16. Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie -
©  Anne B. Wilson 2010

The tallgrass prairie ecosystem once covered 140 million
acres in North America, but less than 4% remains, mostly in the Kansas
Flint Hills.  This little anthem explains how the Flint Hills survived the plow,
and today are enjoyed by all who cherish their wealth of wildlife and
scenery.  A terrific PBS documentary and book of this same title were
produced by Aimee Larrabee and John Altman in 2001.


Out west of the woodlands on the prairie's Great Plains
Is a land where the tall grasses long have laid claim
Where the Bluestem and Indian grasses still grow
On the green rolling hills as they did long ago

Their steep rocky soil would never allow
The farmers to bring in their disc and their plow
It protected our prairie when others were lost
And saved the last place native grasses grow tall

On the last stand of the Tallgrass Prairie
Where cattle roam free and the cowboys are real
On the last stand of the Tallgrass Prairie
Our beautiful Kansas Flint Hills   Those beautiful Kansas Flint Hills

There are wildflower gardens on every hillside
With ground-nesting birds singing songs to the sky
There are rock-layered cliff banks that tell the Earth's story
And sunset horizons of heavenly glory        


You can wade down a gentle meandering stream
Ride horseback to places that look like a dream
You can hike to the ridge-top to see the sun rise
Or watch the flames leap in a real prairie fire       

Clean Curve of Hill Against Sky
Volume 1 Songs of the Kansas Flint Hills
Photos by Annie Wilson
click note for
music sample
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