Thursday, March 17, 2011
A wintering flock of Canada geese rests along Blue Creek under a blanket of stars while a waxing moon casts its faint glow on the surrounding prairie. I had set up a tent blind along the creek at this location a couple days prior. When the birds would leave on their evening flight to feed, I would crawl into the blind and spend the night. They would come back at dusk each night to roost, then leave the roost again shortly after sunrise. Blue Creek starts as a series of powerful springs that well up from the Ogallala Aquifer and continually feed the stream on its journey to the North Platte River in the western Sandhills of Nebraska. The powerful spring sources keep water open even in the depths of winter. Combined with its remote location, it is an important sanctuary for wintering waterfowl.