Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kansas Adventures, June; Part 1

For our June adventures, we chose to go visit Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, off the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway. Located 6 miles north of Canton, this 2800 acre preserve of native grass prairie is home to 250 bison and 80 elk.

Beautiful Smokey Hills.

Before white men settled in Kansas, the Cheyenne, Souix, Kanza and many other native American Indians roamed this area, following the bison. The hills in the above picture are called Battle Hill Knobs, where sometimes the Indians fought each other.

If you are wanting to go to Maxwell Reserve, it is best to call ahead to make reservations. When we arrived, there was a group of international students from Emporia who had just returned from their tram tour. There were some Japanese students and it was fun to visit with them.

Since Al and I were the only ones going at our designated time, we got a ride with this cowboy, rather than on the tram.

During the summer, the elk stay away from people. In the wintertime, however, they will allow people to get closer.

The bison didn't care that we got pretty close. Cowboy Owen told us that when the European settlers came, they didn't know what these creatures were. They thought they looked somewhat similar to water buffalo, so they got called "buffalo". The Indians called them totanka.

We drove through the prairie and stopped at a watering hole where there were a lot of bison.

Owen said we needed to keep the doors to the vehicle open just in case we'd have to make a dash for it. Sometimes the bison will get irritated and charge.

There were these bison coming to the watering hole on the other side of the vehicle. We watched them closely and they watched us too!

This rock is called Dakota sandstone and it is everywhere.

After our tour, we drove to this observation tower that was closeby.

Among these trees is McPherson State Fishing Lake. We decided to drive over there.

When I climbed down the steps, Al gave me some flowers that he had picked. When we were newlyweds at KU and didn't have money, he often would pick wildflowers for me.

Beavers keep busy building dams.

Sandplums. Our sister-in-law used to make sandplum jelly. She lives in California now; not sure if they grow those there or not.

A barnswallow peeking out of a bluebird's house.

Relaxing on a nice Kansas summer day.

If you want to visit Maxwell preserve, there are some fun days ahead!

Aug 27 and Sept 3:
Board trams in search of fall wild flowers.

Sept 17:
you can ride the trail (bring your own horse)

Oct. 7 - 9:
Mountain Man Rendezvous Demonstrations of 1800's life style, primitive camps and traders.

Nov. 16:
Buffalo auction - so if you want to own your own buffalo.....
They will also serve buffalo burgers, chili and pie.

Continuation of adventures, part 2 coming up next time.


Rachel said...

I might just take you up on that offer! I think I'll have to ease in to taking 3 kids everywhere! I've loved seeing all your pictures of Kansas. So beautiful!

Amy said...

I love the picture of Alan and the cowboy!