The lone stand of cottonwood trees afloat on a sea of plains grass: Irrefutable evidence you are indeed in the heart of the storied Great Plains.
Those who live near such stands of trees know cotton sticks everywhere. In garages, in car radiators, on pets, in air conditioners…everywhere. But instead of seeing it as a yearly nuisance (like many do), I prefer to hold the cotton in a different light, one that fulfills a vital role in the geographic memory of a culture. The cotton provides a sense of place, of essence, that one is situated in the remnants of the American Serengeti.