Kansas is a meditation. Between the lush, woodsy green of Missouri and the spectacle of the Rockies, Kansas Is. (And you might say “Kansas” extends at least as far as La Junta, in eastern Colorado.)
We started the day with a visit to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, near Emporia KS. It reminds us that some beauty is subtle. And that good old prairie grass is as important to world ecology as rain forests.
It reminds me that I should have finished Prairie Erth (A Deep Map) by William Least-Heat Moon, which was based on the author’s walk around Chase County, Kansas, where the Preserve is located.
The day was overcast, so the landscape shimmered silver, the colors muted… except for the brilliant yellows of the roadside crowds of black-eyed susans. I’m still fascinated by the complex grain elevators of agri-business and pumps and tanks of natural gas production. And the wind farm at Spearville is still breath-taking — the windmills were all in action and mesmerizing. I took a photo of the thousands of cattle at one of the feedlots west of Dodge City, where they were literally eating themselves to death.
Kansas makes you think.