Sunday, June 26, 2011

When a walk becomes a hike

We began this beautiful Sunday with a walk. We had taken a nice stroll on Saturday and thought if we wanted to get a walk or run in today, we should go early before the heat of the day settled in. Plus, the wildflowers in Kansas are looking so pretty right now and I wanted to take my camera along to get some of the color dotting the roadsides and pastures.

We saw a lot of these Black-Eyed Susan like things that I think are actually Brown-Eyed Susans? I am really a novice at identifying wildflowers. A book on Kansas wildflowers is next on my list, but until then, there is this great resource on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses. This website helps you identify prairie plants. The flowers are categorized by color family and photos help with connecting names to plants.

Our walk began usual enough - straight west of our house up the gradual hill to the cemetery where we decide to go straight, left or right. Yesterday, I complained that straight was my least favorite because the gradual hill continues and the walk is harder. My husband suggested left which is a nice gravel road that turns to dirt. We kept walking south and I was taking pictures and loving the cloud cover.

We moved along on Loux Road when my husband suggested that we walk all the way to the end where Loux intersects with Myers Valley Road. At that intersection, he gave me a choice - turn around and cover the same ground or continue west and meet up with Pleasant Run. He swayed me with the promise of great pictures, and in fairness, he did tell me that his cross country kids run it and it is not pleasant (meaning pleasant views, but a lot of hills).

I agreed to the challenge, but should have asked exactly how far this trip would be in total. And, I should have looked at the weather forecast to see that rain was possible. The rumble of thunder near the half-way point made me a little anxious. I also should have brought along water, but who knew we were leaving for a hike.

The trip was beautiful - only sprinkles and cloud cover almost the whole way. We saw some great flowers and beautiful Kansas vistas. Yes, even in Kansas, you can stand on top of a hill and see valleys and rises that will take your breathe away.

This stretch of flowers reminded me of the scene at the beginning of Little House on the Prairie when the girls run down the hill. The cut wheat field in the back ground is quintessential Kansas.
We happened on this friendly herd of cows. They came running when they saw us, but we only disappointed them when we didn't have any range cubes. (We call them cookies in our family.) They walked with us almost the whole length of their pasture - running ahead and then stopping, turning, facing and watching.

I think this one is a moth mollein? It, along with more than 50 other pictures, made our 7.5 mile hike worth it.

1 comment:

PonderingPicnics said...

Absolutely LOVE this post. I too am enraptured this summer with Kansas Wildflowers and want to learn more. How lucky to have such beauty around your house and the energy to hike 7.5 miles to soak it all in!

Oh, and you MUST frame that last picture- it is beautiful! I think we need to find a vintage window frame for it :-)