Sunday, July 13, 2008

. . . walked the trail

There is something called the Streamway Park trail in our county. It is a hiking, walking, bike-riding paved pathway that meaders from the Kansas River in the north to the county line in the south, I think. . . that's the theory, anyway, although I haven't been on it any further south than this area I'm showing you today. It's a wonderful idea . . . the path winds through parks, along streams and creeks; part of it was close to where we used to live, part of it went through the neighborhood my daughter used to live in; and part of it is where I go to photograph trains, with little luck so far. There are houses nearby in some places, but usually you can't see signs of civilization when you're on the path.
The area I was in last week has either been allowed to revert to the natural grasses that grow on the prairie, or has never been disturbed. The native plants that grow, which I guess would be weeds in a planned and landscaped yard, look fabulous and lush this year with all the rain we've had. I took this picture and adjusted it, increasing the saturation and pushing the boundaries for color.
When I see areas that have not been disturbed by 21st Century progress, like some of these areas, I wonder about the native Americans who made their homes on this prairie. . . or the pioneer families that set out from "civilization" to settle here and parts west. I don't think I would have been a very good pioneer or native woman. I'm glad I live in a time when modern conveniences make life a lot easier. I can't imagine having to devote my entire life to keeping a prairie sod hut free of dirt, raising kids, and cooking everything from scratch, let alone growing or hunting the food and preparing it, living in the elements and living with the constant threat of losing my life to some random occurence like a tornado or a snakebite.
Perhaps some day, 100 years in the future, my great-granddaughter will communicate in a way that we can't even conceive of today about how she's glad she wasn't a woman in the 2000s. I wish I could live long enough to experience all those changes.

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