From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Thunderhead

Cumulonimbus over the prairie



We saw this big thunderhead about five years ago in northern Nebraska. We were camping at Smith Falls State Park on the Niobrara River. I stopped to take this photo on a very hot afternoon, as we drove back to camp from sightseeing in Valentine. We were glad this cloud was east of us, and not likely to turn around.

As I stopped along the sandy road and got out with my camera, I explained to the kids that this photo would be pure Nebraska -- a hayfield, a barbed wire fence, sunflowers, and a huge thunderhead. "Hurry up, Mom!" they earnestly replied.

I was using a film camera; I hadn't crossed over to digital photography yet. I scanned the snapshot tonight to post it here.

Later that night, it rained very hard, and some in our group got wet inside their tents. We heard them slamming car doors as they scrambled for dryer quarters. Our trusty Coleman Forester wasn't leaking, so we just went back to sleep.

I'm sure the rancher who owned the hay was glad he finished baling it before the rain. The bales shed a lot of the water, whereas all the hay would have been wet, had it still been lying on the ground. When he heard it raining, he probably just rolled over and went back to sleep, too.

As for us, we got up the next morning and broke camp. The plastic dropcloth from beneath the tent had a lot of wet sand and grass sprigs sticking to it, and the rainfly that covered the tent was a little damp. We dried them in the parking lot as we did our laundry in Valentine. Then we packed up everything properly and drove on to visit friends who live near Amelia (NE).

These are pleasant memories. I've been smiling as I type.

Related posts:
Landlubber
My Coleman Forester Tent

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time to come visit again! Maybe I'll go camping and fishing with you!That was a pretty cloud picture! Your friend at Amelia

Genevieve said...

I'll be back to visit, one of these years, Sammie.

Dennis enjoys entertaining the idea of moving to Nebraska, but our kids are in Kentucky and not likely to move north.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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