Spring adventure

Twilight in Nebraska. Lines of cranes just barely visible in the darkening sky. Photo by Zoë

We took a trip to Nebraska to see the Sandhill Cranes on their migration north. Not knowing what to expect, we were stunned by the number of birds in the cornfields around North Platte, feeding during the day, then massing to roost in the river in the evening.

Thousands of cranes flying in long lines, swerving, flapping, forming v-patterns in the darkening sky. Swooping over the blind where we perched to watch this overwhelming sight accompanied by the cacophony of their calls.

Zoë bundled up on the bus to the bird blind.

Today on  Blue Mountain Road it’s windy, unsettling, howling around the house. I inventory the things on the porch and patio, checking to see if anything has flown. The ground around the house is scoured clean. We watch the acrobatic nuthatches, chickadees and finches at the feeders swinging in the turbulence, holding on for a bite before winging off. The laundry flaps and comes loose and I struggle to capture the sheets before they fly off.

The weather is changeable, deciding whether it’s winter or spring. Typical of our Colorado conditions this time of year. It’s been very cold in the mornings, winter cold, then sunny and in the 50’s.

It’s hard to choose what to cook – a hearty pasta or grilled chicken and asparagus. I’ve made avocado toasts with smoked salmon and a kale salad with sultanas, walnuts and parmesan.

Kale Salad

Cut the kale leaves away from the tough stems and slice into narrow ribbons. Put into a large bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Massage – squeezing and rubbing the kale until reduced to half its bulk, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl cover 2 tablespoons of sultanas (golden raisins) in a tablespoon or two of red wine or cider vinegar. Let marinate while you toast 1/2 cup walnuts. Stir 1/2 cup of grated parmesan into kale, add drained sultanas and walnuts. Garnish with julienned jicama, boiled eggs, avocado slices or cherry tomatoes.

For a celebratory dinner with Mimi Shark, due to visit this week, I plan to serve salmon skewers, (recipe here –Busy September) a barley and celery salad (After the holidays) and roasted asparagus.

So onward and upward.  Spring vegetables are beginning to appear in the grocery stores and the farmer’s market opened this weekend. Hurray – and hurry – Spring!

Night falls along the Platte.

One thought on “Spring adventure

  1. What a different landscape. Looks serene. A place where your thoughts would seem pure. Loved the photo of your laundry, blowing in the wind.


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