I live where the grass grows taller than I stand. I live where the wind whispers through the tall big bluestem grasses and the same grasses speak back. Listening to their conversation, it is as if I understand their words, and I find inspiration. I really don’t know exactly when I realized I was in love with the prairie. I do know it was after I started creating my prairie grass jewelry collection. Searching through the changing seasons and watching the grasses and wildflowers change created a desire to know them better. I graduated last summer from docent training at the Konza Prairie Biological Station in Manhattan, Kansas in part to gain more knowledge of the prairie, but also to be able to pass down that passion for the prairie to my art students. I teach middle and high school home-school students.
I’ve had a chance to take my students out to the prairie this past fall where we took photos of flowers. insects, grasses, and trees that inspired us. A 1 1/2 hour hike took us almost 3 hours because we were so absorbed in what the prairie was saying to us. We plan to go back this spring to catch the awakening of the first flowers of the year. We’ll be carrying our nature journals under our arms and our cameras around our necks.
I’ve added the majestic, big bluestem grass, to my jewelry designs. It is such an important grass to the prairie’s ecological system. It also makes some awesome textures.