To live in the Flint Hills of Kansas during the spring is a treat. No… it's an honor. A thing of beauty.
Yes, the hills are turning green, the trees are in bloom and the baby calves are sprinkles across the prairie frolicking and playing. But, that isn't the true beauty of spring in Kansas.
"Well, then what is it?", you ask.
The fire!!!! Yes, I said FIRE!
Grass fires to be exact. You see, in the ranching world grass management is crucial to the cattle industry. Without lush, nutrtious, green grass the cattle wouldn't be able to graze in the summer months.
In order for this green grass to thrive ranchers spend several weeks in the beginning of April burning their pastures to rid it of the weeds and dead growth. This process makes way for the new grass to come through.
This has ALWAYS been my favorite time of the year. The smell of the grass fires let's me know that summer and warmth are just around the corner.
Even better than the smell is the beauty of the prairie all lit up in flames.
Last night a neighbor across the highway was burning one of his pastures. Grady knows that I have my camera ready and my running shoes by the door just waiting for my photo opportunities. Burn season can produce some of the most amazing photos.
We loaded up the boys and the dogs and headed up the road to see the sights. As we pulled up the fire was dancing across the ground toward us. The sky was an amazing mixture of smoke and amber flames making an awesome red glow in front of us.
Here are a few of the shots I was able to get. I'm also sharing photos from years past as no two fires are the same and the pictures will prove it.
Cade took this next one. I was really proud of how it turned out.
And these are from years past…