Good morning! Yesterday, I had a chance to drive up to Turin Prairie (located east of Onawa, Iowa, in the Loess Hills) where we met up with my dad and stepmom for a dedication.* Turin Prairie is part of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and they've recently acquired 467 acres to add to the Prairie, courtesy of a purchase partially funded by donors. Yesterday they had their dedication ceremony, and we were there to attend.
It started with a hayrack ride through the fields to the base of the Loess Hills, where we were dropped off, and hiked up to the top. There we were greeted by other attendees and the fine folks of the INHF who gave us all some snacks, water, and coffee. We then went up the rest of the way to the top of the ridges of the Hills, where we heard speakers who talked about the addition. It was an incredible moment. Afterwards, people collected seeds or hiked. We did the latter. My stepmom went back to the car, and my husband had to leave about half-way in (bathroom breaks can be a bear when hiking amongst others). That left me, my dad, and Nature Girl. We followed the ridge line, walking in deer trails, until the state land ended. It was a gorgeous day for a hike, but it was good we stopped when we did, as it got warm...and then it rained.
I'm excited for the INHF, and for all the rest of us. We get to enjoy the raw beauty of the Iowa Mountains whenever we wish to do so. You couldn't ask for a better setting. Look at these views!
Nature Girl and my dad, hiking along the ridges.
A shot to the seed-gatherers behind us. Some people hiked as well, but we were one of a few groups that actually hiked a good distance.
Another view of my surroundings from the top.
I never get tired of this view.
No matter where you look, there's always something new to see.
Nature, in all it's glorious splendor.
This mushroom was quite large, and nearly perfect-looking.
I like this view as it looks down onto a farm and it's small lake. Quaint.
*For more on Turin Prairie, follow this link!