Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Research Vol. 20 No. 2, 2010


Copyright © 2010 by the Center for Great Plains Studies. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Mike Blair, a longterm employee of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, has combined wildlife and nature photographs taken in Kansas over many years into a single “synthetic” year of images. Although Kansas by title and locale, this small-format book (6 x 9 inches) will interest a wide audience, its photos and written text relating, with a few exceptions, as much to the entire Great Plains region as to a single geopolitical entity. Individual entries are presented in a chronological sequence, January through December, not unlike an almanac, each consisting of one or two photos and a page or so of the author’s observations, reactions, and insights. Additionally, a full-page image portraying physical or biological features precedes ten titled entries for each month. Accounts are listed in the table of contents individually by descriptive title and date (e.g., Killdeer Young, May 4), a useful feature for revisiting photos and writings. The photos are excellent, my only frustration having to do with an editorial willingness, illogical but fortunately infrequent, to print images over two pages, losing a portion to the binding.