The prairie has been oft described as "boring", yet its treeless vastness has a beauty all of its own, an endless ocean of grass. I attended a high-power rocket launch meet a while back, held south of Taber Alberta, about 50 miles north of the Canada/USA border. When not photographing rockets or the wonderful faces of Hutterites, I photographed the prairie.

The most unexpected thing was this range of mountains off in the distance - a long way from the Rockys to the west. These are the Sweetgrass Hills, pretty much right on the border, though mostly in the USA. They rise to almost 7,000 feet - some 3,000 above the surrounding prairie. Rather than being barren, there was an immense variety of vegetation and wildflowers. Without further narration, I will present a portfolio of prairie and prairie flowers.

The Hutterites are a peaceful and industrious agrarian Anabaptist sect founded by Jacob Hutter (d. 1536). They live in large farming communities, maintaining traditional dress and customs, but embracing the most advanced farming techniques.

The high-powered rocket-launch brought a substantial number of spectators from the nearby colony each day. They have a very positive relationship with the rocketry people - often finding errant missiles in their fields, and returning them the following year. They seemed only mildly interested in my camerawork and not at all camera shy. I smiled and photographed them in all their dignity, without imposing upon them.

©2006 Larry N. Bolch