Sunday, June 27, 2010

Prairie Story 23- A Journey To Remember

MOBugs helped me identify this as a Long Jawed Orb Weaver. What a great site to visit if you already haven't.With me I always want to know who or what something is.

This was built as a lake in the 1930's by the CCC. Guess they decided not to repair the dam. It is some very dense woods now, always something new to find.

My present screensaver a favorite recent shot. I always change , but this will take something real good to replace it. Guess I will have to get busy while out in the field this next week.

I step in the wrong direction can be hazardous, this was at the bottom of the former lake pictured above. There are a variety of ways to get to this, and the stream stays cool under 70 degrees Fahrenheit to make a memorable plunge on a hot summer day.It can make one talk in a falsetto for a moment, but camping here it is the shower.

It aint gonna rain no more
It aint gonna rain no more
So how in the heck
Am I gonna wash my neck
If it aint gonna rain no more!... folk song...

Their trip in the morning began as the sun rose. His group would head to the Nebraska Sandhills, to do a camera shoot. It was a long ride, but fun to see the land change in a turn. Trees became sparser and sparser, and so did people. They were headed toward 27,000 acres of well-manicured prairie, supporting a substantial herd of buffalo. Stopping at the last town in the middle of nowhere, they stocked up on some food and drinks to take for comfort. Having a few novice campers, he began his story of the Banshee, spirits who could assume any form. Often when he camped in this area, they had come into his campsite in human form. They were fun to party with, but you had to watch when their mouths became rather disjointed, and they could bite the top of your head off, and suck out your brains. All were unsure to believe this until they heard the distant yell of Brother Coyote, calling to the pack in the distance upon arrival at camp.

This was a unique little biological station, with a number of projects past and present. A central kitchen and dining area, with showers on the back. On each side was a bunkhouse, one for the men, one for the women. Three small houses and a workshop were scattered around the perimeter, with no apparent order. These were used as an office and at times by assorted graduate students doing particular studies through the foundation maintaining this preserve. That night, after dinner and conversation, he led a moonlight hike into the wilderness. The soil was so light colored, the moon showed them a pathway, and carried them into the unknown. Fairies and elves pranced around in the shadows, playful with the moonlight beams. A roar sounded in the distance with a call to come closer. As they approached the roar grew louder and they saw an iron bridge. Underneath was a major waterfall cutting a swath through a powerful river, plunging it down over fifteen feet. Mist rose, kissing their faces, trying to quell their fears of this dark unknown. The walk back to camp was at a brisker pace, with more of his stories of the unknown sounding more and more reasonable.

He woke up first, and began fixing coffee and eggs for each of the group when they stumbled in. They would ride into the buffalo herd today. A truck arrived and they strapped a picnic table onto the bed. Another strap with handles went down the center, to hang on while seated at the table. When they stopped to open the gate, the truck almost got stuck in the fragile soil. He shut the gate and hopped on as it regained its traction and headed into the grazing area. The herd was magnificent and unique to be so close to for photos. They lived and breathed the spirit of the prairie and buffalo. Lenses were shared and exchanged, all film brought along totally exhausted. The prairie spirit whispered a word of happiness for the compassion they all found and learned to share. They had heard the song, and shared its glory. Now they needed to build their understanding of all the new knowledge the winds carried. He held up his hands, saying thanks to all that had interacted with him on the prairie, and a prayer of happiness for all that he loved. The prairie blushed, but enjoyed his compassion and shared its joy with him.

That afternoon he took the group to the waterfall found the night before. They waded in a still confluence, where it entered again into its mother river. A kingfisher sat on a nearby branch, flying away each time he pointed the camera at it. He sat on a small log in the river, waiting for a shot, and listening to what the gentle river had to say. She softly offered him tranquility, touching his toes with her gentle sands, whispering sweet melodies in his ear. This was carried away on a sweet prairie breeze, passing the story on to all that listened.
I send my love to the stars
Wishing I could be in your arms
Even when apart, don’t you see
The stars relay our love to you and me.


  1. I have one of those orb weavers that builds it's web by my front door. I don't know if it's a long jawed one or not but it is an orb weaver.

    I remember hearing that fold song when I was a kid.

  2. This is a nice relaxing story. One of the most fun things to do is tell a scary story or two to anyone who is less experienced in a place like this, like the Banshee story you mentioned.

  3. A beautiful place. Great photographs.

  4. I can see why you have that shot as your screensaver. What a lovely spot.

    The story reads like you were there. It must have been an amazing experience to watch a herd of buffalo on a vast prairie. I enjoyed the parts about the Spirits that dwell there as well.:)

  5. an peaceful story..beautiful images too..regards

  6. A strangely wonderful story. My mom and dad used to sing that rain song. I wonder where they learned it, where you learned it.

  7. Beautiful post, pictures, story...wonderful!
    Thanks for the shout-out....I am much like you, in that I have a need to know what everything is....I put many miles on my computer looking stuff up...or pouring over tons of field guides.

  8. Thank you all for such great comments.Always love to hear your input. Kass , I first sang that song on the bus going to and from YMCA Camp.I have a ton more to share.

  9. Sorry, I like your blog so much I signed up twice, can you remove one of me?


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!