Saturday, August 24, 2019

Scenes from a blowout

On our way back from Valentine to Lincoln, Jessa's Outback blew a tyre on the eastern edge of the Sandhills, about 4 miles north of Bartlett, Nebraska, population 120 or so. Roughly the middle of nowhere. From a practical point of view, not an ideal place to have a breakdown.

On the other hand, if you're going to have a breakdown, you couldn't ask for a lovelier spot: a nice bit of grassland with a couple of photogenic trees. And Nebraska does good sunsets, so we were actually grateful to have an excuse to sit while waiting for the wrecker out of Grand Island, some 70 miles away.

Photos by Jessica Farrell-Churchill for the Nebraska Sandhills Department of Sunsets.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Niobrara trip 2019

[At Ft. Niobrara NWR, this red barn is the only readily apparent remnant of the old Army post.]

[Fort Falls]

[Berry Bridge and Berry Falls.]

[Smith Falls]

[Old Verdigre Bridge, now at Smith Falls SP]

For previous Niobrara posts, click the Niobrara label below. All photos here by Mark & Jessica Farrell-Churchill...mostly Jessa.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Follow me

J (for the twenty-seventh time that day): "Pull over, I want to take a picture."

M (eyes rolling): "Okay, fine..."

J: "I was just kidding! Anyway, you can't pull over here; it's a roadworks. You have to follow the blinky truck."

M: "I think it's called a pilot car."

J: "Well, I like 'blinky truck'. It's more evocative."

Thursday, August 15, 2019

American badger

On our recent trip to the Niobrara country, we experienced shutter problems with our heretofore trusty Canon camera; eleven years' service, I think, and never a problem before this. It eventually quit altogether, but fortunately not before we encountered this cooperative badger (Taxidea taxus) on the Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Jessa captured photos well worth posting despite the artefacts.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Long Pine

I was first introduced to Long Pine Creek on the way to a kayaking trip with Mike & Linda Cox years ago, before I actually took up fly-fishing, but I've been wanting to fish it ever since.

Well, now I have.

Like my beloved Verdigre Creek, the Long Pine is spring-fed, arising from the Ogallala Aquifer and running north to the Niobrara River. And like Verdigre, it holds wild brown trout as well as both stocked and wild rainbows.

The creek and its banks are also home to various dragonflies, butterflies, and birds—including spotted sandpipers, who were people- and camera-shy but left their tracks for Jessa to photograph.

The eponymous town of Long Pine bills itself as "the beauty spot of Nebraska". I might quibble with the definite article, but with a resource like this, they certainly have a claim on a beauty spot.