Photographic Story ~
On a very early Spring (which seemed more like very late Winter) exploration into the prairie lands of the Kansas Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie, I found myself stopped along a lonely stretch of north / south dirt road. This is not uncommon. Much time is spent walking seldom traveled roads. Meandering along an old fence line gazing into the great prairie.
At first there seemed to be nothing extra special about this particular spot. It seemed to be just like the mile or two before and the mile or two ahead. But stop I did for what was the first reason, the clouds. It was a particularly nice day weather wise, and the clouds were as free as the warming breeze of the coming Spring.
Clouds are always a good thing to pay attention to when out on a photography journey. Not just for their beauty and free spirit but for the shadows they cast upon the lands. I am as fascinated by their shadows as I am with the clouds themselves.
As fleeting as a Meadowlark in the southern breeze, clouds paint the land with shades of light and dark. The exact scene can change before your eyes in seconds according to the clouds above.
So was the case this wonderful afternoon. As I walked up and down the old road I finally determined a place next to the fence I would attempt to photograph this great open prairie that seemed like the dance floor of the clouds. From waiting patiently for shadows to be in just the right places to hurrying before they moved I become more and more intrigued and captivated with each passing moment.
And then, I spotted it. Upon the very distant horizon a small “something” stuck up, just above the horizon line. As I zoomed my only medium length lens I had in on the subject it was like reading an entire book in the blink of an eye.
On the distant horizon, barely visible, standing as proud as any symbol can stand. No fanfare, no audience, no spotlight needed, was our flag. That bold, beautiful red, white, and blue, flag.
I knew at that instant where I was at. It was home. The only place worth being.
I may have wished at the time, the distant flag was closer, more visible, more dominant in the scene. But truth is, being far away, small in visual appearance, seems to make it stronger than ever. As if it were saying: This, this place, these lands, all these lands, from horizon to horizon I proudly stand upon. I will protect them all, day after day, and year after year. These are my lands. These are, The Glory Lands.