The Prairie-Ocean


Man standing in open prairieThe great ocean does not present more infinite variety than does this prairie-ocean of which we speak. In winter, a dazzling surface of purest snow; in early summer, a vast expanse of grass and pale pink roses; in autumn too often a wild sea of raging fire. No ocean of water in the world can vie with its gorgeous sunsets; no solitude equal the loneliness of a night-shadowed prairie: one feels the stillness, and hears the silence, the wail of the prowling wolf makes the voice of solitude audible. The stars look down through infinite silence upon a silence almost as intense.
— William Francis Butler, The Great Lone Land, 1872.


Photo © Sandra Cunningham

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