Friday, April 30, 2010
One thing lead to another on the new homestead. It was hard to tell how long it would take to get all eighty acres working. A new home was in the making: their first had been made of sod, followed by a two-room cabin. A window was ordered special so his wife could watch the children play in a shady grove outside of the kitchen. Having lost his first wife after ten happy years, he tried hard to make his new wife’s world comfortable, since she took over four children that weren’t even hers. It was a hard shoe to fill, but she soon had the family under her charm, and they were mercerized by her wit. Nothing seemed to unnerve her, except for and occasional snake in the garden. She had swept the dirt floors with grace, but materials were more available, and they wanted to provide the children a better life than their own. That’s why they needed the new home, to have more comfort than they had when coming to this new land.
It was an upward struggle, with only a few downfalls. One neighbor just left in the middle of the night, possibly disgraced at their failure to thrive in this ocean of prairie. They had thrived and built up their farm, where it began to offer a comfortable lifestyle and savings. His animal husbandry provided ample meat for their table, and some to share with other family members. They never forgot the people who first helped them, and occasionally shared a steer with the tribe. Take heed of all around you and you reap in the benefits of love. The grasses still formed a series of untamed land, waving to all that passed. Gone was a lot of the ocean of prairie, sent to an early grave with progress.
The children played in the meadow collecting flowers. Some were put in wreaths to wear around their heads, or colorful rings, necklaces, and bracelets. A few bouquets would be going to their mother, since they knew she was making pies. A clatter of wagons approached and they saw all that was left of a small Indian tribe. Over one half had perished over the winter with an outbreak of influenza, and those that were left were being relocated again far to the south. The children handed their bouquets to their good neighbors, and went back playing, unable to fully understand what was happening to their good friends. The gathered new bouquets for their mother, who would want to hear what they had just seen. The prairie plants blew softly, waving at the sun and wind, humming its familiar tune of peace.
The trip south was hard on the tribe, riding into country totally different from their plush eternal garden. Nobody had spotted any game except for a few rabbits for three days. Hunting parties wanted to ride ahead, but were told to stay with the band and meat would be provided. That night they were handed a case of cans stamped with the word, beef. Inside they found a tough salty concoction, in thick soup. The women would have to figure out what to do with it, unfortunately it would be what was offered while they traveled. The band fatigued and began to get some stragglers, unable to keep up with the pace. The agents told them the end was near, and how so that was. They arrived at a dusty sagging building in seemingly the middle of nowhere. Off in the distance they could see a settlement, with a few more buildings and a dozen large tents.
The tents would be their homes, until they could build homes on their allotted parcel. The land was rough, and had little vegetation. The soil proved worthless for growing the seeds they had brought with them. The canned meats and occasional steer were meager rations compared to hat they were used to. Stored food diminished quickly. They had planned on replacing this with the promise for a better place to live from the agents who did the paperwork for them. They had been alienated from all they had built up numerous times. The tribe was weary to stay together, hearing talk about others who bought land they once roamed free. Grandmother looked out in the four directions and yearned to see her oceans of prairie, hoping to even see a small piece as a reminder. A gust of wind carried the dust in a spiral across her gaze, picking up a tumbleweed, and carrying it up sixty feet before setting it down at her feet. Would this wind carry them back to where they felt was home, back to those oceans of grass she had seen all of her life? Her thoughts traveled across the land on a gentle prairie breeze.
Life has so many twists and turns
So we must work harder at trying to learn
That we must build or minds and soul
Understanding to enjoy happiness
Is a never-ending goal.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I found some trailing petunias that were too gorgeous to leave at the greenhouse, but didn't think where I could put them. I had thought from a hanging planter, but with gifts and other purchases I already have quite a few.One year I had found a base from a birdbath and used that, but left it when I moved.Thinking in that same mode, I decided to make a wooden one.I bought a 10 ft. 1x12 and cut it equally into four 30 inch pieces.Taking one board I placed it at a 90 degree angle along the edge and drew a line on both front edges of two of the boards the thickness of the boards . This gave me reference where to drill pilot holes in the middle when I wanted to connect everything.I put six 1/8 inch holes down 2 edges of the two boards I had marked, in the center of the scribed area.Taking an undrilled board I lined that up at 90 degrees with the drilled board making the corners flush and put a small nail through each hole to secure them. You could also use a screw for added strength.Repeating this on the other side I flipped it over and secured the last board making an open ended box.Measuring down 12 inches from the top intersecting with a line marked at the middle of the width I drilled a 1 1/2 inch hole on opposing sides. On the other two sides I measured down 13 inches and intersected with the middle of the width as before drilling two more holes.This would allow me to plant trailing plants in the top, but also have four placed in the holes around the middle. You could easily configure more holes if you wanted depending on what you were going to plant. I painted mine which would be optional.Placing it where I wanted it I took a few sheets of newspaper and wadded them up and stuffed them in the bottom to keep the new dirt in a little better.I had some rocky soil in a new area i am developing so put a few scoops of that in for inproved drainage.Next I filled it with a mixture of potting soil and manure/ mulch half way and inserted my four lower plants before filling it all the way up. I put my two bicolor trailers one single and the other double of the same colors in the top. I had used a solid color contrasting petunia for the holes below and will be excited to see how it does next to where I sit all summer.
Labels: upright planters dra
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
That night he returned to the prairie area he had shot at sunrise. It was now dry as a bone from the hot midday sun, making it a relief to walk around staying dry. The soaking in the morning had been cured with pancakes back at the mess hall, at the biological station he was staying. He had dumped two cups of water out of each rubber boot, before he entered, drifting in on the wonderful smell of hot food. Sloshing in he ordered a double, and the cook placed four pancakes on his plate. The moms who cooked always felt he was a growing child, and needed large helpings anyway. It was nice to be loved and felt of well by all. Sometimes we forget how well we live and don’t really acknowledge those who help us along such as these caring cooks. Not that they were always wonderful cooks, but wonderful in helping make lives continue in harmony. Tonight he may have some minor disruptions such as small critters that might nibble at him or want to suck his blood, but that is an entirely whole chapter of life on the prairie.
He sat patiently with a tripod aimed at the sinking sun. The clouds were sweeping gracefully across the evening sky. New sounds slowly erupted from all around. He held up his hands again, in a prayer of happiness for all his friend and family. He also included a special thank you to the beautiful land he sat in. Blowing cedar bark smoke to the four points of the compass, he gave praise to the Earth, the Moon, the Stars and life. Being out here gave him the solace he needed to clear his head and be at one with nature. He was the chirping frog, the screech of an owl, the wail of the coyotes being lifted by the wind. His spirit soared into oblivion, and there seemed to be a complete loss of focus for coming back. Over the field he went returning back to his point of compassion.
The sun had turned to a sliver and he began shooting rapidly, forming new visions with his camera. These were visions of grandeur, to portray this beautiful piece of land. His thoughts were soon interrupted, he hadn’t noticed the power lines in the morning, they were obscured with the fog. Orange turned crimson, which turned a rusty orange as a storm approached. The colors gave the prairie a new sheen, and called out to the waiting camera. Silvery plumes of Goats Beard, were now a brilliant orange. If they could only hold still in the breeze to catch them in a close-up shot. Something landed in his lap as he sat, and was rather startled by a leopard frog making his passage through this ocean of plants. Goodbye brother frog, and may you have safe passage on your trek. Darkness had fallen; he raised his arms, and thanked the prairie for a wonderful day as part of its existence, heading home.
He has pressed some blooms all week for a gift to a lady in his class, but wasn’t sure how she would take it. It was awkward for both when he took them over at the start of a her slideshow. He walked away, wishing her luck, carrying with him her smile. It was not just any smile, but a smile to carry for eternity, or what seemed like for eternity, because she seemed to avoid him after that. The sweetness of many days was left behind, for there would be better things in store the next day. He went out and stood watching the stars after the presentation, sipping a warm glass of wine. He could hear a soft chant of the prairie coming across the lake. The stars peeked from under the clouds and the moon slowly presented itself, kissing him gently with its silvery light.
Love conquers all, but through its passage we all become stronger in the heart, spirit and soul. Our direction is never ending, but we always yearn for continuation of its elegance. Even with something negative a lesson is learned, a point of reference to better understand life. Nothing is so complex it can’t be figured out, it just takes time. Time is always around you, and when it is time, things will happen. Do we really have control over our existence, or are we just following a chosen path?
Often he would ponder on the Life issue, but tonight he thought back to the stars. They had been around perhaps before the beginning of this planet, perhaps even longer. Was our destiny held in the stars, a starry story yet to unfold? He thought again of the pretty smile, and knew it could be found anywhere. Passion exudes from a variety of thoughts formed by love, and often controls our lives. Would he let it control him? Yes and no, since the desire was coming from his animal mechanisms also, to supply a greed for lust. Oh well, let my spirit set me free, life is but a simple pleasure often carried on a prairie breeze.
Life is a simple pleasure
For all of us to enjoy
Let go of all those small things
That grab at you and annoy
Because life is a simple pleasure
For all of us to enjoy.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Having survived a dreary weekend, I survey the green the rain has given. Many of us let weather control our activity, butI actually enjoy the variation. This time of year it is best to add a couple rainsuits to my car clothing collection. I enjoy to see all the new life spring rains offer. My garden is finally looking like it has plants in it, where new seed has sprouted. Some times I wish they would hurry up so I could eat a few fresh veggies.Hope to see it warm back up later this week, I am anxious to get tomatoes and peppers in.
The prairie is greening up nice, but a few areas needed a cleaning so a few people have been working on burns. One family had made breaks by mowing stopping strips to only do 1/3 of their area and one gust sent the fire past the break and into a section they had burnt last year. You can be very scientific, but mother Nature changes her mind sometimes.I burnt a small strip in my yard about three feet by forty feet and it was finished in a few minutes. While in the Badlands I met with the burn manager to listen to a few tales.They were working on close to 5,000 acres.His father had planted nonnative grasses to control erosian thirty years before and now his job was to try and eradicate them to replace them with native species.Where buffalo graze they leave a stub standing and don't come back to this area because the stubs tickle their nose, so burns would be a draw for them to follow for fresh grasses.Some seed is populated better with a burn, so in effect it is a cleansing period.Early settlers to this area often plowed a space around their homes since natural burns could swoop in without much warning.
Well I can't get out the plow today so I plan on dressing waterproof and roving out in a few areas. Morels are still out and there is always something new to find. When I sit I get restless hearing that call to go enjoy nature.I hope you all have a great week,let me hear how you enjoy the world I offer to you! Wish you could join me!
Labels: greener pastures, prairie burn dr
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Grandmother was first to smell the smoke. In the horizon another sunrise had appeared, and as for many other dry seasons they watched for the fires. It was a cleansing spirit, if one could protect themselves from its ravages. It would bring in the grazing animals with the birth of new grasses, when they were only starting to make a new green prairie. There was thunder in the distance, probably elk, already trying to outrun this cleansing flame. Others began to notice the smoke and an alarm went through the camp. Horses were brought into a fork in the river and tethered tightly.
They had just burnt an area for corn, beans and squash, knowing that these swift fires could be stopped, should they come from the east. The fire continued staying to the north of them, fading in the northwestern horizon. Another rumble came from the east, the wagon of lost souls the hunting party had encountered a few weeks before, and they remembered the big twist of tobacco he had cut a piece for each of them from. They ran to meet their old friends, having told many of their meeting. This bond would continue with the settlers homesteading nearby, and times could and would be tough for all the families.
Later that first year they shared stories while drinking coffee made from roasted wheat. Friendships were rekindled and made stronger with various games each had to share. Corn talk and fishing stories, kept many up late into the night, eager to hear more whether it was true or untrue. This exchange promoted good farm practices and a healthy atmosphere to raise families, throughout the ages. Life was good and bad, happy and sad, you can make it what you need, in the simplest ways and continue to be happy. It was the good life in this ocean of prairie, much better they thought as they prospered together well. And the waves of grasses that covered this grand land slowly dwindled away with the advent of row crops and better plows. It was still a sharing world, living as best as one knew with nature. Happiness shared spread across the new horizons, on a gentle prairie breeze.
What price to pay
And who is to say
What happens today
Will change tomorrow?
Friday, April 23, 2010
The sun was just peeking over the prairie hilltops. They had came with cameras to shoot the sunrise and heavy dew pictures. There was no question if there was heavy dew, everyone was drenched, and judging by the water level in his boots, he should have been more prepared. It was hard to worry about that today, the top shots were what nine photographers were looking for, each grabbing a particular hilltop they felt would best show off a showy sunrise. In two weeks each would show their top ten slides for a nature photography course and the rivalry was tremendous.
It was hard to get true nature shots, your picture needs to be free of all manmade objects. This prairie was only one hundred sixty acres, a replaced area hoping to someday return to how it stood when the original settlers arrived. The books he had read through the years, and the projects working the past few summers, had made this haven a tiny work of art. Art so precious, there never could be a price placed on it. Each day the palate gradually changes its form, colors, shapes and spirit telling a continuing story of it’s life.
What is new is really old, but what is old is really new when one considers the eons of time passing on the land. Just northwest of where he was standing, was one of the oldest areas of the state. Glacial movements in 1.3 million years have not covered it or moved around its landscape. Holding both hands out wide to feel the power of the sun, he recited a prayer of happiness for all his friends and family. A spider web near him became a silver net, reflecting the new morning light on its drenching of dew. So begins a new day in a new world, where this scene has been played a number of different ways.
The shot went well with clicking cameras blending with the chirp of insects, an occasional bobolink call or the happiness of a grasshopper sparrow. Off in the distance shouted the meadowlark, followed by a bellow from a cow. Back to reality he felt the spirit of this prairie, as strong as it had been for his ancestors, and it told him to visit again and again. The changes that had swallowed its expanse had followed a path to provide for our world, at the same time trying to retain the loveliness it had before. We need to learn how to survive and not destroy everything along our way. Everything from plant to insect serves a purpose to increase our chances of survival and the chance for future generations to continue. Leaving this area today left everyone in deep thought and joyous camaraderie, having spent the morning in one tiny corner of paradise. He raised his hands up again; giving praise for the new day and beauty it had already shared. His thoughts were carried with the morning perfume, on a gentle prairie breeze.
We held out our hands
Thanking the world
For peace and serenity
Each day is different
A treasure to hold on
To true happiness
And love of our land.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
It seems like only yesterday that I was standing in freezing water to gather plastic that had blown into a pond on this day, really believing our group of six was making the difference. And we did, those who know me understand I celebrate our Earth each and every day.Way before this glorious day when my friends and family camped or picnicked we always said before leaving, "Make it cleaner than when we came." After a day of hard play it was hard sometimes, but our parents offered encouragement at who was getting the most and made it part of our play.Going out on my own I said the same words and taught it to my children.It is hard to imagine how much we produce, but one particular litter is cigarette butts. Now we all know these don't biodegrade very fast, and many a smoker flips them off or out a car window. Would you still continue knowing that a pack a day smoker produces 27 pounds of waste? How much randomly pollutes our environment?Last year I was shooting a state park and came upon a Girl Scout group picking up. I inserted a few statistics and was happy to see they even had more, having looked up info with their leader before even picking a site.That pursues what the goals of today are all about, to learn, teach and share.There is a nice site for Earth Day 2010. It has numerous projects, many here in the Midwest on reservations, possibly sponsored by our government since the programs were almost identical. Sad to say not much in my area so I guess I will have to be a leader and find others to join in. I am sure many are out already, it is a beautiful day to save a part of our world.Wait are they out for Earth Day, morel mushrooms or both?
On another note I hope you enjoyed my prairie story, here are many more so get others to this site.As I had said earlier I connect all my tales with a short verse. In an opera a chorus comes out and sings an oratorio to either blend the scenes or catch you up with what is going on.These are my version of an oratorio, for nature is an opera always playing in my ear. I placed 2 old pictures at the start. One was a herd of buffalo in the Badlands, a glorious area to see.These were taken off photos so are a bit grainy. I forget my other printer has a copier/scanner and will have to utilize this more.The other shows me sitting in the Niobrara River in the Niobrara Valley Preserve located in the beautiful Nebraska sand hills.I was trying to get a shot of a Kingfisher landing on a tree in the river and being hot also taking a refresher from being out in the field all day.I sat there for 40 minutes and only had a blur, but enjoyed being there. Right across the river starts the ponderosa pines and the boundary that starts the Black Hills.Here they drove us into a buffalo herd sitting on a picnic table attached to a truck bed.Anyone can cheaply visit and stay at this biological station and it is a real treat to be there seeing many plants and animals that thrive only in this area. There is another anniversary, Dairy Queens Blizzard, and you should know I love ice cream. In the sand hills I stop in Valentine to get a similar treat only it is called a Sandstorm. Sitting in my kayak is a favorite all summer, there are a number of small lakes real close to me, plus 5 rivers.I still would like to have something with a roof and where I can stand.I hope you get out and Carpe Diem, Live for the Day!If my friend Mary reads this think back forty years when we celebrated this holiday, having given a petition to our governor to make it recognized statewide as well as part of our nation.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Gazing ahead the father could not see the top of the other wagons over the high grasses. They had stopped a bit longer than the rest, marveling at the immense ocean of flowers and grasses. It was similar to when he sat on the beach at Baltimore, waves lapping at their feet, wondering if he would ever return. Now he had found a new ocean, a new frontier, where very few of his people had traveled yet. Maybe he would see a cooking fire at dusk, standing high up in his wagon, hoping to see any movement through the thick undergrowth. He knew if they headed due west they would come to a river, and a major settlement where the rest of the group they were to meet would be.
Traveling was very hazardous in these vast prairie regions; it was not unusual to only travel five to eight miles some days, just routing around the swollen streams. One wrong step and you could be knee deep in some foul smelling muck in the fen they were sitting in. The ground was like a mattress, springing back up with each step. Up on the hillside sat enormous boulders, scarred from their glacial decent thousands of years before, a playground for the children to play on that night. The soil these glaciers brought and formed was black gold, and attracted thousands each year. It was almost like the songs of the Sirens, beckoning a variety of hardy souls, then dashing their hopes out with the rugged fight for survival. Little did this family expect with the rain and overcast, that they had traveled in a complete circle, unable to determine direction. Their last fifteen miles took them two days, only through the luck of finding an Indian hunting party, where they laughingly pointed them in the right direction, less than a mile away.
Those who stayed found a new way to survive, and with the new plows being made were able to rip open the tough sods, and reconfigure the vast network of waterways into new pathways. The area changed dramatically, with the lose of habitat, food was produced to feed millions. This vast prairie went from seventy-eight percent in the late 1880’s to less than one percent today. The woodlands have survived with similar percentages, but are lacking in the diversity of species. With this lacking of diversity, so went the populations of wildlife. Now to even get a chance to see vast prairie areas we must look at areas replanted hundreds of years away from where they were before being disturbed. This is not an overnight development, unfortunately we forget to consider this when we alter our world, however tiny it may be.
Was this right or wrong, here we stand dependent on all about us; we are the survivors of a hardy stock of ancestral heritage. We stand proud of what we have done and where we are going, failing to look out for those we encounter, or the land we live in. This is a story of one of those hearty pioneers, a descendant of that lost family on the prairie. Their spirits still sail along, a gentle prairie breeze.
Thoughts we carry
In our hearts
Are shared with others
To give them a start
For their new life.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Having visited the Loess Hill area of Iowa, I wondered what settlers thought when they first saw it. Had they heard of the Rockies or did they even think mountains could be in the picture moving west.This are is one of two places in the world where this formation occurs, the other in China.Wind swept sand and soil formed these steep prairie areas. With time trees began to grow up them, but there are over 300 types of plant life in this fragile landscape,many just found in this area.As I had stated before, I have researched westward transition of the people who live in or prairie. I will share a nice selection of stories I have written. Many times I use a short verse, an oratorio as used in opera, to link the ideas and feeling. I am always amazed to find so many new things when I go out into the prairie and will share these experiences with you.Keep watching for more to come!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Often we forget how simple life really is.It is you that makes it become more complex.It is hard to offer any suggestion to others on how to slow down and smell the roses, some need them jammed right in their face to realize they are there.This is how it can be on the prairie. Sometimes when I have shared my photos people look at them with interest.Other times I have heard the comment, "Those weeds can really be pretty, I haven't seen them like that."Actually some of these photos are taken along the roads and highways that we use to maintain our complex lifestyles.I have one friend who has stepped closer to living very simple. She has taken only the basic needs to stay happy, where many of her neighbors live very extravagant. Check how she makes it so simple at:http://jean-livingsimple.blogspot.com/.I am sure we all like to have some sense of secure living and each person defines this different.Do we need huge homes and too many vehicles? I felt that way for a real long time. It is our American Dream to have more and live "better" than we did before. Has our life really changed over the decades, making it harder to survive than how our parents and grandparents lived. I always enjoyed talking to my grandparents and seeing similarities to how my life was progressing.Changes are of course money, but also material things we all want and need. Yesterday I went to a greenhouse and when I had barely been there saw a couple ladies I knew. They asked what I was after and my reply was, "Everything I can fit in my cart."Now I went for a half dozen items, but came back with 18.In the next few weeks it will expand to all the greenhouses within 25 miles plus a few trips outside of this circle. Hardly any of these are native species, they are for my viewing and sharing with anyone who comes by. I used to say gardening was a hobby, but now it has became a little obsessive.I have lots of stuff that does come back but it is fun to try new items and look what I can attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other creatures into my yard to enjoy.I am at 58 annuals to enjoy and eat in a already sumptuous area.I even know the corn I plan on planting will bring in a few critters I don't want.I placed homemade bluebird houses around my home this year in hopes of getting them and often share my other backyard projects.I also let people know where I have been and what is to be seen. I have a nice prairie area close that I visit weekly. This next week may have some better frequency since looking in the woods could produce a gourmet delight, Morel Mushrooms.It also can produce ticks and poison ivy, so I have to be careful. With ticks I have found if you stay off the trails they will bother you less.One prairie I like had a narrow gate to enter. If you stayed on that beaten path you may have a entire family on you. They home in on warm blooded creatures that use a particular area on a regular basis.One day I went to sketch a plant and while sitting I noticed a few getting on me. I always say to spray before you go in, but this time I failed. I took of my shoe when I got out and had over 20 in one shoe coming for the ride. The next time I sat in amongst the plants and only found one.I keep a comb to comb my hair when I come out and always like to have a roll of duct tape, mans fix all, to close off my pant legs and to pick them off when they get on you. Wear light colored clothing so you can see them better. Now don't let this stop you, most of the time I come out free and clear.It depends on the weather each year how bad they can be. All last season I had one.I fear the stuff that causes rashes more than anything. It usually gets me if not careful. I take my clothes off when out in the woods when I see some leaves of three and put them in the washer right away.This is where it is nice to have a shower since the oil stays with you.You would think this would stop me, but it never does. Being careful and cautious is the word to remember.One year while mushroom hunting a spider landed on my face. Usually I try not to touch anything I don't have to with my hands if I can avoid it. I brushed off the critter out of fright and it fell down my shirt. Reaching in I grabbed it and tossed it away.When I got up the next day guess where it was beginning to form a rash and worst of all took all precautions except getting home within 3 hours because I was finding so many.Well they tasted good, but this usually slows me down looking for the,but not that year. I went eating them for every meal for over a week before the itch bothered me enough to stop.Well I'm off to my garden, I have lots to plant.
Friday, April 16, 2010
We often forget what we are here to really do in our lives. I can tell you less than a percent of prairie exists when a over century ago before European people settled this area it was a vast ocean of grasses and plants. Wildlife was abundant and massive herds of grazers moved like clouds across the sky.You could stop and drink from a stream, not worrying about contaminants it contained.Many people saw this as the best place to live and came in herds just like the grazers. Wanting to make this a better place to live we forgot about what was here before us, and replaced this land with constant change.What took eons to form only took decades to destroy.When it was done we forgot how to replenish the earth and let its beauty waste away.Now we open up our eyes, at least a few of us, looking at restoring what our predecessors took away.My family came four generations ago and homesteaded SE Nebraska. These people and their neighbors were not usually farmers, but tried to become one.Instead many went back to what they had done before and our cities grew.The farms are what let these communities prosper but at what costs?Another thing we wanted was a better life and at what cost have we given to try for this. We used to have a strong families and a beautiful land. Both have lost their way trying to make things better. So is this really a better life?It is if we make it that way, starting by helping everyone around us.We need to give our time and money to help restore our planet or there won't be anything left to replenish.It all starts with you and by increasing your potential to help our world. Simple things are easy to do like recycling, volunteering and spreading some of your wealth.Wealth can be knowledge, abilities and money. Here you are a wealthy person and you didn't know it. We all have a mind and a spirit inside of us, we just need to use it at it's full potential. Get out and enjoy the outdoors, look at what you may have been missing.If you have found this you have the world at your fingertips to explore where you can help or offer support on the Internet. Start small and work up to larger areas. There are a huge group of conservation and restoration agencies to give your support to.If you are part of a family enjoy this as a family. If you aren't become part of one with others. I really enjoy taking part in a variety of educational programs offered by county, state and federal agencies in the area around me.Some I listen to and others I offer my help You may be amazed at what you are missing by not taking an interest. Many of us say , "I always wanted to do that." It can't become reality if you keep saying it and don't get involved.I will share some stories I have written about this human experience on our prairie. I have interviewed hundreds of people to find what made their lives grow and change in our world. If you haven't been on the prairie look it up to see how large of area is enveloped by the land that once was.You could be living in it and not be aware of it, and this is sad.When I go out into nature I find a strength that keeps beckoning me back. It always is changing and I enjoy looking for even the smallest change. My camera gives me a record of where I have been.It is through my writings that I can offer you wealth beyond all expectation. All of this wealth and experience will come to you, on a gentle prairie breeze.