Month: August 2012

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Death on the Plains, Orella Road

Death on the Plains, Orella Road

Death on the Plains, Orella Road

First, I must apologize for the drought of posts this week. There is a bittersweet aspect to working on one’s doctorate: everything’s interesting, but you have very little time for anything else.

Nonetheless, though posts may be a bit more sporadic for a while due to my schoolwork, I’ll try to keep up.

Here, though, is an image that relates quite well how I feel right now: dead.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Rope Tricks, Sioux County Fair

Rope Tricks, Sioux County Fair

Rope Tricks, Sioux County Fair

This young man was all too happy to show of his skill with a rope in the long, dusty light of a Saturday night at the Sioux County Fair. I wasn’t a city kid, so I’m not sure what they do to show off their prowess as they enter adulthood; but in western Nebraska, you do it with a rope and a horse.

And sometimes, just a rope.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Generations, Sioux County Fair

Generations, Sioux County Fair

Generations, Sioux County Fair

As I made several images of this man resting, his cold drink warming in the afternoon sun of the high plains, his failing knee and work-worn features telling tale of a hard life lived, a youngster on a horse much too large rode by, looking to the future as the grizzled cowboy looked away toward the past.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Playing Rodeo, Harrison

Playing Rodeo, Harrison

Playing Rodeo, Harrison

The sun was drawing low on the horizon, beginning a sensual intercourse between its light and the dusty curtain wafting through the dry high plains air, as I wandered–intoxicated by the warm colors–looking for photographs. Hours earlier, I had intently shot hundreds of images at the Sioux County Fair rodeo, and those photos had been assaulted by the high-contrast afternoon light, leaving me frustrated and unproductive.

But now, the light began to play nicely, and as I walked by the arena, I saw these two boys playing rodeo, opening the chutes, bucking into their private colosseum, imagining the roar of the crowd as they emerged, tomorrow’s rodeo heroes, the long shadows and dust adding to the drama they were already feeling.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Guitar Hero, Harrison Dance Hall

Guitar Hero, Harrison Dance Hall

Guitar Hero, Harrison Dance Hall

This young lad was so excited for live music that he nearly couldn’t help himself as the band played Saturday night at the Sioux County Fair; he even brought his toy guitar.

And when the band saw him and invited him to come onstage and play with them, I couldn’t help myself, either.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Sand Pipers, Lakeside

Sand Pipers, Lakeside

Sand Pipers, Lakeside

So many migratory travelers moving through the Sand Hills are shocked at the hundreds of tiny lakes seeping up from the barely-hidden Ogalala Aquifer below; moreover, the plethora of waterfowl that flock to the surface water provide a unique experience for the onlookers.

Here, a quartet of sand pipers mills about a pond near Lakeside, flitting away for a few flaps, then returning to the shore; as one of the birds prepared to land, spreading its wings in a braking effort, I made this image.

PlainSky, Nebraskans Available for Pre-Order Tomorrow

PlainSky, Nebraskans Cover

PlainSky, Nebraskans Cover

After a flattering number of requests, I decided some weeks ago to make PlainSky, Nebraskans available for pre-order; but I needed to get a cover ready for those pre-orders so customers who wished to reserve a copy could see what they were getting.

The pre-order process might not make much sense at first, but does after the edition details emerge: soft cover, 102 pages, 100 signed and numbered copies, and a foreward by Sam Abell, the famous photographer (just Google him).

Tomorrow the pre-order form will be available on brettlerickson.com, and will require no deposit. Simply request a copy on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sorry, but for now, I’m only taking US orders (nothing personal, rest of the world).