So You Think Kansas Is Flat?

So you think Kansas is flat? Okay … most of the state is. But not the Konza Prairie which is located in the northern Flint Hills of eastern-central Kansas.  This narrow chain of hills counts as its own ecoregion because it is home to the densest remaining tall grass prairie in North America. Early European settlers, unable to plow the area due to its rocky soil composition, used the region for grazing livestock thus leaving the grasslands intact. Due to dry conditions this summer, the grasses probably will not reach their full height. Nevertheless, this expanse of prairie with its soft, rolling hills is still something to see … and it proves that Kansas isn’t all flat!

The Konza Prairie is co-owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University. While much of the area is dedicated for use as a biological research station, fortunately there are several trails open to the public. The trails are frequently used by hikers and joggers, birders, and photographers and other artists out to capture the beauty of this land. If you have been following my blog this week, you’ve probably figured out how much I enjoy photographing this area. (I’ve also done a few paintings of the prairie.) However, my next post will be back to food.

20 responses to “So You Think Kansas Is Flat?

  1. Pingback: Kansas | Everything About Hiking

  2. Really enjoy your nature pics. First shot of the Prarie is beautiful yet lonely- what a unique landscape.

  3. I’ve been through this part of Kansas, but unfortunately, it was in the dark. I remember straining my eyes to try and look into the hills and canyons. Thanks for some daylight pictures!

  4. I would like to know how you give your photos such depth. I’ve tried to take pictures in the Flint Hills, and they just don’t capture the undulations very well. This month, my husband and I discovered a sizable hill in Franklin County, from which you can see the entire western side of the county, and I just couldn’t quite capture the depth and magnificence. I know part of it is that I’m just using a run-of-the-mill camera, but I’m curious how you frame your photos to really emphasize the shape.

    • I am glad that you like the photos. Using a zoom lens lets me stay on the trails while trying to get the shots that I want. It brings the hills closer. (One isn’t supposed to go off-trail on the Konza.) When I start out at a location I take a couple of practice shots at different settings to see what works best with the light for giving me the depth and exposure that I want and then I make sure to adjust them as conditions change. For framing photos, I think that I just have a habit of always thinking about composition, though sometimes I get home and look at one of my photos and wonder what on earth I was trying to capture. I look for angles that show repetition and intersection of shapes. Also, I’d say that a big thing for me is that I practice a lot. I take photos of something or another almost every day. Good luck! I’ll watch to see if you post any photos on your blog.

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