I live in the central region of the US that has plains, Midwest, and I’ve visited the Great Plains that is a few states over further west. I know that it encompasses many types of biodiversity and environments. There are the grasslands, short grass prairie, tall grass prairie, woodland prairie, and farm fields to name a few kinds.
They appear as an endless distance of earth and sky. There is a feeling of freedom of wide open spaces when I’m in them or driving down a country road with windows open—of air and space. A great way to see the plains is to go out into the country or to parks and prairies.
How can I describe the plains to someone who has never seen or experienced them?
It’s watching a thunderstorm of dark clouds and flashing lightening rolling across the open plains. Native prairies with tall grasses and wild flowers and filled with animals and song birds. Dark brown furrowed farm fields of tilled soil waiting for spring planting and renewal. Pastures with the occasional undulating hills covered in grass mowed down by hungry cows, goats and sheep.
I like to think of landscape not as a fixed placed but as a path that is unwinding before my eyes, under my feet. Gretel Ehrlich, introduction to Legacy of Light
It is an environment where nothing comes between me, the sky, the horizons, and my dreams. Ed Butterfield, The Shortgrass Prairie
What do the plains look like in the Midwest? I’ve put together some photos I’ve taken of the plains.
Midwest Plains Photos