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View from Point of Rocks, Cimarron National GrasslandsTHE GRASSLAND BIOME: Natural History Data and Musings from Kansas

A Web Page by Roy J. Beckemeyer
Last Updated: 26 March 2011 (Links Updated)
The photo on the right is a view from Point of Rocks, overlooking the Cimarron River in the southwestern -most county in Kansas, Morton County.  Point of Rocks is located in the Cimarron National Grasslands, short-grass prairie country, and was a noted stopping place on the trip west on the Santa Fe Trail, as one of the few fresh water sources, Big Springs, is nearby.  Photographed by Roy Beckemeyer in May, 2000, during the joint meeting of the Oklahoma and Kansas Ornithological Societies.

Here on the Kansas prairie, reveling in the vast expanse of sunny sky that stretches from horizon to horizon, you certainly don't feel that you are standing in a shadow. But the overwhelming influence on the climate and biota of the state is the formidible rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains far off to the west. The transition from near-desert of western Kansas to the Ozark Plateau in the far southeast corner produces some surprising mixes of fauna and flora.   [Use this link to view a map of the physiographic provinces of Kansas Geological Survey web site: Kansas Physiographic Regions.] The diversity may not be as great as in some other areas in terms of quantity of species, but the assemblages are certainly very unique and interesting. Shorebirds of both east and west coast migrate through the state while many resident taxa reach their extreme southern, northern, eastern or western ranges here.
This page reflects my interests in natural history and science, with an emphasis on Kansas, but with excursions to areas far from the plains as well. I hope that you find something of interest and value to you. Please E-mail any suggestions, corrections or comments to me.



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