Monday, July 06, 2009

From the Mountains to the Prairie

I have been singing "Home on the Range" to myself since Saturday morning. DC and I got up really early on the holiday and headed east, unlike the rest of the celebrants, who headed west to the mountains, or to the parks in our town. We went to the
Pawnee Buttes National Grassland - a place where the wind blows constantly. I would not want to live there, and you won't catch me there in the wintertime, but our visit was very enjoyable, and we felt like we had a mini vacation when we got back home. You can see the grass blowing in these shots. The grass is incredibly green this year because of all the craziness we've had this spring and early summer - normally, it would be brown by this time of the summer, according to DC, who goes out there to do recreational target shooting once in awhile.

Another evidence of the abundance of wind - many wind mills . . .

I'd love to know the story on this one!

One thing that was definitely not there when the pioneers crossed this land - a very large wind farm.

I took a bit of video, but can't get it to load - they are creating electricity, are very quiet, and are using a free resource. Pretty green, eh??

The rock formations are so fascinating, with the wind farm in the background.

Another evidence of the constant wind - -

I felt like I had landed in a Willa Cather novel - and made me want to read them again. The meadowlarks were there in profusion, and their song was a treat - one of those Willa Cather books is
Song of the Lark. I could just picture the wagon trains lumbering across this land on their way to the promised land. I can only imagine, and have read much about, the struggles as they had to abandon so much of what they packed on their wagons as they left with such high anticipation from their homes in the east or midwest. I wonder what they thought when they got their first view of the mountains in the distance.

We took a trail for about a half mile and found ourselves looking into this beautiful valley, with the buttes in the distance. But first we were warned about the birds that were nesting in the buttes - we were at the right time of the year to be able to visit beyond the point of this sign.

I think this is an example of the term "gully washer."

I can just picture the chief on his beautiful horse, with his feathers blowing in the breeze, checking out the valley from this rock.

The shadows began to make the valley look even more intriguing.

One more thing you wouldn't see in the pioneer days, but which I was very glad to find!

Coming Soon: Life and Death on the Prairie

Please go and visit Care Bear at her new blog, The Cupcake Store!


Needled Mom said...

Such a beautiful place to visit, Dawn. I often think the same thought when we travel and I try to imagine what the first folks to make the crossing must have thought. I am with you and the thank you.

The windmill farms are really popping up everywhere. We saw so many on our latest trip. I hear they are an arm and leg to put up. I'll have to research that.

I'll bet it was just nice to get away and I'll bet those potties were a welcome sight!!!

Linda said...

Amazing pictures Dawn!!! It looks like a wonderful day.
I like to imagine what it was like for those early pioneers making that terribly difficult trip out west. In all honesty, I don't think I would have been brave enough.
We passed a windmill farm here in Texas when we drove to Colorado a few years ago. And today, on the way home from Houston, we passed three huge trucks with the windmill arms loaded on them. It was a tad "nervous-making" passing them!
Have a good week Dawn.

grammy said...

Looks like you had a great time and you sure took great pictures. I always picture an Indian on a hill like that one too (o:

Jess said...

Hope you had a great 4th...and the photos were beautiful...i loved gorgeous!!!

Thanks for always making me feel like I went on the trip with you!!!

Love, Jess

Susan said...

Neat pictures. Thanks for sharing them. I'm glad you guys got a day to yourselves for a change :o) It is a very needed thing.

A Hint of Home said...

How great for you two to have time together and enjoy the day. Looks like fun and your pics are great!

Kristen said...

Awesome pictures! I wish I could've gone, too!

Those pictures remind me of what I picture in the series of books I'm reading right now.

Midlife Mom said...

Wonderful pictures Dawn! Certainly a great place to visit with lots to see. I would have been more then happy to find the 'facilities' too! lol! We are still having rain here. It's been over a month and we are all getting mold around the edges! Where oh where is the sun?

Hootin' Anni said...

Ohhhhhhhh, this is a favorite place of ours when our kids were young and we'd drive there...was it highway #36? From Mulberry street in Fort Collins heading due east?!!! Yes indeed. This so brings back memories. We used to go out there quite often and hunt for arrowheads. Irene found one...a huge one. They thought it was a Folsom Man spear head when I had them 'date' it at CU [the rival of CSU...LOL] Anyway, I really don't know what happened to that piece...she found a goodly sized one once up near Livermore, or that stage coach area near it call Virginia something or other?

Wow...this brings back a huge case of memories Dawn.
[there were no wind turbines and NO GREEN when we'd go there tho. And no "powder rooms" either.

Long long ago.

Well now, I wrote a novel, didn't I?

Hootin' Anni said...

...had to bring Bud over here to view it. :o)

Hootin' Anni said...

Virginia Dale!! Ya, that's it. I have photos of that place, someday I should blog about that, huh?

nannykim said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures--really interesting. Glad also to see the wind power. The name of the book made me laugh because it made me think of an "I love Lucy" skit I saw when visiting my mother-in-law. In the skit Lucy was reading a book called "the mockingbird murder" and it was hilarous because she thought Ricky was trying to kill her. ANyways she kept getting startled and she would accidently toss the book out of the window because of the startle effect---she said, This mocking bird book just keeps flying out the window. (I know this has nothing to do with the meadow larks---it just made me laugh to see how we associate things)ie you associated the meadowlarks with a book. (wow--did I ever go on about nothing!)

Nadine said...

Great photos. Looks like you had a nice time. I'm always glad to see photos of you, the photographer.

Sammy said...

Gorgeous photos, Dawn! Looks like it was a wonderful day. I also love to read about westward expansion. Such an interesting part of our history.

I love those old windmills and I also want to know the story of that old one, standing along. It looks as if it has been there for a very long time.

I'm off the The Cupcake Store! :-)

Robin said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time - and what great photos!
I agree - there are some modern conveniences we just have to have LOL!

Sharon Lynne said...

It's nice to see some opens spaces. I wonder who owns all that land and why its not built up? I'm glad it's not.

Everything gets built on, here in Southern California.

I enjoyed all the pictures! It's so nice that you and DC have a common interest of appreciating God's beautiful scenery.