Five Ridge Prairie

March 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Saturday was so, so balmy in Iowa. Eerily warm for March, maybe – but we took off jackets and went short-sleeved with spring giddiness.

It is hard to find nature-walk places in this part of the state, I am sorry to say. We drove 24 miles to get to Fox Ridge Prairie, 790 acres that “exemplifies the northern loess bluffs of western Iowa with a mixture of oak timbered valleys, native prairie ridge tops and west facing slopes.” (

The term “loess” refers to silt deposits laid down by wind activity. “Loess” is German for “loose or crumbly.” The Loess Hills in Western Iowa are fragile, easily eroded, and beautiful. Loess itself is not that unusual, but the size of the hills in Iowa – up to 200 feet thick of loess – is an uncommon geological occurrance. To learn more about the Loess Hills in Iowa – click here.

Tassie did not get to come (I wasn’t sure what the dog policy was, but based on the number of paw prints we saw, plus one black Lab, they do seem to be allowed). Mom and Dad and Craig and I went with a backpack full of egg salad sandwiches, string cheese, and apples.

I settled in to the tall grasses. I have always liked having them all around me.

It was one of those calm, outside, together times.


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