cover of book

Enchanted by Prairie
photographs by Bill Witt
text by Osha Gray Davidson
University of Iowa Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-1-60938-108-0 | Cloth: 978-1-58729-803-5
Library of Congress Classification TR721.W58 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 779.36777

June grass at sunset, Indian grass at sunrise, hawk moths and monarch butterflies nectaring on purple fringed orchids and rough blazing star, little bluestem and saw-tooth sunflowers and butterfly milkweed in hill prairies and sand prairies, and blue skies and one bright rainbow arching over them all. Bill Witt has been photographing Iowa’s wild places for more than thirty years, and the result is this collection of splendid images that reveal the glorious beauty and diversity of the state’s prairie remnants.

Witt gives us close-ups of pasque flower shoots covered with ice in spring, coneflowers dancing in a summer breeze, and prairie dropseed in its autumn colors as well as such prairie companions as sandhill cranes, northern harriers, and bison. His panoramic visions of prairie landscapes in all seasons focus on the personal pleasure and spiritual sustenance that connecting with prairies, even small and neglected ones, can bring us. Osha Davidson’s essay compares today’s prairie remnants with yesterday’s expanses and calls for us to restore balance to this damaged landscape. Altogether, Enchanted by Prairie celebrates today’s prairie landscape and encourages us, in Davidson’s words, to restore its “beauty and scents and textures and sounds.”

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