Friday, August 19, 2016

An Original Anniversary Gift

DH surprised me with this unique Anniversary Gift.  He planned a 2 hr. plane excursion this morning over these lovely Sandhills.  I live in a town of 8900, far out in the boonies, western Nebraska , and I wanted to show YOU how open and wide the spaces are, outside of town.  Photos were quickly shot from the plane  - you won't recognize anything but they DO show you the landscape.  It was a lovely gift - something we'll both remember for many years. Our plane was a 1976 Cessna Sky Hawk, piloted by a talented and knowledgeable pilot.    

Below - east of town, there is a LOT of space.
 Below - see the dot?  Our shadow. 8-))
 OK, I'm a quilter -  was inspired by the lines! 
Despite being a dry climate, there are many small lakes in the Sandhills.  Most are not good water. 
 I think this was Crescent Lake Recreational Center - a waterfowl sanctuary. We saw a lot of white pelicans.

Below - one pivot, this  crop looks like corn. Some of the dark blotches in the back are lakes, others are cloud shadows. 

Below - 6 pivots all together.  There is a car or truck on the road, that little dark splotch before the "Y" on the road.  A pivot is an irrigation system, with a well in the center and a huge spraying contraptions that move in circles, irrigating the various crops.  These might be corn.  
 We had lightning and an unusual heavy rain last night, and saw 3-4 blackened areas that had been struck by lightning, burned, and apparently distinquished by the unexpected rain (no photo).  Signs on highways are remind motorists to beware of range fires, a serious danger in dry seasons.  

The "Sandhills" cover large areas east of my home.  Fields appear pockparked with humps and hills, many sprinkled with cattle, deer, some antelope.  From the air, we can see huge farms and ranches, waaaay off from main roads.   Large amounts of land is necessary for cattle. Farms/ranches of 100,000 acres is not unusual.

Below is my town, Alliance.  
75% of this town's economy, is related to railroads.  I counted 25 parked trains as we flew over, currently parked due to EPA restrictions on coal emissions.  The trains carry coal, from Wyoming.  A fully loaded train will be 130 cars long.  At times I've wondered if there is anything left of Wyoming, due to the many trains full of coal that pass thru this area.

Below - DH and I, two old fogies living in the fast lane - our 18th anniversary!   A very good day!


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Trains with 130 coal cars - they go through my town here in IL. I sit and count the cars while I'm waiting to get across the tracks. I presume they are headed into Chicago, maybe for the ComEd plant for our electricity.

Jen said...

Great photos, I love visiting the sandhills but I don't get out that way often. I recently saw a quilt that looked like an aerial view of farmland, it was really something. What a neat anniversary gift, your hubby did good! :) Thanks for sharing with us!

jagarland said...

What a wonderful anniversary gift.
And I hope you have many more

Elsie Montgomery said...

My hubby and yours would have a great gab... he likes airplane rides too. As for me, a horse maybe? I'm glad you enjoyed the flight (and set a good example for me who likes my feet on the ground!)

Janet O. said...

Very clever gift from hubby. I love looking down from a plane--such a cool perspective. I had to enlarge each photo and enjoy the view. The pivots fascinate me. Our farmland looks like a patchwork quilt. Yours appears more like applique. : )
Happy anniversary!

Gypsy Quilter said...

What fun, Happy Anniversary.

Lindah said...

Happy Anniversary! What a cool way to celebrate.
Thank you for sharing the photos. It is great to see your 'neighborhood.'
I've never been off the highway as I've traveled thru Nebr several times. The method planting/irrigating is intriguing. I wonder, does the tractor driver/thresher ever get dizzy going in circles like that? :) Seems like an efficient method... no stops/starts for square corners, etc. The circles seem so perfect. No ovals or off centers. How do they do that!
Ok, I'll stop with the questions now. Happy, Happy Anniversary.

Vic in NH said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! I enjoyed seeing all the sights there and I had never heard of a pivot for crops. My town is barely 4,000 if you count every stray cat, so I think that you live in the big city.

Ruth said...

the Sandhills of Nebraska???!! I just finished reading Grace Snyder's book, No Time On My Hands! Which takes place in the Sandhills of Nebraska. She was a prolific quilter and won awards across the USA. Interesting to read your post and remember her stories of growing up there in the late 1800s.

Tanya said...

Thanks for the tour! I've never seen a pivot. Fascinating!

Cheers for your romantic husband!

Jo said...

Hi love the view from the sky. Have lost touch with you the last year+ had puter completely loose all my stuff. Joan