Fall Sunrise On The Prairie

Eager to pay just one more visit to the Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve near Cottonwood Falls, Kansas before winter sets in, Harland and I set out on a recent Friday night after I got home from work. We stayed that night in Cottonwood Falls, and were up pre-dawn the next morning to walk out onto the prairie and catch the sunrise.

The last wildflowers to bloom there are going to seed now and waiting for the prairie winds to carry their fluff away.

This picture helps to show just how big the prairie is.

That black dot in the upper right hand corner is Harland.

And see that group of black dots on the distant hill?

Look here:

That’s the bison herd. We’ve not seen them since early summer. (Click here to see our last visit with the bison)

Later, we passed the herd on our walk back to the park entrance. They were resting right by the trail, so we got a close look at them. They were taking dust baths, the bulls were shoving each other around, and the calves were playing with each other.

Soon winter will descend over the prairie. We’d love to photograph the bison in the snow.

——–> Next up on the blog, spend a quiet fall morning with the bison herd. 

My how the calves have grown.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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18 Responses

  1. Doe of Mi. says:

    What a glorious morning. Pretty little flowers sending their children out in the wind to bring forth more children. And wow what big hills and large sky. Those are the smallest bison I ever saw. LOL Can’t wait to see tomorrows you new closeups of the bison.

  2. Jeannelle says:

    Beautiful and interesting! I followed the link to earlier posts and enjoyed them very much. Excellent blogging!

  3. Karen says:

    Beautiful sunrise! The Bison must be well fed on that lovely prairie.

  4. Edith says:

    Suzanne my Husband and I were in Cottonwood Falls the weekend of Oct 21st celebrating our 2 year Anniversary. We stayed at the Mill-Stream Motel in the Cabin. I was on the porch and I saw a man get out of a truck in front of the Office. I could have sworn it was Harland. I could not see the passenger side of the vehicle but I did try thinking I might see you. Were you there at that time?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Edith,
      Small world. I believe that’s the weekend we were there. We stayed at the millstream in the main hotel part. We checked in Friday eve, and checked out about 11am the next day.

      • Edith says:

        Yes…it was Friday evening when I “thought” I saw Harland…………Grrrrrrrrr It WAS Harland and I could have met you!!! I was cooking bacon & eggs on the campfire Saturday morning….did you smell em??

        Do you drive a bluish SUV?

        I am upset by the way…..:o)

  5. Glyndalyn says:

    Very beautiful and so were the Facebook photographs.

  6. Beautiful. Fall is excellent in KS.

  7. Melanie says:

    Hard to believe that winter is nearly upon us!! Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Becky L. says:

    The morning prairie photos are beautiful. It’s nice both you and Harland enjoy photographing. My hubby helps me find places to shoot when we are out sometimes. A better view from a certain angle. I love that in him. Look forward to the bison photos. It’s fall here as well…leaves have fallen and there is some nice color around. Our lawn is finally growing in and Phil winterized it last week after he mowed it, for the 3rd time! Love seeing it green instead of bare like it was this summer. Hugs and have a good weekend!

    • Suzanne says:

      Glad to hear your lawn is doing well. Sounds like all Phil’s hard work paid off. Isn’t it fun to take pics with your Hubby? We enjoy that as one of our favorite things to do together.

  9. Teresa says:

    Such beauty as everything is dying down and getting ready for winter. I can’t wait so see those calves playing in the snow!

  10. I enjoyed your lovely prairie photos. I look forward to seeing the bison as they grow.

    Today, when I left my parents’ house with my grandsons, the one who will be 4 in January asked if we could go into the country. He asks Grandpa to go there on the rare occasion he takes them to my parents, so I had to call Larry to see how he gets there.

    We had a great time, and I discovered an area owned by our city’s parks and recreation where we can hike when his baby brother is not sleeping in his car seat. I’m thinking this is the area where the endangered tiger beetles live. There is also a prairie there I am excited to explore in different seasons.

    • Suzanne says:

      Sounds like you found an undiscovered treasure as well. Now you’ll have to go back all different times of the year.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this Flint Hills pictures. Gorgeous! Cottonwood Falls is one of my favorite places!!

  12. Edith says:

    Yes…it was Friday evening when I “thought” I saw Harland…………Grrrrrrrrr It WAS Harland and I could have met you!!! I was cooking bacon & eggs on the campfire Saturday morning….did you smell em??

    Do you drive a bluish SUV?

    I am upset by the way…..:o)

    • Suzanne says:

      Yes, we pulled in Friday eve. And yes, we have/had a blue Chevy Colorado which we traded last week. Now we have a bright red truck. Look out for us on our travels. Harland is amazed you recognized him. You must have a heck of a memory for faces. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet. Another day…..

      • Edith says:

        I see his pictures all the time…..every angle….:o) How could I miss him? I would recognize you too..

        Sure will keep a look out for you around the Prairie..

        Hind sight….I should have gotten up and went over there to see if it was you!

        Yep…another time maybe.

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