Prairie Thunder is an excellent book by Colorado author and photographer Dave Showalter. The book was published by Skyline Press in 2007 and contains excellent photos of Colorado’s eastern plains, as well as good descriptive writing that exhibits Showalter’s knowledge, and love of the east side of Colorado. Below is an excerpt from his excellent introduction:
I have grown accustomed to the blank stare when I tell someone that I’m working on a Colorado prairie book, and the inevitable follow-up question, “Why the prairie?” Friends know my wife and me to be people who love the mountains – climbing fourteeners, backpacking, trekking, the whole bit. I’m also well aware of the common perception that the prairie is flat and boring, a place to drive through on the way to the mountains. What happened with me is what happens with a lot of folks; the prairie grew on me. In fact, it burned into my soul. Maybe it’s because I took the time to watch and listen, to anticipate the changes within seasons and note the ever-changing nature all around me. That’s how it starts. The prairie doesn’t have the bowl-you-over scenery of the mountains. It is a subtle beauty that is completely dictated by not only changes of season, but micro changes within seasons. Native grasses may look sparse and over grazed in March; but visit in August after the monsoon and you may doscover an “ocean of grass,” waves flowing on the wind. . . . There is something else, though, a larger emotional connection to grasslands that even the most ardent prairie lovers have trouble articulating. Most just say “I don’t know what it is – there’s just something about the prairie.”
Nothing but agreement here.