The Tallgrass Prairie & Looking for Beauty

Several weeks ago the hubs and I took advantage of a breezy, warm Saturday to check out Kansas’ very own national preserve. We had a lovely time adventuring, and the writer in me couldn’t help but notice a prairie-style life lesson along the way. Read on to hear my uncharacteristically brief thoughts on the subject.

The Tallgrass Prairie is located in East Central Kansas along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway, a lovely place for a drive if you’d like to see what the long-ago prairie looked like or if you need convincing that, yes, there are hills here. The Preserve covers over 10,000 acres and offers more than 40 miles of hiking trails for visitors, as well as bus tours of the Prairie and self-guided tours of the 1880’s Spring Hill Ranch.

Greg and I saw a variety of terrain during our six-mile loop.

We especially enjoyed getting up close and personal with the bison herd that lives at the Tallgrass Prairie.

Just kidding! We didn’t go near the bison, as we didn’t want a reenactment of what was portrayed on the caution sign. We did have to take our hike off the beaten path a bit as several large bison were grazing quite close to our desired route.

Shortly after we'd hiked beyond the buffalo pasture, something amazing happened--Greg spotted this little guy! This is noteworthy because neither of us had ever seen one of these--which we later identified as a Texas horned lizard--and also because, well, sometimes my husband doesn't see the milk in the fridge! Good eye, Babe!

We also saw some wildflowers here and there, purple and yellow blooms providing a striking contrast to their overwhelmingly earth-colored surroundings.

Ready to wrap it up with a life lesson? I’m a Kansas girl, so I think the prairie is beautiful, though I don’t mind admitting that its beauty is less obvious than, for instance, the ostentatious glamour of lush Hawaiian gardens or majestic Swiss peaks. I love traveling to these gorgeous locations, but I think it’s good for me to live my day-to-day life in the humble prairie. Why? Because the prairie teaches me to look for beauty in the here and now—to hunt for wildflowers amid otherwise barren landscapes and to notice unique surprises along my ordinary path. They are there! But I have to look for them.

How can you look for beauty in your here and now?

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