Saturday, September 22, 2007

Visit Kansas!


If you're like me, you're always thinking about travelling and future vacations. I realize that many people drive *through* Kansas each year and get very little pleasure out of doing so, so I decided to propose a wonderful stop to make along I-70 in Northeast Kansas: the Konza Prairie.


The Konza is a research area carved out of the gorgeous Flint Hills. It is owned by the Nature Conservancy and used by Kansas State University to learn about prairies. Most of the Konza is off-limits to the public, but part of the area has hiking trails available to regular folks like you and me, and that's where all of these photographs come from.


Sunrise Over Konza

The Konza is beautiful in all seasons. If you come during the summer, I encourage you to try to get out early in the morning or in the evening, because Kansas summers can be hot and muggy. If you can make it in the early summer, you have a chance to see colorful wildflowers.


Wildflower
Wildflowers

I Love Wildflowers


Another advantage to visiting in the early morning is the chance to see wildlife. It is common to see white-tailed deer and wild turkey here, as well as many other types of birds.


Breakfast


One particularly interesting part of the Konza - to me, anyway - is that the prairie is periodically burned. Researchers burn different parts of the prairie at different rates. Some sections are burned each year, some less often. I've never read any of their findings, but I love to do a bit of observation on my own. It's fascinating how quickly the prairie reseeds itself and comes back to life. The rebirth process is gorgeous, and I love the smell of the freshly burned prairie.


Burn Border / Walking Trail
Burned Limestone
Rebirth


To visit the Konza Prairie, take exit 307 off of I-70 [it's the exit in between the two main Manhattan/K-State exits] to McDowell Creek Road. Then travel four miles south until you see the sign that says Konza on the right side of the road. A short trip down a gravel road will take you to the hiking trails parking lot.


For more information, visit the official website. And, of course, you can find more photographs in my Etsy shop: http://JaredKS.etsy.com


Kansas may not be most folks' idea of a vacation destination, but if you're driving through anyway, consider a stop at the Konza. It's grassland at its finest.

7 comments:

Dr. Bill ;-) said...

Excellent piece on Kansas!
THANK YOU!

It has been very interesting to have a Google Alert for Blogs on "Kansas Flint Hills!"
Yours came up today!
We have a 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition promoting visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – this is the website: http://www.kansasflinthills.travel/
Our web site is to promote the Kansas Flint Hills; and we were so happy to be in the 22 page color photo spread in National Geographic's April Issue on the Kansas Flint Hills, as a distinctive landscape.

We would appreciate a link from your site, to ours, if you are willing to do so. THANKS!
Best wishes!

Bill ;-)

Personal Blog: http://flinthillsofkansas.blogspot.com/

C & L said...

Hey, I'm going to Kansas for Thanksgiving! Well, that's where my family is and where I grew up. I won't be that close to the Flint Hills though. Great article and great pictures Jared.

Craig
wired.etsy.com

Andy Mathis said...

Great photos.

Jared in Kansas said...

Thanks all. Glad you like it. :)

sweetyprize.etsy.com said...

Dorothy!

Thanks for the great read. and pics. Wonderful!

Jared in Kansas said...

Thanks sweetyprize :)

JasonsJewelry said...

gorgeous photographs!