A visit to the spectacular Tallgrass Prairie Preseve in the middle of Osage County just north of Pawhuska gives a glimpse of what this country was like before fences and cattle. Thanks to the Nature Conservancy,http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oklahoma/preserves/tallgrass.html this is the largest remnant of such prairie on earth, of about 10,000 acres.
You cross cattle, er, bison, guards to drive down the gravel roads and 8-foot fences keep them in.
The prairie grasses star the Big BlueStem, plus the Small Blue Stem, Switch grass and some others. Big Blue Stem reaches from 6 to 10 feet high, but the root system is deeper. It was once a complete ecosystem, but that is now extinct, although here and in the Flint Hills of Kansas just north of here, it survives.
We got out of the car to walk a nature trail, neatly mowed, and were soon surrounded with grass over our heads.
|To make sure we don't get lost|
And there are quiet cool spaces with water and shade too.