The Nature of Kansas Lands
Edited by Beverley Worster
This is a spectacularly beautiful book that would be a gift to anyone who loves Kansas and a revelation to anyone who doesn’t know Kansas. I have shared it with several visitors from out-of-state with the simple comment: “This is what you aren’t going to see.”
The photographs of waterways, woodlands, grasslands, farmlands and high plains are lovely, full of haunting images from all four seasons and colors that range from vivid to very subtle. Much of the artistry of this book is due to its photographers, Kyle Gerstner and Edward C. Robison.
A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. Roy Bird, long-time consultant at the State Library, has said that he will take the thousand words. For those of like mind, this gorgeously illustrated book offers the poetic essays of Elizabeth Schultz. Professionally immersed in both the Kansas landscapes and the prose of Herman Melville, this scholar has an extraordinary way with words.
Interspersed with these essays are fascinating scientific facts shared by biologist Kelly Kindscher, of the University of Kansas.
This book is a feast for the eyes, mind and spirit. In the foreword, Donald Worster writes, “The book should open our minds and all our senses to the world that lies just beyond our fence lines.”
All parts of America are very beautiful. What is heartbreaking about the beauty of Kansas is that it is still so largely unknown. Even the Kansans themselves have often not seen the hidden beauties of the Gyp Hills, the Rockpost Country, the Chautauqua Hills, the Glaciated Region or the Kansas Ozarks. That is protection, of a sort. No one who loves Kansas wants huge numbers of people moving in. But anyone who has seen the amazingly varied terrain that lies far from the Interstate 70 artery has probably wished that this richness could be widely shared. This book is a pocket treasure that attempts to do just that.