This is an interesting look at my hometown from a British TV perspective. Felt nostalgic seeing the Prairie Dog Central again.
Winny-peg is an odd pronunciation to hear.
British host (paraphrased): “Canada’s treatment of its First Nations people is a blot on its history… They built a [human rights] museum at least.” Ha.
Prairie Sunflowers at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA
Dramatic lighting this morning
I think this is a blue-grey gnatcatcher, possibly male based on the dark wing bits. (The second photo is squashy cause it’s about to take off)
Either way, what a small and deliciously plump bird 😍
I was wading back through the prairie - as you can see it’s near sunset in the photo - and realized I was within a meter of this guy perched on one of the occasional trees that pop up amidst tall grass! Snapped some quick photos and then he flew off, I think we were both startled haha.
This is where I live. #manitoba #prairie #prairielife #canada🇨🇦 (at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba)
“The wind excites a thousand different instruments.
Each song is played in its own way.”
— Kari Hohne
Out here, people are rare. Trees are rare. Storms are not.
Grasslands and cowboys in rural Oklahoma. Photos by REXO.
The popular conception of the Plains […] is that of flatness, fly-over country, emptiness […]. [T]he dissonance between deep history and modern mythmaking, between the grassland biome and […] frontier town, strikes a central irony […]. The Euro-Canadian presence on the Plains is too brief to give their communities the experience or knowledge reflected in Indigenous deep maps. Yet the urge to connect deeply to place is now gripping the heirs of colonization. Stegner has diagnosed this […] as “the dissatisfaction and hunger that result from placelessness,” the disaffection of being “displaced” and “mythless” […]. As one writer, James Howard Kunstler, has argued, the Plains, like much of the North American landscape, evokes a “geography of nowhere” […]. The disregard of region, of idiosyncratic, unique landscape, of the “living organism based on a web of interdependencies” lies at the heart of this continental malaise […].
What makes contemporary deep map writing from Saskachewan and other parts of the Great Plains so strikingly ironic is that the colonization of settlement, continuing to the present day, has left a profound sense of loss and disorientation in the non-Native descendants of those who first imposed the mandates of settlement. These sons and daughters of settlement now seem willing to retrace the knowledge and values of the Indigenous Nations whom their ancestors uprooted. […] [T]he elegiac tone of much non-Native Canadian writing, including deep map writing I would add, continues to oppress through “hundreds of white-authored representations of Native people that, no matter how well-meaning, sympathetic, or even admiring, consistently deploy the trope of the dead and dying Indian that deny [sic] Aboriginal people a flourishing future” (24). […]
Kent Ryden argues that the concepts of terra nullius and the grid “[epitomize] the view of geography as space; ignoring the texture of the terrain over which it passes and the exigencies of the lives that people live on the land, it covers the country with a uniform blanket of identical squares and evenly spaced intersections” (37). Such two-dimensional cartography erases the deep narrative of place, the “invisible landscape” that gives meaning to place. […] This background of change is well known among those who study the history, geography, and literature of the Great Plains extending from the American Southwest to the Canadian prairies; but I think this historic shift into the settlement era of the late nineteenth century and the subsequent transformation to industrial agriculture, a modernized landscape of mass transportation, interlinked markets, corporate and private ownership, national or even global retail chains, housing subdivisions, and a cultural de-emphasis of place (for a mobile workforce), explain something about the current desire among the heirs of white settlement for establishing deep map narratives of the Plains […].
At the heart of […] Plains deep maps is an accounting of loss brought about by the legal, political, and economic institutions of Empire, what Stegner calls “the problems of an expanding continental hegemony”. […]
Herein lies the irony of contemporary deep map writers on both sides of
the forty-ninth parallel whose cultural roots extend back to Europe, but
whose presence on the Plains is brief, historically. For millennia on
the North American Plains, […] [s]tories,
ceremonies, forms of cartography have served to guide generations of
Indigenous inhabitants, including those on the northern Plains, into
fuller existence on particular landscapes.
[…] The inexorable changes wrought by
settlement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on the
American and Canadian Plains, and the imposition of the abstract
surveyor’s grid onto place, redefined the landscape into a new
nationalized, politicized space that engendered new kinds of myths. The
surveying of the western territories […] followed the colonial concept of terra nullius, “empty land” […]. In dismissing the claims and stories of Indigenous cultures, the idea of terra nullius justifies the mandates of the colonizing power and its desire to reconstitute the land along new lines of ownership.
One outcome of this abstraction has been a sense of disconnection and
spiritual displacement in those whose ancestors originally colonized the
Susan Naramore Maher. “Deep Map Country: Proposing a Dinnseanchas Cycle of the Northern Plains.”
Saw a lovely butterfly this morning