Our son Will moved to Kearney, Nebraska last fall to become the Director of the historic Frank House on the campus of the University of Nebraska.
We had a fabulous visit with him in March, 2015, along with some great bird watching.
Nebraska is unique in that it has a single-chamber legislative body and a non-partisan legislature. It is a state where the beauty is subtle, especially this time of year. But it grows on you, the skies go on forever - simply breathtaking! If you drive through on the interstate the views are uniformly flat, but if you go north the sandhills are exquisite. We look forward to exploring more on our next visit.
Will Stoutamire, Director of the Frank House Museum in front of the piano used for music performances hence the scars in the floor finish caused by moving the piano out into the hall.
Frank House grand hall. Red ribbons mark Frank family items.
Will in the main bedroom. We got the VIP Tour!
Ornate but not period correct chandelier in the bedroom - stunning! The House has collections from many different sources.
Inside view of the Tiffany window. Shipped in pieces by rail with Tiffany employees, who assembled the window on site. At $7,000 for the window, it was more than one-sixth of the cost of their home.
Frank House, first house west of the Missouri River to be wired for electricity during construction. Built in 1889, it is of Richardsonian Romanesque design, with Colorado red sandstone from Wyoming.
Lots of robins in the trees next to the house!
Sandhill cranes in field near Fort Kearney State Historical Park south of Kearney, NE. They graze on what was left after the harvest.
In the sandhill area of Nebraska invasive Eastern Red Cedar are a serious ecological & water consumption problem. They get cut & burned in piles. A view of a burn west of US 183 & north of Kearney.
Pond on North side of SR 96 just before turn off to Calamus Outfitters. All of the open water in this area is this intense blue color.
Calamus Outfitters off SR 96 near the upper end of Calamus Reservoir. We had a room in the lodge to the right on the hill, where we spent the night before going out to view the Prairie Chickens.
Sunset over the Nebraska sandhills from Calamus Outfitters.
Calamus Outfitters took us out before dawn, really cold, to watch, from converted school bus blinds, the Greater Prairie Chicken mating ritual called booming. Lots of birds plus deer & a coyote.
Two males (bright cheeks) and a disinterested female.
The males preened constantly and sometimes fought viciously.
Meadowlark also showed up on the lek (courting area) late in the morning just before we left. What a beautiful song!
Jim caught me seeking the perfect shot at Calamus Reservoir, NE. I am wearing a very warm LL Bean coat that Will outgrew in his early teens. Fits perfectly - so glad I had it that cold morning!
White pelican (Calamus Reservoir, NE) knob on beak means it is in breeding season. Lots of birds behind it, but unfortunately cannot identify.
Male and female bufflehead near Calamus Reservoir, NE.
Immature bald eagle over Calamus Reservoir, NE.
Francie Stoutamire Photography