This weekend, my dad came up for a visit, which was perfect because autumn in Kansas is nothing like autumn in Mississippi and I was ten kinds of excited to get to show off my town in all it's autumnal glory. Our first thought was to take him out to the Konza prairie. This isn't right in our backyard, but it's worth the hour long westward drive because the fields are rolling and all shades of rusty gold and brown. There were going to be buffalo and tallgrasses and puffy clouds the likes of which my dad had never seen. It was going to be grand. He was going to fall into unexpected love with Kansas; which, I might argue, is how everyone who wasn't born here comes to love Kansas - suddenly and with quiet passion.
But then we discovered that KSU was playing MSU at KSU.
And I cried because that meant insurmountable traffic and no buffalo.*
So instead, we decided to take dad somewhere closer to home: The Haskell/Wakarusa/Baker/Lawrence Wetlands (why, yes, there is controversy over what they're called...). I'd been there before, but in the dead heat of summer when the boardwalk could burn the rubber from your shoes and you could barely breathe for the butterflies.** Dad thought it sounded great so away we went!
Only to discover the wetlands aren't so wet in autumn time. In fact, they look no a little bit like the prairie I intended to take him to in the first place. WIN! A beautiful, puffy-clouded win.
Of course, I forgot my fancy camera, so all of my photos were taken on my fancy phone instead. So, I apologize for the photo spam, but I would like to share with you a few of the reasons I love Kansas a la photo essay.
Puffy clouds and cattails
I don't think you know what I mean when I say TALLgrasses
(PS - This is where the water is supposed to be.)
SWAMPS! Seriously, Kansas has all the things!
Labyrinth was filmed here.***
*This was an exaggeration.
**So was this.
***.....yeah, this, too.