Flights of fancy

Christopher RobinOur Town Arts

Who will forget where they were for major historic events such as the assassination of JFK, the space shuttle explosion or 9/11? When the real significance of Covid-19 pandemic hit me, I was in a photo blind on the Platte River in South Central Nebraska. I was there to photograph the great Sandhill Crane migration, however, my photo excursion was cut short by the pandemic, and we were sent home.

Sandhill Cranes that winter from Florida to Mexico migrate each spring to their nesting grounds in the far north from Hudson Bay to Siberia. One of the earth’s great migrations, over one million of them layover in an 80-mile stretch of the Platte River in South Central Nebraska. Bobbing and dancing to impress and attract future mates, they fatten up in the fields by day and return to roost in the river at night.

As one of my life’s great experiences we witnessed thousands of these large birds per minute landing in the shallow water before us. Our guide estimated this single roost had over 125,000 cranes, the largest he had ever seen. During migration these cranes will travel several hundred miles per day at altitudes sometimes exceeding 20,000 feet. This is truly an amazing bird and show of nature.

Sandhill Cranes gather in other locations around the country in lesser numbers, including the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge near Dayton, Tennessee.

Photographer Chris and painter Robin Rohwer each week share a painting or photograph that captured their interest in hopes that it will also capture yours. They have a small studio and gallery in the Phoenix Building, 418 South Gay Street. Their website is If a particular piece interests you for your home or office, please contact them. All works are copyright protected.

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