SPRING!!!! It's a comin''

SPRING!!!! It's a comin''

With Spring just a day away we all look forward to sun shining days and warmer weather! it has been a hard, cold winter! So I thought I would just tell all of you out there about our amazing North West Nebraska.

Northwest Nebraska treats the traveler to a marvelous variety of sights, sounds and action. it is a land of contrasts, where the constantly changing mosaics of sky, water, farmland, sandhills, pine clad hills and buttes exert a special magnetism. Besides scenic beauty, the area is rich in history, both in outstanding fossil beds and displays of the creatures that roamed the land eons ago, and the vivid events that saw a progression from "soddies" and Indian wars to the present in little over 100 years in this, one of America's last frontiers. A frontier is not only a place but a certain type of people and a way of life. You'll find out about this when you chat with an old-timer or just get to know some of the friendly folks in Northwest Nebraska. They are noted for being good hosts. Accommodations and meals are excellent yet moderately priced. A number of guest ranches invite you to sample "life on the range." The welcome mat is out to share golf courses, swimming pools water sports, favorite fishing spots and rock hunting areas. The number and variety of recreational areas, state parks, wayside and special-use areas as well as Federal Forests are numerous. Northwest Nebraska 's clean air, dazzling blue skies reflected in hundreds of streams and lakes and the boundless miles of open spaces are priceless assets. If you are weary of jostling crowds, smog and pollution at so many tourist stops this will be a revelation. 

This may be your first introduction to the Nebraska Sandhills. this huge area is made up of lakes, meadows, marshes and grassy hills created by wind erosion following the disappearance of an inland sea some 1000,000,000 years ago. Now the hills are grassed over to form the most productive cattle country in the nation. this is the country immortalized in the writings of Mari Sandoz.  The lakes abound with waterfowl and shore birds. Mallards, blue-winged teal, shovelers, and other ducks nest here. Avocets, Wilson's phalaropes and killdeers may be seen. Red winged and yellow-headed blackbirds add a colorful note. Pelicans, cormorants and the rare whooping cranes live in wildlife refuges and during migration literally blacken the waters by their large numbers. Away from the water, long billed curlews, upland plovers, Pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse live. Fences provide favorite perches for meadowlarks, horned larks, grasshopper sparrows, lark sparrows and lark bunting. Big hawks are most likely Swainson's though red-tailed hawks predominate where there are trees. Golden Eagles and Turkey vultures soar over the area.  

Coyotes and badgers sometimes hunt together for small rodents such as meadow voles and white-footed mice. it isn't surprising to see deer and pronghorn Antelope feeding on a hillside. Wild flowers bloom almost constantly from early spring to late fall. Bright orange colored sand dock come quite early , then penstamons- large and small, white or blue - give patches of color. The hills become covered with the cream colored spikes of soap-weeds (Yucca). later the yellow and golds of sunflowers and golden rod are conspicuous and still later white-flowered asters line the highway. Liatris, purple in color, is about the last flower to bloom in the fall. Sage either gray or green, dots the prairie.

So, that is my Little Corner of the World and I wouldn't change it for anything! How lucky I am to live in the Sandhills!

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