The golden plains are not so called from the color of the dusty soil or the tanned bleach of the plants that used to grow there, that sometimes grow there still if you are looking the right way. They are not golden from the sun, or the star it calls sun, or the brightness that suffuses the air like a fog, cloying and sharp and cold.
The golden plains are so called because of the beasts that run it, with fur spun of golden thread and cloven hooves and long, golden jaws. Their beauty is unmatched, muscles moving like liquid gold, brilliant hides catching the light like shimmering fish. They travel endlessly and without rest, gathering in herds that consume those of their number that fall from exhaustion.
Once you have heard their shrieking, it does not go away until you have left the plains. That is the good news. The bad news is, you cannot hear their shrieking until you can see them. By then, it is too late.