Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nebraska Life magazine shows Valentine scenery!

The magazine that explores Nebraska!
Statewide Magazine Features Local Photographer
NORFOLK, Neb., March 25, 2013A photograph from Midland News editor, Laura Vroman, graces the cover of the March/April issue of Nebraska Life Magazine.  
 Longtime contributor to Nebraska Life, this is Vroman’s first cover. The image was taken at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and features a thunderhead rising over Fort Falls.
 Selected for the photo essay, “Clouds: Nebraska Skyscapes,” Vroman’s photograph is accompanied by works from Steve and Bobbi Olson, and Nebraska Life editor and publisher, Christopher Amundson.
 View the photo essay in the current issue, available on newsstands or by subscription for $21 a year.
 Also making an appearance in the March/April issue is Valentine native Chris Senseney and wife, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney of Big Harp. The duo’s second studio album, released by Omaha’s Saddle Creek Records, debuted in January.
  This issue includes stories and photos on: the southwestern city of Curtis, O’Neill’s Tielke Sandwiches, western wineries, Omaha’s Peony Park, poetry, events across the state and more.
 Nebraska Life Magazine, founded 16 years ago, publishes six issues a year about the nature, history, wildlife and people of Nebraska. The magazine is based in Norfolk and is family-owned by Christopher and Angela Amundson. Nebraska Life is available by subscription for $21 for one year and $38 for two years. It is also available statewide on newsstands. To subscribe, call 1-800-777-6159 or visit
For more information on the Valentine Midland News go to: and click on Valentine. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Holy week...Happy Easter!

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?  
Matthew 6:26

 Along the highway...Surprise! What a wonderful gift! 
It even posed with a left turn of his head and a right turn, 
and it finally flew majestic.

This eagle was nesting right over the Niobrara River. Ready to begin new life.

Trumpeter swans stop along the Niobrara River. What do you think they have to be happy about?

They  step out of the slushy Niobrara, preen, and nap. That's what they have to be happy about!

The underbellies of these geese are red as the sun sets and the moon continues to rise.

A few years ago, these Sandhill Cranes stopped by on their migration! Will they stop by this year?

Even in the whippiest of winds and snowiest of snows, God provides for our little feathered ones. 

 On your mark....get set...soar...yes, that means you too!

May you experience Peace this Easter!
And remember, the Sandhills have all this glory for you to see at this time of year!!! 
Come you bird and fowl lovers. Watch the wonderful variety of birds as they build their nests, 
sit on their eggs and enjoy spring in the Sandhills! 
Time for new life, and for planning your Sandhills vacation.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Passport through Nebraska and win prizes!

Imagine having your passport for exotic lands...far, far, far away from everyday stress, responsibilities, and  having it be totally affordable. The Nebraska Tourism Commission has announced their 2013 Nebraska Passport that will cater to couples, friends, and families. Travel across Nebraska and get your passport stamped. There are several places to get your Passport stamped here in the Sandhills. Those locations are in italics and are awaiting your arrival!!! Travel abroad this fabulous state...make sure you save a little extra time for the wonders of the Nebraska Sandhills!

 Locations are featured on this blog as well as on the Web site. Check them out! 

The  Nebraska Tourism Commission is announcing the 80 featured stops in the 2013 Nebraska Passport. New this year are special-interest tours featuring top picks from past travelers, art galleries, craft breweries and literary stops.
 The Passport program encourages travelers to explore Nebraska, collect stamps from participating attractions and earn great prizes.
 The 2013 Passport will feature 80 attractions on 10 themed tours: Hit the Hot Spots, Meet the Locals, Picture the Scene, Play Outside, Savor the Flavor, Seeing is Believing, Sleep Tight, Tap Into It, Turn the Page and Wrangle the West. 
Travelers have from May through September to visit attractions and redeem their stamps for prizes. For each completed tour, participants win a Nebraska Passport T-shirt. Travelers also can receive 20 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons in celebration of the Nebraska Lottery’s 20th anniversary (for 20 stamps) and a digital camera (for 40 stamps).
 A grand-prize drawing for an iPad mini will be held in October. This year, an additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in passports with at least one stamp.
 Passports will be available at participating stops in May or can be pre-ordered by emailing
 Order your free travel guide today at Stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

 2013 Passport Tours and Stops
Hit the Hot Spots
Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, Nebraska City
Petrified Wood and Art Gallery, Ogallala
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, Grand Island
Master’s Hand Candle Company and Serendipity Chocolate Factory, Tekamah
Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford
Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental, Mullen
NEBRASKAland DAYS, North Platte
Green Lantern Steakhouse and Lounge, Decatur
 Meet the Locals
Ricky and Lucy’s Country Greenhouse, Sidney
Prairie Grounds Café and Gifts, Broken Bow
GROW Nebraska Buy It Local Store, Grand Island
Back Alley Bakery, Hastings
Prairie Point Junction Quilt Shop, Cozad
Lakota Hope Center/Lightshine Thrift Store and Lakota Art Institute, Whiteclay
It’s All About Bees, Ralston
Classic Car Collection, Kearney
 Picture the Scene
Springfield Artworks, Springfield
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln
Thedford Art Gallery, Thedford
Woodland Trails Art & Learning Center, Winnebago
Western Nebraska Arts Center, Scottsbluff
Norfolk Arts Center, Norfolk
Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, David City
The Art and Gift Gallery, North Platte
 Play Outside
Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Denton
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District/Bessey Nursery), Halsey
Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, Valentine
Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, Wood River
Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue
Sunken Gardens and Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Lincoln
Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard, Nebraska City
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Harrison
 Savor the Flavor
Pour House Tasting Room, Friend
Lakehouse Bar & Grill, North Platte
Ozzie & Jan’s Famous Lee’s Chicken, Lincoln
R.F. Goeke Variety Store and Soda Fountain, Atkinson
Range Café & Bassett Lodge, Bassett
The Rocket Inn, Indianola
BeeHaven Farm Roadside Market, Harrisburg
Barnstormers, Norfolk
 Seeing Is Believing
General Crook House at Fort Omaha, Omaha
Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, Burwell
Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard
Lincoln County Historical Museum, North Platte
Boys Town, Boys Town
International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln
Knight Museum & Sandhills Center, Alliance
Mayhew Cabin with John Brown’s Cave, Nebraska City
 Sleep Tight
Crystal Key Inn Bed & Breakfast, Newman Grove
Historic Argo Hotel and Steakhouse, Crofton
Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast, Nebraska City
Two Rivers State Recreation Area, Waterloo
Calamus Outfitters, Burwell
Arrow Hotel & Suites, Broken Bow
Inner Maker Bed & Breakfast, Seward
The Balcony House Bed & Breakfast, Imperial
 Tap Into It
Loop Brewing Company, McCook
Thunderhead Brewing Company, Kearney
Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, LaVista
SchillingBridge Winery & Microbrewery, Pawnee City
Nebraska Brewing Company, Papillion
Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewery, Springfield
Zipline Brewing Company, Lincoln
Blue Blood Brewing Company, Lincoln
 Turn the Page
Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum, Elmwood
Willa Cather State Historic Site/Red Cloud Opera House, Red Cloud
John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft
Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, Chadron
Wright Morris Walking/Driving Tour, Central City
Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors & Loren Eisley Exhibit at Bennett Martin Library, Lincoln
The Lyceum Café and Bookstore, Brownville
The Sisters Grimm, Bushnell
 Wrangle the West
Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln
Glur’s Tavern, Columbus
High Plains Homestead, Home of the Drifter Cookshack and Bunkhouse, Crawford
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, North Platte
Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron
Morgan’s Store, Ellsworth
Strawbale Church, Arthur
Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park, Merriman

Monday, March 11, 2013

Storm glory!!! Preparing for your arrival!!!

 Valentine's Main Street was covered with snow Saturday, March 9, with two energetic 
souls out removing the heavy, mositure laden, much needed icing. 
Thank you Gary Conner and James Ravenscroft.
Peaking through lacy branches one can see the comforting lights inside Cedar Canyon Steakhouse. Coffee anyone? How about a nice meal to sustain you as you head off the beaten path....
Off the beaten path, this young white tail was a bit surprised, clearly curious, 
and excited to be frolicking Sunday, March 10. 
The little one soon caught up to its family, already headed for higher ground. 
How many deer can you spot?

In a previous post, there is a deer in the same spot, only her ear is twitched at my intrusion. 
However, Sunday, March 10, she was keeping alert to the individual who was out on his
 4x4  plowing out his road. Yet she still looks comfortable. 

 All tucked in and if you weren't paying attention, could easily miss her majestic beauty. 

The Minnechaduza Creek at the Valentine City Park played host 
to these mallards who thought everything was rather ducky!

Across the river, everything was covered with a thick layer of snow and sunshine. 
If you look closely, you'll see the icicles hanging off the tree branches. 
What was so fabulous about this snow is that it packed a lot of moisture 
but it was comfortable to get out and walk around 
and take in the beauty of the Sandhills. 

What a sight to behold as the sun peeked out from the clouded sky 
and shone its light on this bedazzling tree. 
The mallards, not accepting my company, have moved further down the 
Minnechaduza Creek quacking the whole way. 
Mother Nature is sending her signal to everything under the snow. 
Even though the trees didn't spring ahead, they know what to do at her prompting. 
The river will eventually host tadpoles, dragonflies, and a whole host of aquatic 
life that is still dormant - but won't remain for long. 

A close-up of what will eventually bloom in the spring. These are either lilacs or wild plums. 
Before you know it...summer will be here. 
Have you booked your hotel stay? There are two very nice places to stay and they'd 
 be glad to take your reservations.
 Click on Valentine's Niobrara Lodge or Trade Winds Motel on this Web site which will take you to their Web sites where you can choose your reservation dates. They fill up quickly you know. 
For something a little more out of the way, why not click on 
Double R Guest Ranch. It would be perfect for your family's reunion. 
Here it is Monday evening, and most of the snow has been 
distributed among the roots, filling the rivers, lakes and getting the 
Sandhills of Nebraska ready for your arrival.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Winter is fun in the Sandhills of Nebraska!!!

Nothing squirrley about a spring snow here in Valentine, Nebraska. And what fun it is!
Last year's leaves are dripping with frozen moisture that fell Saturday, March 9.

These will become fuel for birds returning this spring.

Hot color and cool icicles on this March morning.
Not only were the trees cloaked in frozen precip, so too were the power lines. Winter wonderland and the power stayed on!

What was found in an alley as discarded trash looks more like art with icicles hanging like crystals off a chandelier.
The neutral, rustic, tones are calming and soothing even though the wind was whipping the trees back and forth.
More sculptural trash turned into art!

With drought conditions excessive last year, this moisture is a HUGE blessing!

This icicle was the largest one found while driving around in the winter wonderland.

What do you see here? Signs of spring!
The heavy moisture caused these little pines to bow.
More soothing colors in nature!
It won't be long and the snow will begin falling. Meanwhile, geese are swimming joyfully in this pond.
Thank you for the winter kibble!
It's later in the day Saturday, March 9, heavy, wet, moisture laden snow began falling - again!
It began blanketing trees and branches, already decorated with small icicles.
A small winged one awaits its turn at the feeder.
Keep falling, keep falling...we're grateful and thank You Lord, for every snow flake that falls and every bit of moisture it contains! Looking forward to a GREEN spring and summer!
Deep in the woods, nothing is left untouched by the fallen moisture.
And the snow continues while this deer finds something to satisfy its hunger.  Doesn't winter in the Sandhills make you hungry? There's plenty to see and do! More on this later in the week!