A lot of people don’t realize how beautiful
Even in the agricultural lands of
In order to find my way back to the stream, I did what any Kansas-born kid would do: Look for the trees. Stumbling forward towards a huge cottonwood, I suddenly burst out of the pasture and into an area where the tree canopy had cut off light to the grown, and the underbrush was sparse. All around me were mulberry trees, grape vines, cottonwoods, gooseberry, and red-bud trees. In the surprisingly still air of this pocket of semi-forest there were monarch butterflies wafting around, and I startled deer from their slumber. I felt like I had stumbled into another county. The stream had obviously criss-crossed this area of the valley a dozen times, as evidenced by old, dry stream channels. In the active channel was the only remaining pocket of water anywhere in this entire stream-reach.
Pockets of natural areas like this are probably more common than I know, and pretty important for the general welfare of the surrounding animal community. This isn’t the most obvious habitat to protect, and it isn’t the most obvious habitat to try and get replaced, but you can say that a thousand times and then you’ll have lost a thousand little pockets like this. That starts to add up.