Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Long Way Home

I took the long way home from Topeka on Saturday. As I said yesterday, three weeks makes a huge difference in a baby's life. The same can be said of the Flint Hills. Three weeks ago, the prairie was still "wearing" its drab, brown winter garb, with just a hint of green beginning to peak through. Many of the fields were freshly burned, and the blackened landscape held no hint of the springtime yet to come.

But, during this trip, the lush green grasses outside the car windows were just daring me to pull over for a closer look. Since I was by myself and didn't have a timetable on my way home, I decided to take a short detour to the Konza Prairie overlook just south of Manhattan on K-177.

I barely beat the rain, but the contrast between the vibrant green grasses and the heavy blue sky spoke of springtime in eastern Kansas. Honestly, I wasn't happy with the landscape photos I got. I should have just pulled off on some random road, but I didn't really want to get stuck in a downpour in unfamiliar territory.

While the Flint Hills are often described as a blanket of green, there's more to the picture than that.
Even in just a short time at the overlook, I saw colorful prairie flowers dotting the landscape.
The wind was whipping around from the west as the storm blew in, so capturing the flowers in focus was a bit of a challenge.
But it was worth the wind-whipped hair and flying skirt to capture these small beauties. 
I was going to have to drive through heavy rain at some point anyway. I might as well bolster my spirit with a little beauty first!
The skies had cleared by the time I reached the Lindsborg exit, so I decided to take another short detour. I had read that the city had corralled its Dala horses into one spot near the new convention center. The last time we were in Lindsborg, they were scattered throughout the downtown.
Unfortunately, a huge RV was parked right next to the display, so I didn't have many camera angle options. Still, it was a nice little diversion and a place to stretch my legs.
This music-themed Dala horse was my favorite - by a nose!
I also went into the Small World Gallery, but I didn't have a Jim Richardson sighting. But I did get to wander through the National Geographic Photographer's work on display. I chose to feel inspired rather than jealous.

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