"On either side, those dear old ladies,
the loosening barns, their little windows
dulled by cataracts of hay and cobwebs
hide broken tractors under their skirts.
So this is Nebraska. A Sunday
afternoon; July. Driving along
with your hand out squeezing the air,
a meadowlark waiting on every post.
Behind a shelterbelt of cedars,
top-deep in hollyhocks, pollen and bees,
a pickup kicks its fenders off
and settles back to read the clouds.
You feel like that; you feel like letting
your tires go flat, like letting the mice
build a nest in your muffler, like being
no more than a truck in the weeds,"
from This is Nebraska
So after visiting with family in Saskatoon we are back
on the road to the cabin and farm. It was still a brown
landscape however in the week we are there the trees
will leaf out for our green spring.
Helen took the following shots of White Pelicans as they
circled above the cabin. We have lots of positive memories of
beautiful White Pelicans floating down the river when we
worked on an archaeological site in Nipawin Saskatchewan
so it was great to see these birds here.
"A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican!"
I have seen this attributed to Lanier Merritt Dixon
or Ogden Nash. I do know it was a favorite of my
father-in-law John who farmed this land for many years.
My pictures from the cabin were not great, but I wanted to
include this Bonaparte's Gull because they are fairly common
and I had always wondered were they nest I assumed it was
by the rivers. I finally looked it up and learned they nested in
spruce which we do have but they are not nearly as common
as poplars. So a goal to add to my list, see a nesting Bonaparte's.
Brown Headed Cowbirds were sadly common.
A Yellow Rumped Warbler, the only warbler I saw
but we did spend most of our time working on the
cabin or in the hardware store or driving back and
forth to hardware stores.
The Bufflehead by far the most common duck on our property on this trip.
Another Cowbird I think.
Another Cowbird I think.
The Phoebes are nesting underneath the cabin, since it is raised
4 ft from the ground they have lots of room.
You can see a few green leaves,
but it was still mostly a twiggy time of year when we arrived.
"She looks for wiggly fishes,
At least so it appears,
To stuff inside the suitcase
That's swinging from her ears.
And though she's very graceful
When flying round and round,
How does she get that faceful
Of luggage off the ground?"
The Beak of the Pelican
J. Patrick Lewis