© Brad Mangas

The preceding is a view point of personal experiences. Living within the prairies of Kansas focus my thoughts to those lands and environments. These thoughts and experiences can be considered for any region of which is important to you.

I wanted to share a couple of images as I believe they play well with the previous post and link to the Encyclopedia of Earth. Many if not most people love nature and all it has to offer. But with that comes much misunderstanding, a sense that it is something that will always be around and is taken for granted. Environments such as the prairies of this earth seem grand and almost larger than life, but hidden within each area and each plant lies a very complex ecosystem that is as fragile as life itself.

I have no deep insightful thoughts that I can bring notice to of such a fragile and complex system. My strengths for life as a whole is founded in personal experience of the prairies. It is with my camera that I feel I can best share what is offered to us all with hope that a more caring and understanding of nature may result.

Some of the images I have been so fortunate to capture over the years are a result of an unending desire to be in and experience nature. It doesn’t have to be the prairies or flint hills it could very well be walking a trail at a local lake or botanical garden, as long as nature is part of the experience. I sit and attempt to put in to words the meanings of these experiences, the whys of the desire, I undoubtedly always fall short. The articulation of emotion and thought is a skill I have yet to master, maybe soon, maybe never but the desire will always be a motive that will fuel the love of what I do.

So I share what I have captured on a digital sensor, able to place the light onto a device that can in return be printed or placed on a computer screen for others to see. At times I feel as if I am only a messenger a pony express rider that is delivering an important message. It makes no difference who the messenger is as long as the message is delivered. This matter is complicated due to the fact that not only am I the messenger I am also the creator of the message. Create, deliver which is of more importance? They are inseparable from my stand point. Do I create a good enough message, do I deliver it properly? Is good good enough? Good is never good enough it is only at minimum exceptable.

Men and women spend many years in search of knowledge of our world in learning institutions, colleges and field work  all for the benefit of the prairie. From their love of nature to their knowledge and understanding of the environment much information is gathered and shared. But this is not the heart of what is important, it is not the institutionally  educated that will save the system, for they are a tremendous asset but not the answer. The answer must come from each individual and their personal knowledge of such places, each person who drives across the prairies and slows to look and wonder. To enjoy with ambition and amazement the views they are seeing. It is those individuals that will ultimately be in control of what happens to the environment. There would be no need for such things as the pristine rolling lands of the flint hills if nobody cared what they looked like or what happened to them in the future. There would be no need for the tall grass prairie if nobody wanted a tall grass prairie. There would be no need for the wildlife or plant diversity of such places if no one carried about these things. The stewards of the lands are not the biologists and ecologist, don’t misunderstand they are of tremendous importance but they also are of a small number.The true stewards are or must be the individuals that live there. The people that have an emotional investment in such places. A history of family or the desire to begin such a life. Or simply the love of time spent in such a place.

There is much information available on the importance of lands such as the prairies, more than could be consumed in a lifetime. All packed with opinions, studies, surveys, tests, results, comparisons and the list goes on. Each describing the importance of proper management and protection. Each with weight that must be taken into consideration by those involved. In these studies of massive proportion thoughts run to the knowledge garnered by years of education, by multitudes of books read and written. But we must never forget the reason and the importance of maintaining lands such as the prairie, it is my honest belief that the deep unmeasurable desire and ultimate success of maintaining our lands for generations to come will be found in the simple views, of a complex environment.

© Brad Mangas