Sandhill Cranes An Ancient Species

The Sandhill Crane has one of the longest fossil
histories of any bird, dating back some 2.5 million
years. This is almost double the history of most
current bird species.

In late February, Sandhill Cranes that winter
in Mexico, Texas and New Mexico begin to arrive
in Nebraska as they migrate north to their breeding
grounds in Canada and the Arctic.

During the day, they feed in fields surrounding the
Platte River. In the evening, they seek the shallows
of the Platte to roost for the night.

This migratory stopover serves some 500,000 Sandhill
Cranes each year. They are a spectacular sight to behold!


Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge:  Ancient


It was 1966.
I was a freshman in college.
He was a friend of a friend,
a recent graduate with a
degree in accounting,
heading to Vietnam as part
of an Army artillery battalion.

I toted my books from class to class
day after day.
He put his ledgers aside
manning machine guns,
mortars and howitzers.

I retired to the comfort of an
air conditioned dorm room.
He sweat buckets in the jungle 24/7.

I bemoaned dorm food.
He ate C rations.

I penned letters on crisp stationary.
He scribbled on scraps of paper
in pencil, as pens were rendered
useless by unrelenting heat and humidity.

I fell into a safe, cozy bed at night.
He wondered if he would see the morning.

I was immature and self-absorbed.
He exemplified dedication, service and sacrifice.

I was a link to normalcy and home.
He was a glimpse into the chaos of war.

I went on to graduate school.
He resumed civilian life in Iowa.

A call came years later, just to say hello.
Pen pals still connected.


Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge:  Connections