Friday, April 29, 2016

I like those Wide Open Spaces !!

The way the prairie used to be has always fascinated us so, when we got near this Preserve, we stopped in for an hour or two. 

The visitor's center is terrific. Very educational as to what the Tall grasses are all about.

Terrific depiction of life in the Tallgrass. Badger, Greater prairie-chicken, Massasuga Rattlesnake, Jackrabbit, Red-tailed hawk, Show-on-the-mountain,  Pitcher sage, Aromatic aster, Indian grass, Dotted gayfeather, Ashy sunflower and Little bluestem

Tall grasses to the right, Mixed-grasses in the middle and Shortgrass on the left. This is how much there used to be. Now there is only 4% left...mostly at this park.

From there, you basically have three choices: one, go over to the old house of the previous owners, two, go visit the large stone barn or three, take a hike into the grass plains themselves. Kim went for one and two while I went for a hike up an back a hill.

Property Stephen Jones used his massive 60 x 110 foot barn to house animals, shelter equipment, and store the hay and grain that fed the livestock during the winter months. In 1885, Jones’ livestock numbered 200 swine, 30 horses, 8 milk cows, 4 mules, and hundreds of cattle foraging on the ranch’s prairie grasses. The barn, like other buildings on the ranch, was built into the side of the hill for natural insulation and access used to belong to a family that owned over 7,000 acres

Described in 1883 as “the best improved farm in Chase county,” the Spring Hill Farm and Stock Ranch became a showpiece for cattleman Stephen F. Jones and his wife Louisa.
In 1878, they came to Kansas from Colorado wishing to graze cattle on the “fine prairie grasses” of the Flint Hills and then ship them by rail to market in Kansas City. His ranch grew to 7,000 acres, specializing in Hereford, Durham, and Galloway cattle. During the 1880s, ranching was moving from open range to enclosed pasture grazing. Jones found an abundant supply of limestone on his ranch and built over 30 miles of stone fence as reported by the 1885 census.

The hikes are very relaxing but not that much to see....just those wide open spaces....

About the only flowers I saw on the trail

Trail heads off for another 7 thanks
heading back to the Visitor's Center

Movie showing expanse

As always, there's so much more than we can put in a short blog. Nice place to visit.

Steve and Kim

...for more information, you can go to these links:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bellingrath Gardens...Always Gorgeous

Bellingrath Gardens, just south of Mobile, Alabama. This is our third visit !! And each time, it's a pleasure to walk around the peaceful, beautifully manicured gardens. There were so many wonderful flower/color combinations and even some roses are showing up.

65 Acres

Extensive gardens...we never get to see all of out of steam, plus, we didn't want to leave Katie too long in the coach. are a LOT of photos. Hope you're in to flowers....



Fountain in Rose Garden

Angel Trumpets


Lace Cap Hydrangea



Flower Dude

Shrimp Plant


Add caption

Some of the photos have "Flower" as the caption....we did not know some of them although Kim new most of them.

Steve and Kim

Mileage 272 miles

Off We Go !

We got up very early so that we could leave at 5am to get up to the Camping World Tampa to get our coach tires rotated before the traffic hit. All was fine but...we got there early and then a big thunder, lightning and rain storm hit so I could not disconnect the trailer and car. At 8am I went in and found out that we needed two new front tires but, they did not have them ! So, I called Tallahassee Camping World and arranged to be there the next day to have them installed. The tires cost $728 each ! The total bill came to $1769. Are you sure you want to full-time RV?

Nice to see and hear the birds again...and Katie is doing a great job travelling with us. She's either on Kim's lap sleeping or in her bed sleeping.

In between us while travelling


Carolina Wren

Oh...we left on April 7th, my birthday. Kim got me some funny birthday cards and a Cypress Knee carving. Very thoughtful.

Cypress Knee carving
Funny birthday cards
Birthday Boy

Steve and Kim

Mileage for the day: 347 miles.