There are things in life that come as strong bold experiences, the excitement of watching your kids do something new for the first time, or you doing something new. I think for the most part we clamor towards the exciting, the big event, the thrill of feeling the energy and adrenaline rushing through our mind and body.  We may not do this with specific intent of that rush of excitement but it’s something most seem to gravitate towards. You don’t hear too many bragging about taking a trip with the expectations of not much excitement.

Exciting times are full of exciting moments, thrills of spectacular places or experiences worthy of many photos to fill the scrapbooks with lots of memories. Hey I’m no different I’m always thinking about where my next great scenic location might be. For me it may be to the Rockies next July during peak wildflower seasons, that sounds exciting! There is plenty of time to consider these things so until that happens I will keep visiting the places I call home and have grown to love.

When in familiar places the need for excitement still seems to exists, that thrill of being at the right place at just the right time, it’s something that keeps me going and helps to keep the excitement alive.

I’ve mentioned Konza Prairie here many times, a wonderful place to visit and learn about the tallgrass prairie. My visits over the last year has been very limited, mostly to quick visits late in the day simply because I miss spending time there. Even as a volunteer docent I haven’t been able to do any volunteering simply because daily schedules don’t seem to workout. But time will help with that and I look forward to many years and many visits and opportunities to help with their mission of education and personal experiences.

Recently I had time late in the day to make a trip to Konza in hopes of capturing some of the late summer splendor. Things have been kind of subdued this year due to the heat and lack of moisture, but there is always something that gets me excited each time I visit. The hour I had before sunset like always flew by like the Meadowlarks in the Kansas wind. Only a few pictures were taken of the landscape but the drive through the prairie was relaxing and peaceful to say the least.

As I was working my way back to an exit the road followed the Bison area for a mile or so and to my delight some Bison were nearby on their never ending grazing journeys. Also to my delight I was on the east side of them so the sunset had them silhouetted against the colorful skies. Of course I had to stop and enjoy the blissful scene. Out came the camera and for the next 15 minutes or so I stayed on my knees in attempt to capture the silhouetted views. I knew things may not turn out the way I quickly envisioned but it didn’t stop me from making many attempts.  One thing about Bison, unless they are lying down they keep on the move, slowly working the land for the vast amounts of nourishment they require.

After I got back in my vehicle and made my way towards home I felt very fortunate, not that I might have a bunch of cool pictures but for the opportunity to encounter such a wonderful moment. At that time I knew the pictures didn’t matter, it was simply the moment that made all the difference.

Kansas wildlife photography

© Brad Mangas

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