The Nebraska Sandhills

We went away for the weekend for a short trip up into the Nebraska Sand Hills.  With the cows safely at the summer pasture and the crops all planted, we have a window of opportunity to get away and so we did.  The Sand Hills cover about 20,000 square miles and are made up of sand dunes deposited there after the last ice age. But native grasses cover the dunes and so it does not look like you would expect.

The area is sparsely populated, so there is plenty of wide open prairie dotted with cattle and windmills.

There are also wildflowers and lots of birds. In fact, the main purpose of our trip was this crazy character, the Sharp Tail Grouse.

Every spring the males gather atop high hills to display and attract females. They put on an amazing show and we have been wanting to see them for years now. They are early risers and so we had to do the same to catch the show – 4 am both Sunday and Monday morning.

We got back home yesterday evening and when I uploaded my pics onto my computer I was shocked to see that I had taken over 1000. I’ve not had a chance to go through them all, but will as soon as I can, and will have posts featuring wide open prairies, century old windmills, wild animals, and of course the antics of the Sharp Tail -with video so you can see all the fun too, without getting up at 4am.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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14 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to see the rest. Love being able to travel thru you guys. One of these days, I will be doing it!

  2. Willow says:

    The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for taking me on your trip. The Sharp Tailed Grouse is amazing. I usually see those in the mouths of a bird dog. Nice to see one that is living. 🙂

  3. Tracey M says:

    I have been having a wonderful time going through your blog the past couple days. Now I have it on my google homepage so I can stay up to date. I found your blog at Happily Married…to the Cows, another one I love to follow. I live in the Madison, WI, area; with a 5-min ride to nearby farms although I’m not a farmer. Just a dreamer and lover of nature, the outdoors and God’s creation.

  4. Alica says:

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing from your “corner” of the country…I enjoy it!

  5. Glenda says:

    I knew nothing of the grouse but that’s probably because I don’t live near any. How wonderful you guys got to experience something new to the both of you. Can’t wait for the pics.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Glenda,
      Right now Nebraska is the furthest south they roam, but I guess they used to be in Kansas as well. Loss of habitat is a problem for them.
      Thanks for visiting!

  6. Tina says:

    Great shots so far, can’t wait for the rest in your corner of the world. Thank you for taking all of us with you. It is nice that you are getting a break from the chores.

  7. The sand hills in NE are beautiful in their own way. We visit friends who live in the area and it sure is peaceful there. I love seeing all the windmills.

  8. Pam K. says:

    Always love seeing your Nebraska trips! Can’t wait!

  9. Debbie says:

    I especially love the 3rd photo from the top, with the windmill. I will use that as my screensaver for a few days!

  10. Debbie says:

    By the way, what were all those windmills in the midwest used for? Did they help bring water up from the ground?
    I’m such a city girl, lol!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Debbie,
      They used the power of the wind to pump water for cattle. They still use them today. One of the smartest things the pioneers ever did was to harness the wind out here as there is plenty of it to be had. 🙂

  11. Tami says:

    Awesome photos. I live in Nebraska, but I’ve never seen this bird. Now I’m on a mission to find one. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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