Blake of the Bluffs
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Make sure you stop in Sidney. There is an old-fashioned soda fountain at Penn Drug. You can still get phosphate sodas and awesome ice cream sundaes.

Have fun - Waubonsie is a great place.

I've heard that University officials freaked out about Gehry's design for the Laser Building, and bothered Gehry so much about making it less radical, that he backed out of the project and other architects had to come in and finish the construction. Some TA in the Art Department told me that years ago...I can't find out if it is true or not.

These kits were just playing around, oblivious to their human (and canine) neighbors. They are the cutest animals I've ever seen in the wild, and I probably could have walked right up to them and squeezed them if I'd wanted to. It will be hard to leave them alone, especially since 4 of the 5 will probably become coyote bait or car fodder.

I can't imagine raising them - what a treat! Did you release them into the wild again?

I've heard that the Russians attempted to domestic several fox species in order to create a more reliable fur industry. While they were unsuccesful at domesticating the animals, in captivity researchers discovered that inbreeding the more docile animals led to unexplainable variations in coat color. These experiments shed light on why domesticated dogs today have such widely varying shapes and sizes.

Kind of upturns our whole progressive human narrative - that domestication, instead of being an improvement on nature, actually produces an inferior animal in terms of intelligence and health. Makes me want to switch to bison meat...

Photo of MidAmerican Energy plants and Omaha skyline in 2002, before plant number four was built.

I didn't even know this place existed until last week when I stumbled upon your photos via google earth. I've been dying for some better scenery here in the Bluffs but I've just ran out of ideas. It would definately be a complete shame to see another subdivision built where good wild life resides! I'm no photographer either (obviously), I've only just begun! Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Dpalnud :)

Sandhill Cranes and the Kearney Arch: While the latter is worth the hour it will take to wonder through it and watch cars pass below on I-80, the former are part of one of the great wildlife experiences in North America. One can get a sense of what this continent was like during spring 200 years ago, when flocks of birds would cloud out the sun and overwhelm your sense of sound. Thousands upon thousands of cranes, snow and canadian geese, mallards, birds of all shape, size and shade gather along the Platte River corridor from North Platte to Grand Island during March. In a country where we lament the loss of the bison, the timberwolf, the grizzly bear and countless other species, the presence of one of the greatest avian migrations on this planet goes uncelebrated and underappreciated by the masses. If you want to up close and personal with nature without crowds, guided tours, and expensive tourist trap towns, head to Kearney...and visit the Thunderhead Brewery while you're in town too. It will change anyone's opinion of I-80 through Nebraska as "boring" (although it is still really, really flat!).

In Iowa you rarely get the chance to discover hidden places seldom visited by others, but along the Cedar River, if you can navigate your way through the thick forest and along the serpentine creek bottom of Palisades-Dows Preserve, you will find this secluded beach surrounded by tall dolomite cliffs. It's the kind of place you won't see footprints on the beach, where fish still swim in the clear waters of the stream, and where columbines and ferns cling to clefts in the rock face.

Just a little down the road is the best campground in Nebraska. You've got to have high ground clearance to get there, though - you've got to cross the creek up ahead. It keeps the place nearly empty during the summer, aside from the horse trailers parked at the trailhead. A spring-fed stream hems the campground in between the high chalk bluffs of the Pine Ridge, and provides a cool, watercress-laced bath tub for road weary travelers. Just watch out for the mutant locusts...

We hiked for hours without finding so much as a ponderosa sapling for shade. The fire of '89 burned thousands of acres of Pine Ridge forests, and more than ten years later, little of it had grown back.



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