Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

“Beyond” always has a quality of mystery to me. What is beyond there–there where I can see? What am I not seeing? And what calls me to the emptiness of places.

This photo, at first glance, is a simple one. A Kansas fence, a field, open space. Only the “open space” is history and legend. My family migrated in covered wagons across those hills into Kansas. The century-old hedge posts came later along with the barbed wire.

Perhaps it’s because my family on both sides were pioneers, and perhaps because I read too many Zane Grey novels; but I can imagine smoke on the horizon and Native Americans watching from the edge of a rise.

My great-grandfather’s mother, Lucinda Moore, had five husbands all told by the time she traveled from New Salem, N.C. to Jewell County, Kansas. The date of her arrival in Jewell County with the final husband, Moore, coincided with the year of the last Indian raid in that rolling country bordering Nebraska–Nebraska only ten miles away on the  horizon from where this photo was taken, south of Highway 36 and north of Barnes, Kansas.

Where Are the Outlaws....
Where Are the Outlaws….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

 

Anytime I see a mesa like this, a table-top from which a rider can watch, I imagine a Native American warrior, sitting at the edge on a paint pony, watching. I read way too many Zane Gray novels as a kid. But then, I grew up in Indian country on the high Kansas plains and their spirits roamed the hills. This particular shot is from the Painted Desert in Arizona. The place stunningly beautiful. Every square inch of it.