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!