Have you ever been to the short grass prarie country of southwestern Kansas and the Panhandle of Oklahoma? Clear, unbroken blue overhead and grass, sage and soon-to-be tumbleweeds crunch underfoot. Can you imagine the buffalo in a pasture like this?
The would have to avoid these brushy red cedar saplings and spiny yucca clusters to get at the best tufts of blue gamma and wirey buffalo grasses.
The prairie is very large and very dry, but not without color.
Here is a prickly poppy.
We better not get any closer to the critter who lives in the lacework of tunnels under this patch of prickly poppy.
That buzzing sound is this baby western diamondback rattlesnake's way of saying "No visitors please." (The image isn't very good because I took this photo with my cell phone camera and I didn't want to get too close or agitate the animal during the hottest and most stressful part of the day.)
Here is a wild sunflower. Most states classify this flower as a noxious weed. On the other hand, it is the state flower of Kansas. I've always wondered why.
Don't step on this bull thistle.
Here is the most commercially important grass that grows on the Great Plains, hard red Russian winter wheat. Harvest is another three or four weeks away depending on the field.
You can see how dry the plains are. Please support efforts to care for and responsibly use these lands. Thanks.