I guess since I mentioned it I might as well give a "duck and cover" salute to the annual migration of Sandhill Cranes that converge upon de Isla each spring. These long-legged throwbacks to pterodactyls...numbering in the tens...if not hundreds to thousands...arrive each spring around the end of February and first week of March to stage their flight to Siberia where who knows what they do when they get there? They spend about 6 weeks chowing down in area fields nearly doubling their body weight for the long flight north. They are a treat for tourists from near and far. School kids learn about the birds and their long journey and love them almost as much as the local Chamber of Commerci. Of course what they fail to tell the children is these ugly fowl foul the soil and groundwater while they are here...while guaranteeing that most farmsteads are heavily invested in Culligan reverse osmosis machines...and ensuring that local roads are filled with scatter-brained tourists pretending to be on their first clueless drivers training excursion on a country road...all while burning up carbon credits that the guano birds try so hard to restore.
If we want to really turn this into a capital raising endeavor I say we offer a 6 week crane season like the states to our south. That's where the money is. Hunting. Blinds up and down the Platte River filled to the brim with hunters hoping to limit out before they lift off the former mile-wide and foot-deep river. I even have a few slogans that might help the local economy. "From the Platte to Your Plate...Crane Tastes Great!" or "Crane...The Other Dark Meat." I have others.
This is just scratching the surface...there are still the hundreds of thousands of snow geese...blue geese...Canadian geese...ducks and random Whooping Crane infecting our water supply. But I won't go there...today anyway. I look forward to mid-April when they soar and belch through the upper wind currents of the atmosphere searching for the southerly low level jet stream to aid their cruise to Siberia...where who knows what they do when they get there? The only other advice I can give unsuspecting visitors is...Don't look up between late February through mid-April when in south-central Nebraska...if you do...wear goggles.
That about sums it up for me. I remember as a youth being able to walk almost close enough to touch them. Now with "commercial involvement" you can't get within a quarter mile of these feathered dinosaurs.