A Bird Rest Stop
During our October 2021 visit to Kansas to see Jaylin and attend a couple of football games, my parents went with Laura and me to the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. We had seen signs for Quivira on each of our visits. Laura looked it up online and saw that it had some trails that we could walk. So while Jaylin was attending classes, we decided to take a field trip!
You can find out lots of information about Quivira on its Wikipedia page, so I won’t mention all of that here. But the page does mention that the reserve is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas!
Here are a few photos from our visit.
One of our first stops was to see ducks out in the lake, which is actually one of the salt marshes at Quivira. We could not get a close look at the ducks from here, but that is okay. This was not a theme park, and they were not an attraction. They were just ducks out enjoying a swim on their stop from here to there on the Central Flyway migration route.
This photo shows more of the wetland grasses surrounding the salt marsh. A photo blind was provided to be able to get a view of the ducks. But because the glass was not quite clean, I stepped outside and next to the blind to get these photos. Still nowhere near the ducks to be a bother to them. And they had every right to their privacy, too.
Along the Trail
We next drove a little further and found a good trail for hiking. Except for the sun being slightly warm, and except for the more than generous quantities of mosquitoes, it was a perfect day for a walk outside in nature.
Our walk took us past the occasional trees and lots of grass. Sometimes the path was wide, like what you see here, and sometimes it was a little more narrow. But it was all beautiful scenery, which of course means that I took lots of photos to remember the views.
This view looks off into the grass instead of down the path. I love these kinds of natural views. And apparently, they are good for attracting the birds, too.
Interestingly, this is not what I would picture when I think of Kansas. To me, this scene almost looks like grasslands in Africa or some other exotic place. Kansas continues to fascinate me, because I did not know much about it before we started going on these trips.
Usually, when we are out walking on trails, Laura is in front of me. That is because I stop more often than she does so that I can take a photo. And somewhere along the way, I say, “Hey, turn around!” And she does, and I take her photo. That is what happened here. I am not really sure why I did not get a good photo of my parents, too, but I did not for whatever reason.
From all of these photos, you might get the idea that I take a photo, take two steps, take another photo, and repeat. But here is the secret: That is exactly what I do! Still, how can you pass up taking a photo of views like this?
Sometimes, it helps to have people in photos with trees, because otherwise, it is often difficult to tell how big the trees really are. Coming from a woodlands area like we do, it was interesting to see how the trees are more spread out here in the grasslands.
Yes, another photo of grass and trees and blue sky. But here, I wanted to focus on the few tall blades of trass in the foreground. The other grass and trees make a nice background for those grass blades.
By this point on the trail, the mosquitoes had not quite reached their full badness level. They were trying to round up a few more of their mosquito friends to see if they could lift us up off the ground and carry us away, but they could not find quite enough friends for that, fortunately.
And here is one last photo from this path for today. We saw lots more at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and I took lots more photos. But those photos will wait until another day. So check back soon for more!
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. - Psalm 147:7-8
About the Photos
As I mentioned above, it was a beautiful day outside, and I wanted these photos to capture the natural beauty, along with the feeling of being outside with some fantastic weather. To get that feeling, I processed these photos with lots of color saturation, especially in the blue tones to bring out the sky color. And I made sure the brightness was turned up, too, just so that nothing looked too dark. Sometimes, dark and moody photos can be good, but not on a day with weather like this one had!
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: October 4, 2021
Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas