnox1, Panaramio), built from the local limestone:

For all of you weather fans (like me):  I’m sure you spend a fair amount of time checking out Doppler Radar (the maps showing the precipitation with shades of greens, yellows and reds representing rainfall intensity).  Anyway, just southeast of Alma is a Doppler Radar:

This is a beautiful area, so the rest of the post will be a picturesque photo album.  These are all Panaramio shots.  I’ll start with shot from west of Alma (by Pennington):

Here’s a butterfly bush from SE of Alma by lgpfort:

Just 2 miles east of my landing, here’s a shot by “srpouch”:

I’ll close with this lovely shot by prairypan, from about 3 miles north of my landing:

That’ll do it. . .



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