Monday, February 28, 2011

Join us Saturday March 5 for Crane Essence

Crane Essence is the journey of two artistic souls expressing their abiding affection for the Sandhill Cranes, endangered Whooping Cranes and the bountiful gifts of nature. Cynthia Duff’s brush strokes and Tricia Moon-Beem’s words capture the magical, spiritual and soulful essence of the cranes that so deeply touch the human heart and imagination around the world.

Fans of Duff’s work and those experiencing her artistic creativity for the first time will enjoy an exciting fresh new design. Several works for Crane Essence use wood as the canvas. Duff lets the wood’s natural beauty and grain, enrich the colors, as well as inspire the fragmented style that guides the eye through each painting. In Crane Essence Duff returns to her fascination and appreciation of the cranes, that first gained her regional and national acclaim with her contemporary expressionistic style and vibrant color.

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Sounds and Photos from the Weekend on the Platte

Here are a few shots from the weekend at the Nature Center. We hosted a group of photographers form the Photograph Nebraska Symposium held in Hastings Nebraska. We took groups out early on Friday and Saturday. It was 7 degrees on Friday and a bit warmer on Saturday. The hoarfrost was just wonderful each day. We had a few participants that did not have proper cold weather foot wear and gloves. When it's cold and you're not properly dressed, you will not fully enjoy your experience. Layers are the best way to prepare for cold weather.

I went out with Hastings based photographer Jorn Olsen on Sunday morning to photograph the swarms of snow geese on some private land in the area. Wow... I have come to realize that my favorite viewing blind trip is always whatever trip I've been on most recently. They just seem to keep getting better.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Photo Post

Photo opportunity at the Nature Center. Beautiful morning to be sure.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So, what else is there to do around here?

The following article highlights the area so people can find additional things to do while visiting the area. I hope you find it helpful.

LINCOLN, Neb. -- "So, what is there to do around here?" When visitors who have traveled perhaps hundreds of miles to watch birds ask that question, they probably aren't looking for the nearest water park or shopping mall. More likely, they'd welcome other wildlife viewing opportunities, walking and hiking, historical and rural sites.

The Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center and the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative set out to determine just what would appeal to the 70,000 or so people who flock to central Nebraska every spring to watch the sandhill cranes' migration. The idea is to build on the already significant economic impact by coaxing visitors to spend a little more time, and money, in the region.

That economic impact was estimated at $10.3 million in a recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research study. The professors who conducted that study suggested their findings pointed to new economic prospects in the region.

To that end, the visitor center and Rural Initiative surveyed visitors at several locations during the 2010 crane migration. The survey was meant to gather information about what other activities and attractions might interest the 70,000 annual visitors who go to central Nebraska to observe the migration.

Hit the jump to read on...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Money, Politics and Us

A friend of mine posted a statement on his Facebook page a few weeks ago. John works for the Nature Conservancy and always has an interesting take on the days events, but this one really caught my eye:

A century of conservation

1911: "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." John Muir 

2011: " I'm going to need you to change the subcenter for your time to a match code, email me when you are finished and then doodle me for a meeting time to discuss a time to meet about the times we meet and time of meetings" John Heaston

A lot of people think working at a Nature Center involves walking the trail each morning and surrounding ones self with incredible beauty each day at work. Well we certainly do that from time to time, but the majority of the time we spend doing things not much different that any other office job. Conservation and education have to live in the present and the present way of doing things involves money. We live within that paradigm. John pointed that out all too well in the aforementioned quote.

Hit the jump to read on...

Crimson Crown Gift Shop

We have a lot going on in our Crimson Crown gift shop these days. Shirley is busy ordering all kinds of interesting merchandise to stock the shelves. It's a real treasure hunt for sure. I'll also leave you with a bit of a tease... think membership.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Volunteer Trainings at the Center

Reminder you that we have a few volunteer training set up this weekend and next week at the Center. If you can’t make a training but still want to volunteer, just call Dan and he can set up individual training or an additional session if needed.

Saturday, February 12, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and Tuesday, February 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. We have scheduled two volunteer training sessions. The training sessions are identical, so you need only attend one. We ask that all volunteers attend one of the sessions. To help us plan, please RSVP by calling us at (308) 382-1820 or sending a e-mail to
If you cannot make either session, please let us know and we can arrange for personal, one-on-one training.

We also have a number of projects at the Center that we need to get done prior to the crowds and the birds arrival. We need painting, and cleaning and work out at the viewing blinds among other activities. Please call Brad or Dan and let us know if you want to help out.

Also, I’d like to announce that Karen Krull Robart will be joining us in the office helping out with the books. Karen worked at Crane Meadows about five years ago and we are delighted to have her back and helping us out. Be sure to say hello and give her a welcome next time you stop by the Center.

As always, give us a call if you have any questions.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Click'n with Chickens

Join us in April for this or one of our travel tours. Give us a call if you're interested! Photography opportunities everywhere you look on this one. Join us for one of the finest wildlife viewing opportunities in Nebraska. I you have never watched grouse dance in the spring, you really do owe it to yourself. Spots are limited on this one so if your even thinking about going, give us a call. 308-382-1820