Mount Calvary Cemetery
and Sunflower wind farm
Florence, Kansas

J.S. and S.W. Aber


Mount Calvary Cemetery is a typical, small, rural cemetery located in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas. This cemetery is connected with St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Florence, a nearby town. The cemetery is accessed from Marion County 110th Street, about half a mile north of US 50 highway. We visited on a cool, sunny day in early May 2023. With a light north wind at 10-15 mph, we flew our large rokkaku kite with the Sony autoKAP rig, while the lawn was being mowed. Conditions for kite aerial photography were nearly ideal, except when wind slacked off briefly, and we had to take quick action to avoid crashing into trees.

KAP of Mount Calvary Cemetery
Overview of cemetery (left) looking northward with 110th Street behind, and closer view of southwest portion of cemetery (right). Cool-season grass has greened up, but not the patch of warm-season grass. Dark spot (<) is kite shadow.
Freshly mowed northeast portion of cemetery (left) and southeast portion (right). Notice the green curves in lawn. These are partial fairy rings, also known as elf rings or pixie rings. They are caused by underground growth of fungus that provides nutrients for grass.
Kite flyers set up on the northern edge of the cemetery (left) with the Sunflower wind farm in the left background. Close-up shot of kite flyers (right) testing camera rig prior to flight.

Sunflower wind farm

The Sunflower wind farm began construction in 2022. It extends west of the cemetery in the Flint Hills upland north of Doyle Creek valley. Turbines were erected, but not yet operational at the time of our visit, and a new high-voltage transmission line to serve the wind farm was under contruction south of the cemetery. Ørsted Onshore North America is developing the wind farm for 200 MW capacity, which is typical for modern wind farms in Kansas. This generating capacity is sufficient to power about 96,000 homes annually. Ørsted is headquartered in Denmark with the vision for a world that runs entirely on green energy—see Sunflower wind.

KAP overview of Sunflower wind farm

Ground views of new wind turbines for generating electriciy, but not yet in operation, contrast with a conventional American windmill for pumping groundwater.
High-voltage transmission line under contruction across US 50 highway, directly south of the cemetery. Aerial overview (left). Ground view (right) shows rigging for stretching wires over pulleys.

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All text and images © by the authors (2023).