I haven't spent as much time as I would like to photographing Kansas, despite the fact that I've driven through the state many times. Usually, and short-sightedly, I consider it a time-consuming obstacle between home and Colorado. But in 2000, on the way home from an extended visit to the Colorado Plateau, I decided to get off the "slab" and explore some back roads in and around Russell County. And I'm glad I did.

In some ways similar to my current state of Ohio and Illinois (the state I grew up in), Kansas is pretty flat. But that does not mean it is without its aesthetic appeal. The rolling sand hills of eastern Kansas, for example, are on my list of places I'd enjoy spending more time in and photographing. While not known for their spectacular mountains and canyons, the Plains states are the domain of constant wind and powerful weather systems. This image attempts to tell a story about that: a windmill facing down -- and taking full advantage of -- a strong storm cell, not unlike those that have passed through this area over eons and created the sand hills I mentioned above.

This image is unusual in the sense that I seldom show human artifacts in my landscape images. But in this case, the windmill helps tell the story. Other similar examples are Images #0020, #9173, #0506, #9216 and #9510.