Last week, three of the kids and I went for an impromptu nature walk at Pawnee Prairie Park, a local nature preserve. Though we've lived in Kansas for nearly eight years now, somehow I'd never heard of this park until a couple of weeks ago. Someone on a local e-mail list had raved about the abundance of sunflowers in bloom there, so I knew we had to check it out!

Unfortunately, my timing could not have been worse. We were hit with excessive amounts of rain for most of last week, and while there was some flooding in town, it never occurred to me that the park might be flooded as well.

Just a few minutes into our walk, we encountered water.

Because it only appeared to be ankle-deep, I wasn't overly alarmed and decided that we should press on...surely dry land was only around the bend, right?

The sunflowers were beautiful...

The twins enjoyed playing in the water entirely too much, while Maddie and I were decidedly less thrilled.

Finally we got to some semi-dry land.

And then just a little further, we came to this...At this point, Maddie and I were begging the boys to turn around so that we could go back to the car. They didn't listen, so we had no choice but to cautiously follow them. The current was fairly strong at one point and it was hard to keep our footing on the concrete path below (a path we couldn't even see!).

This was our view from the bridge (a much swollen Cowskin Creek!):

Once over the bridge, we encountered a meadow - and more flooding. We followed one of the trails for a few yards before I insisted that we turn around and go home. There was water in every direction and at times it was hard to tell where the creek had been originally, it was very disorienting and a little alarming!

On our way out of the park, we saw some fresh deer tracks:

And that was the end of our adventure - one hour, LOTS of water, and three soaked kids later, I was happy to be done with it!

I must say, I cannot wait to get back to the park for another nature walk - the little that we saw was quite beautiful. This time, however, I will be sure to wait until everything has dried out completely!


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