Red-Tail Nature Preserve: A Prairie

On Friday, I ventured north to the flat lands with Steven Higgs. We visited three different nature preserves and two were wetlands with restored prairies. The first we visited was Red-Tail Nature Preserve in Delaware County.

I have not given much thought to prairies since I left Nebraska almost 40 years ago. Standing on a trail surrounded 8 foot prairie grass with the wind blowing is simply mesmerizing, but difficult to photograph! It is easy to forget the beauty of the prairie, especially a wide open prairie after being away for 40 years. The two wetland areas were dry and the two osprey platforms showed no signs of a recent nest.

On the ground, there were several wild flowers. The thistles and cone flowers were at or just beyond their prime. Thistle is quite common in many areas of Indiana and a fascinating wild flower. I discover hidden beauty every time I photograph one. The prairie grass provided a nice back ground for this image.

I am planning another trip to a different prairie area later this year when the Sandhill cranes first return to Indiana for the winter. Given that there are already a few reports of cranes in northern Indiana, we might be in for an early and cold winter. That will not be a problem as I never put my winter gear in storage last spring! In fact, my winter car survival kit is still on my workbench. Call me an optimist!

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