Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kansas is not flat!

What is a draw?That is what my friend asked me the other day as we were talking about where she lived in Alabama compared to where I lived out here on the prairie of Kansas. I tried to explain that there are actual undulations of varying degrees and some parts of the roads go down into a deep draw and then come back up out of it. She was completely baffled by this "draw" concept.

Out here on the prairie we understand the subtle change of the lay of the land. We understand that you can hide behind the top of a hill or ridge when hunting, and see the animals before they can see you. We also have learned that 80 million years ago, give or take a few years, this whole area was covered by an inland sea and so just like the oceans of today, there are deep canyons, sloping areas that lead to winding valleys, draws as we call them here. Maybe there once was a creek bed that flowed through, the trees growing along that winding line would argue for that idea. Sometimes there is a shear drop off, like the edge of a cliff where there are rocky outcroppings.

Obviously as you look at the pictures, there are definite changes in the lay of the land. It is just not as drastic as say, the Grand Canyon. There are places for animals to hide, live, survive and much of that is because of the cover and protection that these "draws" offer. To watch the deer navigate a steep upslope that would leave you and me rolling to the bottom is simply amazing.

So next time you drive across the state of Kansas, please don't dismiss us as flat. Look a little more closely and see that as you can see for miles and miles, there are undulations that rise and fall across the horizon and sometimes, there is a downright deep canyon or DRAW that you dip down into and then drive out of as you travel along. Obviously along the interstate you don't see that as much, but if you are lucky enough to travel Highway 40 or 36 or 50 and get the joy of the 2-lane highway you will appreciate what the prairie has laid before your eyes to behold. If you are lucky enough as you scan the length of a draw, you might just see a few deer or even antelope, the occasional coyote, but definitely you will find cows grazing. So enjoy it and remember some of us call this home and love this land.