Kim and I have made it an annual tradition to spend part of our holiday break at the Niobrara Valley Preserve. Our kids were with other relatives for part of this year’s break, so we had a few days to rest, relax, and explore by ourselves. The weather was variable during our time there, including fog, rain, snow, hail, strong wind, and warm sunshine. Perfect. We watched bald eagles soar effortlessly over the river and bluffs, flushed cottontail rabbits out of the brush, saw white-tailed deer, mule deer, bison, turkeys, and the tracks of many other animals. We enjoyed the diversity of plants we saw as well, even though most of them were brown and dormant. It was a great trip, although we both wished we’d been serenaded by coyotes at least one evening. Maybe next year. Here are some photos from the visit.
Trips like this help me realize how fortunate I am. I’m lucky to have a wife who enjoys winter hiking and remote vacations away from people and noise. I’m lucky to have a job that allows me access to places like the Niobrara Valley Preserve and the time to explore them. And I’m lucky to have this platform for sharing photos and stories with people who appreciate them and share their perspectives back with me. Thank you. Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you too! I feel fortunate to view your photos. Especially love the one with this caption, “We climbed up a ridge we hadn’t explored before and enjoyed the view downstream.”
Thanks for giving me the opportunity the mid west in winter through your artistic eyes! So glad you enjoyed your vacation, and that you love your job…..it’s folks like you who will help save beautiful places for the future.
Your closing paragraph evidences a feeling of gratitude, which is essential to enJOYing life, whatever that life entails. And practicing gratitude reflects wisdom of that recognition. I have enjoyed your postings for years. I hope to visit some (warmer) day!
I love your posts and look forward to your photography! Noel
Happy New Year to you and yours Chris!! Thank you for sharing all of your photographs and knowledge this past year, and it was a pleasure to hear your perspectives at the N.A. Prairie Conference. All the best in 2017 – – you truly are in a wonderful place!!
Yes Chris, you are indeed very lucky. You are an inspiration and mentor to us all. Happy New Year to you, your family and your extended Nature Conservancy family!
Happy New Year to you also, hope 2017 brings many joys, great knowledge and wisdom. Thanks for all the beauty and inspiration you share on this site.
Lovely photo journal, Chris. Happy New Year to you and Kim.
Thanks for sharing with us throughout the year.
A Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year. Thank you so much for sharing your excellent writings and photos with all of us. I certainly am glad I was told about your blog. I have learned so much!
I feel like I have some ownership of the Niobrara Valley because I have visited it. My small claim is nothing compared to yours. It is nice to see a king’s and queen’s view while touring their kingdom.
Wonderful photos and beautiful sentiments. Thanks for sharing the wild prairie and detailing interesting bits about its inhabitants. I always enjoy your posts. Best wishes to you and your family this coming year.
We are all lucky to have you to remind us of the beauty of life and the wonder of nature. Thank you! And also thank you for reminding us to remember the luckiness in our own individual lives. Happy New Year!
You are indeed fortunate on all those counts, Chris.
Beware that “wandering around on ice” thing. We don’t want to lose you!