Arthur Nebraska

Rodeo Roper Family, Arthur

Rodeo Roper, Arthur

Rodeo Roper, Arthur

A storm rolling in on the horizon, a rodeo roper, his wife, his dog and his portable steer offered a compelling chance for an image with insights into the summer rodeo life in the Nebraska Sandhills.

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Rodeo Cowboys, Arthur

Rodeo Cowboys, Arthur

Rodeo Cowboys, Arthur

Rodeo stops for nothing. Nothing.

A massive storm rolled through the skies over Arthur, Nebraska, for the Saturday performance at the rodeo, complete with massive wind, torrential rains, and…lightning. Big bolts of lightning. But no one moved, especially the cowboys.

And so the festivities continued, and so did I, photographing–and I was rewarded with the storm and sunset and visual drama and…this image.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

Still Life, Arthur Bale Church

In Arthur, Nebraska, exists the only surviving hay-bale church in America. Stucco on bales, the church is nearing its 100th anniversary, and unless you know where to go and where to look, it’s a unique piece of Great Plains culture unlike any other.

Upstairs, where the minister and his family lived, everything sits as it was more than a half-century ago when the church closed; this still life welcomed me, the diffused afternoon light softly flowing through the sheer curtains onto the water pitcher and basin, a bygone time and symbol of the loss of the Sand Hills life echoing quietly through the room.