Iowa Summer

What isn't there to like about Iowa in the summer?

Farmers' markets with fresh fruits and vegetables overflowing bins in venders' stalls. Better yet, fresh colorful produce right out of your own garden.

Flowers in yards and accenting houses. Flowers in roadside ditches, accidental or with some measure of planning. Flowers in the infrequent patches of native prairie, found only with persistent searching.

Birds and pollinators adding color and life to the blooms.

Hot days and kids in swimming pools. Warm evenings just right for walking or sitting. Cicadas and morning doves providing the summer chorus you will never forget.

Traveling the state and surrounding states. Forests, lakes and parks highlight our natural good fortune. Cultural sites preserve and explain our recent history. Geologic sites reveal stories from the distant past. Open spaces provide room to breathe.

Lush green fields as far as the eye can see. Corn and soybeans to the horizon provide our signature look and our economic engine.

For thousands of years, the natural resources of Iowa have provided food, fiber, shelter, sustenance and beauty to the people living here.

American Indians roamed the state when it was all tall grass prairie, harvesting what they needed and leaving little evidence of their passing.

White settlers moved in, broke and plowed under the prairie, and totally changed the state from a natural environment to one that was "domesticated."

The more recent transformation has evolved into the industrial agriculture scene we know today. Change will continue, and the Iowa of the future will look vastly different from Iowa today.

On a bright summer day in Iowa, the present seems to stretch brightly into the future. Climate change is seen as an abstract concept future generations might possibly need to worry about.

There are some bumps on the environmental front but hardly anything we can't ignore if we work at it.