Kansas is ablaze with prairie fires right now as the farmers and ranchers are preparing their fields for rebirth. Unfortunately for my asthmatic self, I’m stuck inside instead of trying my hand at paying homage to photographers like Larry Schwarm or Dave Leiker by creating a pastiche of their amazing images of this prairie rite of passage. Taking pity, Jim took me for a quick ride around town so I could escape the house.
We drove through Hope Cemetery, which was hazy with prairie fire smoke.
That haze in the background at Hope Cemetery isn’t fog. It’s smoke blowing in from the prairie fires.
And then, for the first time, we followed the gravel road past the cemetery, where we found a pretty view of the Marais des Cygnes River.
An old railroad bridge crosses the Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.
The Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.
The forecast calls for thunderstorms this week, which will wash away the smoke. In the meanwhile, I’m hiding in the house again.
One of at least three large cemeteries within the city limits of Ottawa, Kansas, Hope Cemetery has many historic and artistic monuments and mausoleums. Aside from being the final resting place of many prominent Franklin County citizens, it is also a showcase of Midwestern Victorian cemetery art.