The Land Of Flat Water (Part 02)

          A brief orientation in time and space:
          A bequest from Lillian Annette Rowe of Trenton, NJ was used in 1974 to purchase 782 acres of land included 2.5 miles of river channel, wet meadows, and some agricultural fields.

Platte River

          For many years the staff and volunteers worked out of a succession of homes and temporary structures until in 2003, the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center was completed. The Audubon Center is located in the upper left corner of the aerial photo.

          The intent was to create the first sanctuary dedicated to conserving the Platte River, its (plant and animal) biodiversity, migratory birds, and emphasizing protecting the Lesser Sandhill Cranes. The current size of the sanctuary is 2,418 acres.

North is to the Left in these images.

Middle Left Edge

Platte River

          The curvy ditch-like or creek-like structure is just an indication that the large majority of the Platte River Flow is not on the surface of the river.

          One parcel of acres, in the original 1974 purchase, lies to the East of the (dark) brush line that obscures the fence defining the Western boundary of the Sanctuary. Arriving in 1979 I spend many hours over the years exploring the details of this acreage as I developed a site specific Drip-Torch pattern for restoring this crop/grazing land into something resembling a Tall / Short Grass Prairie.

          The leader of the "Platte Valley Prairie Pyros" Dr. Hal Nagel would define the scope of the burn, and I would do as I was told until one day someone made the mistake of handing me a Drip-Torch and letting me lead the secondary crew . . .

Upper Right

Platte River

          "Two Alice Marsh" lies on both sides of Elm Island Road. In this image Elm Island Road runs North(left) - South(right) in Buffalo County, and is a continuation of 34 Road in Kearney County a little south of "Two Alice Marsh". You can see how that works, if you are interested, in the first video below.

          The gray-brown pasture adjacent to "Two Alice Marsh" is part of the recently acquired land. During the Spring Migration Month+ this is an awesome place to observe exhausted cranes "parachuting" into the sanctuary as they complete their last flight segment to the World's Greatest Singles Bar -- Bar None.

Upper Left Near River's Centerline

Platte River

          The Iain Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary is near the curve where Elm Island Road Turns from a W-E alignment (center of circle toward up&right) to a N-S alignment (center of circle toward right). Given the heavy traffic associated with our Spring Migration Viewers I am surprised that we have never witnessed any kind of vehicular collision at this rather dangerous curve.

Two Test Videos

          A nearly real time drive from Kearney's I-80 exit 272 to Rowe via a southerly route past Ft. Kearny :

          This video has music, so use your best judgment.

Driving To Rowe 2012 Jan



Start:
Driving south on Kearney's 2nd Avenue over the I-80 exit 272 to continue south on NE-44.
Travel 2 mile distance then turn left onto NE-50 A.
Travel 7 miles east to cross NE-10 onto Kearney County Road "V".
Travel 1 mile east to Kearney County Road "34" and turn left.
At about one mile north Kearney County Road "34" becomes Elm Island Road.
In a half mile you will follow Elm Island Road as you turn right.
At one mile Elm Island Road mysteriously veers 20° off the E-W line.
But that's okay as an additional 70° bend in ½ mile sets you right with the world.
The end is soon in sight!!
End . . .

Driving To Rowe 2012 Dec

          A real time drive from Minden's I-80 exit 279 to Rowe via I-80 :



Start:
Minden's Exit 279 is seven miles East of Kearney's Exit 272. (Shocking isn't it?)
Enter East I-80 at Exit 279
Exit I-80 at Exit 285 then travel South on Lowell Road a little more than three miles.
You need to be extra alert here as the road does not follow a straight line.
And . . . deer tend to bound from the void with reckless abandon.
As you approach the three mile mark you should see signs of
Elm Island Road will take you the final two plus miles to the Sanctuary Gate.
End . . .

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PriceRip's picture

          I am thinking of creating several segments of "The Land Of Flat Water" covering a little less than four decades of social activism and systemic change in central Nebraska.

          (Part One) The Genesis (Warning: this link should open in a new page.)

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earthling1's picture

are very useful tools in the right hands. Natural burns from lightning replenished the environment before man.
I was told that Plains Indians burned several square miles adjacent to their village knowing in spring the fresh new grass would attract game animals, making them come to the native peoples.
The next summer they would burn several square miles in another direction, keeping the game animals "orbiting" the village, year after year.
Fresh meat on the hoof, no need for refrigeration.
I admire your commitment and hard work on something truly worthwhile.
It must give you a great deal of satisfaction.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

PriceRip's picture

@earthling1 , is how we as a team accomplished so very much.

          It was the ones that told me how the fire needed to flow that provided the critical information. I just knew the dynamics to make it work.

          The best thing about copying the First Nations techniques was that we were able to refine the processes considerably.

          It was nice that after watching me for a couple of hours: A team member (that was also a rural volunteer firefighter) asked me to explain why I "carved" the fire line the way I did. I explained what I was doing (It is too complicated to put into words without hand gestures. So, I will refrain from trying to write it out here). He stepped back for a bit of time. Then a ways down the fire line he again approached me to say, "You are an artist." He got the science, and saw how the line shapes influenced the burn pattern. He was one of the few that could grasp the significance so quickly.

          As the years passed the most valuable team members were often the "ignored" team members. They were never ignored by the true leadership of this group. A meritocracy without all the hype, and bullshit of the superficial crowd is an awesome thing to behold . . . but that is for another time and possibly another place . . .

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janis b's picture

@PriceRip

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Fascinating to see how this is done and the appreciation of the First Nations contributions to our knowledge of the environment if we would use them.

Spending time at the Bosque de Apache Wildlife Area when the Sandhill Cranes and an occasional Whopper come through do understand some of the road jams/accidents. Of course is worse when wolf watching in Yellowstone and the crazy things people do to get a look!

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

PriceRip's picture

@jakkalbessie , actually you triggered a flood of stories ...

          Several of our "out of town" Rowe Volunteers have circuits they follow. Bosque is a beloved location. In Rowe's lunch room I would often get to hear of the goings on with the Greater Sandhills and their visitors.

          Once in summer, after the cranes took flight for Grays Lake and other nesting sites, I "toured" Bosque on a trip out that way. I like to think that if I had taught at New Mexico Tech I would have volunteered there like I did at Rowe.

How about an Ed & Sil story? : I am sure they won't mind, I hope . . .

          Ed & Sil are legendary and too many stories to recount here, but this is one of my favorites: One very cold day they were in Yellowstone, and Ed spotted this particularly photogenic arrangement of trees, grasses and such. The snow was not too deep and the air was still with just the right amount of crispness. As Sil waited by the car, Ed walked a good bit of distance to frame the scene perfectly. He crouched down. Just as he was about to trigger the shutter he heard an low frequency "huff" . . . that was the moment he became fully aware that he was wearing a rather grey, fleece overcoat.

          Ed got back to the car before the very agitated Bison thundered by in a primal rage. Later he and Sil had a good laugh and another good story.

          One of the best parts (for me) was seeing Ed & Sil arrive for the Spring River Conference at the Paul's awesome hotel in Kearney.

Have a good day,

RIP

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Thanks for telling us about it.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

PriceRip's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ,

was the rich diversity of individuals that participated in the various actions, and activities.

          There is one profound truth in life: no two people think alike. Even as some rail against groupthink, and people like me despair about the "anti-masker" assault on our sanity, the notion, no two people think alike, is a rock bottom truism of (Red-Pill) Reality. Recognizing this really makes my whole experience in Kearney understandable.

          I looped through this thought for a bit of time because the creation called "Charles Edward Eppes" was grounded in that truism. And, I have been spending a lot of energy working on a teaching series about how Classical Physics (Blue Pill reality) doesn't illuminate even in the slightest about Quantum Mechanics (Red Pill Reality) in spite of approximately 100 years of effort.

          When I first arrived in "The Land Of Flat Water" I was struck by the distressing uniformity evident in the population in NE. Then I met the genius known as Dr. Hazel Pierce. As an expert on science fiction and other literature, we communicated well and, she suggested an interesting point of view from which to perceive the diversity that was eluding my naïve observations. That conversation started me "down the rabbit hole" of just how we had "understood" QM so badly and Ta-Da provided me a better understanding of now "things function in Nebraska" in a way that worked so well over those years. So that is the core of (or backbone of) this series I am attempting to construct.

          So, and as it is none of my business you don't have to answer, why an image of Eppes?

Have a good day,

RIP

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janis b's picture

It’s a treat to see the grass prairie and marsh running alongside the river. One can imagine it a bit better in its natural state. And the fact that the river is still acquiring more land to turn back into marsh and grass prairie is very inspiring. It is a fascinating landscape, and historically interesting. It must have been hard for you to leave what was such a significant part of your life and experience. I do hope you find some measure of similar satisfaction in your more recent location.

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PriceRip's picture

@janis b , of the Oregon trail. Our family history inhabits several chapters and stretches of that trail. Shush!, don't tell anyone, but, I came from a long line of "outlaws" (literally con artists and ne'er-do-wells) while my wife's family was of the "respectable" element (Mayflower Compact, et cetera) of society. Being a history aficionado she was in the perfect place, at the perfect time. We were able to put many stories into proper context.

          Helping to restore that stretch of the Platte was a real labor of love. And rafting (more than 10 miles until past midnight) in the icy cold spring water flow (for science of course!) was exhilarating, even as it was a stupid and dangerous act. Being so very quiet we could almost touch those prehistoric creatures. (I mean for science of course!)

          Thanks for the positive vibes: I see real potential in the Bear Creek Valley. The local establishment needs a bit of fine-tuning but if I can fit into the "right" crowd I think the task will be doable. The real challenge is for activist to understand that sustainable change requires fine adjustments over long timeframes. Too many people are not willing to spend decades (even thinking beyond their life times) to get the desired results. Many of my friends did not live to see the changes they inspired. I am trying to work out how to introduce that theme in the next installment.

Have a good day.

RIP

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janis b's picture

@PriceRip

bring much life to loved and lived in places.

The theme you’re trying to work in, I sincerely hope you do. It’s a good one.

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