Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tallgrass Prairie & National Geographic Magazine

Tallgrass Prairie & National Geographic Magazine
By Verlyn Klinkenborg

Photographs by Jim Richardson

In the Flint Hills of Kansas, the nation's last great expanse of tallgrass prairie anchors a world renewed by fire.

Americans have always lived in a land of possibility—a place where the grass is "hopeful green stuff," as the poet Walt Whitman put it. Our habit is to wonder what we can make of a place, to gaze at the future instead of the present. As a result, nature often lies hidden beneath our expectations. That's why the Flint Hills of Kansas—the last great swath of tallgrass prairie in the nation—can be so hard to grasp. The Flint Hills are no longer hard to get to, no longer a matter of ox train and overland trail from somewhere east of the Missouri River. They're transected by roads of every description now. But when you get to the hills, when you rise onto the low shield of flint and limestone that defines them and walk up onto the highest brow and stand into the wind that's trying to pry your ears apart, what do you see? .

National Geographic Article on website.


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