You can stand there and you can see the whole northern part of the ranch, and way south, too. And I think just to stand up on that hill and be able to see all that… that’s never really changed in all of our generations here. That’s probably my favorite spot. My great grandfather homesteaded […]

A line of fire blazes in an ocean of grass. The smell of burning bluestem wisps through the air. A man dressed in leather boots carefully tips a drip torch to spark a flame onto the landscape–a familiar sight by those who live on working landscapes in the Great Plains. In early spring, I photographed […]

I am currently a wildlife biology major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, working on various undergraduate research projects. I first learned about Platte Basin Timelapse (PBT) last spring and was thrilled to see how imagery was being used to convey important stories. After that meeting, I knew I wanted to contribute to this […]

University of Nebraska-Kearney graduate student, Heather Johnson partnered with the Platte Basin Timelapse (PBT) team to place time-lapse cameras on Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) nests. The cameras allowed her to monitor nesting behavior of swans in the Sandhills of Nebraska. In summer 2016, Michael Forsberg and Heather set up cameras on two nests. The first […]

We drive down a long gravel road parting a sea of grass. I look up and see the moon – a fingernail crescent. We park the truck in front of an old cottonwood tree and cut the lights. To the west, the night sky is still dark and star-filled; to the east dawn is a […]

Sarah Sortum grew up near Taylor, Nebraska, on her family’s cattle ranch in the Sandhills, the descendant of homesteaders. Her family continues to operate on the same property, running their own cattle, custom grazing operations for others, and Calamus Outfitters, a nature-based tourism operation.

The roads were dark, the truck was full of gear, and the Platte Basin Timelapse team was headed to the Nebraska Sandhills.  We were on our way to the Switzer Ranch, 16 miles northwest of Burwell, Nebr., to film a cattle drive for our forthcoming documentary. This would be my first time experiencing a cattle drive […]

Recreational airboating and “jeeping” — driving down the channel when water is low – are how many Nebraskans enjoy their local rivers. But some riverside residents say they’re concerned by the noise and what they see as disregard for the environment and private property along the river.

It’s possible to appreciate the Nebraska Sandhills through a car window. Until a few years ago, that was about as close as I’d been to the grass-stabilized sand dunes that cover a quarter of our state. That’s because up in ranch country, the majority of the landscape is privately owned. As much as I wanted […]

It’s hard for a rancher to intentionally start a grass fire, especially in the Sandhills. And there are good reasons for that. But life seems to be a lot about the friends you choose to have. It’s no different for ranchers. Our friends are critters, great and small. On the domesticated side, our social circle […]