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.”
"Iowa’s tallgrass prairie was gone before we were born. Bill Witt’s marvelous photos of Iowa’s tallgrass prairie remnants and prose by Osha Davidson and Bill Witt give us a vision of what the prairie was and what it can do for us today. We did not save the prairie, but perhaps it can save us."—Carl Kurtz
“Enchanted by Prairie deftly interweaves meditation and celebration. The thoughtful text and luminous photography evoke prairies past and present and point us toward the potential of a brighter prairie future. To newcomers, this book will introduce a landscape full of marvels. For those of us already enchanted by prairies, this is a book to savor often and share with others.”—Cindy Hildebrand
Hawkeye’s Whistle, Osha Gray Davidson 1
The Photographs 9
Enchantment by Prairie, Bill Witt 79