Texas Panhandle and Platte River

Platte River, Early Morning, Nebraska, 2012
Platte River, Early Morning, Nebraska, 2012

The wind sweeps from the Texas Panhandle north across Kansas, Nebraska, into the grand prairies of Canada, changing only in intensity and, sometimes, direction. Tallgrass, six feet high with roots digging as deep again into the earth, covered the land with an undulating richness. The Platte River, rising in the Rockies and spilling into the Missouri River, forms a dividing line for the north-south migration of animals and birds and the east-west route for bipedal pilgrims.

Now, in 2012 the buffalo herds have disappeared. The sweet grass plowed under. The Flint Hills mapped and scarred by windmills and concrete highways. Bird migrations decreasing. The Platte, reduced to a braided river kneeling before urban and rural needs. Wind, grey with grit or high and wild, blows constantly, offering insanity and companionship. (Nebraska and the Sandhill Crane migration near Kearney, 2012)

Sandhill Cranes roosting at Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary, Nebraska, 2012
Sandhill Cranes roosting at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary

 

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