Kansas Voted "Ugliest Scenery"
In early 2013 BusinessInsider.com ran polls across the USA asking people to vote for states based on several prompts. One of these polls had Kansas voted ugliest scenery by an overwhelming majority. Let me bring you along on an adventure across the ugliest state in America to discover and explore fly over country.
Violence in the skies
Everyone across the world knows of Kansas for its knack of throwing a few tornadoes around each year. However most natives to the state can go their entire lives with out seeing a single funnel cloud. People often overlook the types of storms that produce such violent and stunning displays of raw natural power. Thunderstorms swell and blow through the state in the late spring through till the early fall and bring a fascinating show of lighting and claps of thunder. While in the winter whiteouts keep things interesting through out the Western half of the state going as far as shutting down major highways and making for a true winter wonderland. If you think Kansas would be a boring place that never gets the adrenaline flowing you'd be in for quite the surprise if one of these frequent storms appeared.
The photo above was shot during a major chain of super cells that swept the south eastern half of the state in mid June of 2023. While hunting for rattlesnakes along roads in Barber County we got caught up in the one pictured above. I spent an hour in the rain trying to keep my camera dry while also attempting to capture the storms rotation and the vibrant purple and pink lightning. 300 photos were shot t an exposure time of 4 seconds each and only the 3rd to last image captured any spark of lighting. This image is the perfect example of taking advantage of your surroundings in landscape photography. Being prepared and setting up in the right place sets a photographer for a stunning photograph at the right time. All it takes is taking the opportunity the universe gives you with a dash of patience waiting for that one absolutely spectacular image. After accomplishing my goal, my buddy Conner and I spent the next 3 hours in the car enjoying the show as the storm swept over us and shook the ground.
Thus one goes to the stars : such is the way to immortality.
There is a Latin saying going back 2000 years: “per aspera ad astra" which translated means “through adversity to the stars,” or, "through hardship to the stars." So whenever an obstacle rises that seems to block the path forward, in reality the obstacle has an essential function. And that is, it forces me or it forces humanity to generate more — either more strength, more energy or more consciousness."
This is the anthem of Kansas and a verbal representation of the visual displays our night skies light up with. From the glow of the Milky Way core in July to the rare but extraordinary Northern Aurora that sparks in the darkest regions from time to time. Kansas nights offer a show light and wonder that's only extenuated by the vast size of the horizons here.
To the stars from the middle of no where.