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What Makes Iowa Unique

By Staff | Jun 14, 2016

I never realized how difficult it could be to come up with ideas for editorials, mainly because I had never thought about them until this past year. I think it is important to make people stop and think about the subject content, form their own opinions and even write letters in response. This is why I decided on “What Makes Iowa Unique” and I am hoping to get some feedback because we all have different ideas on this.

I came up with several ideas that I tossed around. Was it the people? Was it agriculture? Was it the sights you can visit? I decided these all make Iowa what it is, but it doesn’t really set us apart from the other 49 states. In the end, I decided there are two things that make Iowa unique: the landscape, our animals and our clear blue skies.

Iowa landscape is pretty simple. We have rolling hills and flat plains and in the northeast corner of the state, you will find high bluffs that over look scenic valleys and bodies of water. There are many lakes, stream and rivers across the state that can be used for recreation. In fact, Iowa is the only state that has two rivers making up its borders. Although, almost of the states original prairie and wetland vegetation has been converted to farmland, conservation efforts have restored areas to the way they once were 100s of years ago, giving us a look back in time.

Many of our native animals are gone or were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 19th century. River otters have been reintroduced into the state rivers and beaver had made such an amazing comeback because the only predator in the state they have to worry about is man. Lastly, the Bald Eagle is back. Having been absent in the Iowa skies for many years, reintroduction of these majestic birds is helping to bring back what was once lost for future generations.

Now for our clear blue skies, although Iowa is considered part of Tornado Alley, we are fortunate in this part of the state because tornadoes do not occur like they do in Kansas and Nebraska. The skies over Iowa can clear and bright blue one minute and before you know it, there is a thunderstorm bearing down on us. We live in an area of the country that sits almost directly underneath where two air masses come together, cold air from the Arctic and warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico collide in this area and can create some of the most severe thunderstorms in the country. Magnificent lightning shows and amazing cloud formations of all kinds give Iowa a special look found no where else.

And finally, an Iowa sunset, I’m sure sunrises are spectacular also I just prefer not to see them. The dust particle in the air over our state help to create the brilliant sunsets of many colors from bright orange to purple to green to bright dark blue, you can never get tired of watching the sunset and seeing the magnificence of Mother Nature at work.

I heard a quote along time ago and I can’t even remember who said it anymore, but it couldn’t be truer for an Iowa sunset than if Iowa had been on the persons mind, so I will leave you with this:

“One of the only guarantees we have in life is that the sun will set everyday and no two will ever be the same. An Iowan sunset is rich and gorgeous, and the ruddy glow of the sky is reflected in our waters giving us the chance to stop, take a breath and realize, the sky and sunsets have not changed in 100s of years and will remain as they are for a hundred more.”

These are the things I feel makes Iowa unique. We need to appreciate our State for her landscape, animals, and wide-open skies. Never take for granted what is in front of you because you never know what tomorrow will bring.