Friday, August 9, 2013

A Day in the Red Hills

     I call the Red Hills the "Kansas Outback" for a good reason.  Its features have that wildness factor which can be associated with such interesting natural areas as the very recognizable and known outback of Australia.  Of course, North America has all of its incredible natural areas, parks and badlands, many of which might be characterized as having an "outback" flavor.  But for here, the Red Hills region seems to lend itself to this special appropriate moniker.  Here's a sampling of the special features one can experience in this special Kansas landscape--a day's adventure a week ago.

The gypsum formation of the Red Hills is soluble and therefore allows for many caves to develop.  Fun to explore!

The Ground Snake is a very pretty resident.

A few hundred Cave Myotis bats welcomed the spelunkers.  Several Red Hills caves offer habitats for maternity colonies and roosting.  This is one reason The Nature Conservancy of Kansas has targeted the Red Hills for conservation efforts.

The Giant Desert Centepede was guarding the entrance to the cave.  It was 8 inches long!

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