Post 1092: a bit more of Nebraska landscape…and a cat

In the last Nebraska landscape post, I suggested that Nebraska isn’t “flat as Kansas”, then posted only one photo that barely established the truth of that statement! Here’s a scene south of Alliance 17 miles, “Rattlesnake Park” as the BNSF track crews call it, but just a rest stop provided for the road weary travelers by the Nebraska Department of Roads:

rattlesnake park 3

That was on the north side of the access road, going in. Walking through that tall grass, which I don’t advise, you can encounter the prairie rattlesnake. I had that happen once on the south end of the rest stop on a little road passing through a grove of Russian olive trees. The rattlesnake struck the heel of the cowboy boots I was wearing at the time. I surprised it and it surprised me! The fang marks in the boot suggested a rattlesnake 28 feet (8,5m) long! (See link for actual potential length. I exaggerate by slightly more than a factor of 5! It scared the bejeebers out of me, I guarantee!)

A short time later, driving out of the rest stop, this is what I saw headed south:

rattlesnake park 1

The sun had come out from behind the clouds, showing how dramatically the landscape takes on the light – or lack of light – in this setting. You can see some of the Russian olive trees on the left (light greenish-grey leaves). This is in a tongue of the Nebraska Sandhills in Morrill County, the county south of Box Butte County, of which Alliance is the county seat.

Across the road, you barely can see a blowout that’s been stabilized using discarded tires. The Sandhills are held in place by grasses, but damaged areas quickly become blowouts. Without efforts to stabilize the blowout, they get huge. I remember playing in them as a child. Sliding down the steep side of a big blowout, one got covered in delicious damp, cool sand, a perfect way to spend a hot summer day!

rattlesnake park blowout

The Sandhills historically were range for the northern bison herd, and paleontologists actually have found preserved bison hoof prints buried in the sand! Stepping in the sand, a bison left a depression, wind filled the depression with material of slightly different composition, and the paleontologists – clever fellows! – made the discovery of the hoof prints and….! My mind reels thinking about it!

Now, for the cat, specifically Dougy today, starting with this GIF of him grooming. It’s my first ever, so be kind….!

Dougy cleans up

Dougy cleans up

That slight delay between clicking the photo and the flash going off is all it takes for Dougy to avert his eyes.

That slight delay between clicking the photo and the flash going off is all it takes for Dougy to avert his eyes.

Dougy knows! He knows! That dang flash is coming!

Dougy knows! He knows! That dang flash is coming!


28 thoughts on “Post 1092: a bit more of Nebraska landscape…and a cat

  1. The countryside there is beautiful. I’ve only passed through in previous years during drought time. The storm clouds add their own beauty to the scenery.

    Good to see my favorite Persian brothers!

    • That it is! I especially like this time of year because June and early July are typically the wettest times of the year.

      I’m sure the kitty boys would like you, too, since they probably could smell your kitties on you! LOL!

  2. You should be funded by Tourism Nebraska…..excellent photos and talk. I want to see Nebraska now! Andy’s video is very well done…*clap* *clap*, Poor ole Dougy looked as if he was going to start crying. I enjoyed the whole post. A little of everything.


  3. Good job on the gif, I have never done one and wouldn’t know how. Nice photos of Nebraska, I had no idea there were rattlers there.

    • Rattlesnakes are common enough. They serve a useful function in their environment, though one still wants to avoid them!

      There is a small museum in Harrisburg, Nebraska that has a full length leather jacket make from the hide of a horse that got bit on the nose by a rattlesnake when the horse was getting a drink of water in a stream. They also have a chest of drawers made from wood salvaged from a cottonwood tree struck by lightning.

      It is a quirky, fun museum! I think it captures the pragmatic nature of people who settled in this area in the `19th Century.

      Anyway, the GIF function on my phone is a simple one to use. You can instruct the phone to shoot a burst of eight photos, then a drop down menu asks if you want to make a GIF. It’s simple, though I suspect I won’t be able to figure out how I did it again! lol!

  4. I hate being flash photoed myself so have a certain sympathy for Dougy. I do really enjoy the tour of Nebraska, thanks.

  5. The landscape is not that different from north Norfolk, which has similar sand hills near the coast. The GIF is excellent and I would like to see more. They fit the feline way of life very well!

  6. Good Morning Doug: Your skills are improving manifestly but obviously Dougy can still anticipate the flashy thing. The video is GREAT and the landscapes are looking very good too. Of course, having good subject matter helps too. ~~dru~~

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