Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Open Geography

Last week I visited a research facility in northeastern Colorado near Akron. I knew of Akron way back when I had applied for graduate school - I was offered a research assistantship from Colorado
State University that would have taken me to Akron. My final study plans went a different direction, but now, 35 years later, I am again connected to this place. After finishing my business, I was directed a different way home along State Route 14 that took me by the Pawnee National Grassland. The geography was classic Plains - lots of open spaces with occasional sightings of prong horned sheep, frequently punctuated with features that are the results of people's touches.

Horse descendants of those belonging to European explorers, Cheyenne warriors, west-bound settlers, and cattle drovers.
Mechanical grasshoppers that spring up from the grassland, drawing dark liquid from deep beneath the surface of the soil that holds ageless grasses growing on the surface.