In the 1900s, railroad lines crisscrossed Nebraska’s plains, transporting grain from small towns to larger hubs. While the days of the short-haul rail lines have long since passed, the open corridors they left behind offer a unique opportunity for the development of recreation trails that allow cyclists to get out and experience beautiful places they may not otherwise find. As they run amidst the corn, wheat, soybean and alfalfa fields common to the region, these trails pay homage to the agricultural roots that gave birth to the rail beds on which they are built.
Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).
March 14, 1974
County Agent Donald Sigler sent a March 13 news release with advice about planning and planting a garden. In it he states: “Your garden size will depend on space available.” This is the kind of pertinent comment that inspires us to continue publishing the Progress, so we can relay this needed information to our readers.
What can be done to improve the lives of the Zambians?
If there were an easy answer, it would have been accomplished years ago. Too often solutions have been thrust upon the Zambians without their input. Besides, not all aspects of Western culture are desirable.
“I’ve come a long way to file claim to a parcel of land. If you could see your way clear to help me…” He explained his plight.
“You halfta talk with Jim Bedford, he’s the assistant. Jamison’s outta town. He’s the registrar.”
Where do I find this Jim Bedford?” Strains of “Turkey in the Straw” yanked from the resilient gut of the bango strings competed with the zee-zwa-ing of the two fiddles to be heard.
—from “Daniel and Agnes Freeman, Homesteaders” by Beverly S. Kaplan
Floyd F. Nichols (1897–1958), whose retrospective exhibit will open May 22, 2009, at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, was an adventurous creative man. His exciting life story is important to examine in conjunction with his artwork. He joins the ranks of prominent American writers, poets, artists and musicians, who sought to find and express themselves through the arts shortly after the beginning of the 20th century. The creative voice inside of him was strong. Throughout his life, he searched to realize his vision. He was a craftsman of ingenuity. He created a wide variety of fine arts and crafts that were authentically American.
It would break my heart to be a garbage man.
It’s not the work I would mind. It’s seeing the wastefulness of our society on a daily basis. In a way, I guess I already do…
You see, I live in nice neighborhood. When I’m home—which isn’t often, according to my wife—I see what everyone throws away on trash night because I stop to look. I guess it’s because I am a photographer, always looking for that perfect picture.
You would be amazed what people send to the landfill. It’s shocking, really.
August 2007: Major storms in the Midwest caused significant flooding in six states and killed 18 people.
June 2008: A “500 year flood” devastates the region, claiming 13 lives and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. This flood hit just 15 years after the epic 1993 flood, another “500 year flood,” which claimed 32 lives and caused $15 billion in damage.
Informed businessmen, including farmers and ranchers, are asking, Can short- to long-range planning/decisions be aided by accounting for climate variability and global warming trends? Indeed, all citizens may ask what elected officials are doing with regard to current and future climate while puzzling over how government remedies will affect federal and possibly state and local commerce. Will new legislation result in increased taxes or increased regulation, and will the biggest carbon dioxide producers bear the bulk of any costs to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)?
Although we are on the western edge of their range, eastern bluebirds do nest in Nebraska—and I will take you on a typical May trip to monitor nesting boxes at Nine Mile Prairie in Lincoln, Neb.
Having descended from dinosaurs, modern birds are timeless, yet they keep track of time. Should I ever complete my calendar of birds, it will be less accurate than calendars devised by ancient peoples, whose calculations were based on the faithful tilting of the Earth and the shifting of planets and stars. Bird habits, by contrast, vary with the season and the weather, and are increasingly affected by climate change. Yet the arrival and departure of most of our resident birds is predictable.
But ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.” (Job 12:7–8, King James Version of the Bible)
Morris Skinner, a world-renowned paleontologist, believed in this particular chapter and verse in the Bible. He was not a church-going Christian, but he practiced all of the tenets of the Bible in his daily life. First and foremost, he was a very dedicated scientist who studied and searched for ancient life throughout the North American continent.
As the crashing waves on the Ghanaian coast fade with the receding daylight, the time of the turtle has begun. The daytime beach, ruled by scurrying crabs and stray dogs, sleeps after an exciting day to be replaced by the nighttime beach, dominated by nesting female sea turtles meticulously digging deep holes in order to lay hundreds of eggs. But the nighttime beaches of Ghana host a more sinister crowd and one over which sea turtles have no power: poachers.