Rolling Prairie

“Our way led over a succession of grassy swells spaced at intervals with breezeless hollows. What a country to have traveled before the day of the graded road and the planted tree! Driving an ox team over these endless, rolling hillocks was a task from which the very imagination recoiled. However–this was July and the emigrants went through, each year, in May.

They started in good weather, of course. The sun shone upon a “grand and beautiful prairie which can be compared to nothing but the mighty ocean.” A succession of rich, shining green swells was star-dusted with small frail blossoms and splashed with the harder varieties like great spillings of calcimine powders. Here. Patch of mountain pink, here spiderwort–while, ahead, a spreading of purple over a sunny slope proved, on closer acquaintance, to be larkspur. Bobolinks sang where currant bushes lined the meandering watercourses, and the line of white wagon tops stretched like a shining ribbon across the curving velvet breast of the prairie.”

Irene D. Paden, The Wake of the Prairie Schooner, p. 24