Autumn In The Tallgrass
Throughout the Kansas Flint Hills sights abound with the beauty of nature. Any time of year one can find wonderful views of our rolling hills and prairie lands. Like many if not most places, Autumn brings special attention to these areas. Tallgrasses, now abundant and reaching towards the skies, also take on the colors of the Autumn season. Varieties of golden colors from light to dark, they paint the lands of their home as a painter would paint their canvas.
Though most of the Kansas Flint hill region is owned and managed by the farmers and ranchers that care for these lands, there are places one can literally “stretch their legs” for many miles. One such place is known as Konza Prairie.
Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) is located on a 3,487-hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University. The KPBS is located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas (39°05’ N, 96°35’ W), a grassland region of steep-slopes overlain by shallow limestone soils unsuitable for cultivation.
The Flint Hills region encompasses over 1.6 million hectares extending throughout much of eastern Kansas from near the Kansas-Nebraska border south into northeastern Oklahoma and contains the largest remaining area of unplowed tallgrass prairie in North America. Hence, the vast majority of Konza Prairie, and the surrounding landscape, has not been plowed and retains its native characteristics. I would venture to guess most are completely unaware of such a place. A true “one of a kind” place on our planet.
The majority of Konza Prairie is dedicated to prairie research and is off-limits to the public. In their joint venture, the Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University have made portions of this great area available to the public. Hiking trails are maintained and wind throughout the public area. Miles of hiking trails will take one from the top of the great rolling hills down into the bottomlands. Every step along filled with sights of this special place.
It was during a mid Autumn hike during mid-morning I had the pleasure of standing along the trail, gazing across these lands that “Autumn In The Flint Hills” was captured.
I return to the very spot on a regular basis to witness new sights and sounds and remember that one special day in which Mother Nature allowed me to view the moments of beauty and offer it to the World.
Please help protect our prairie lands. Their beauty and intimate views are something that should be enjoyed by all, for generations to come.