Sandhill Cranes / by Bill Frakes

Growing up in Nebraska, I experienced nature first-hand. Life on the plains taught me to live on the land and to appreciate its natural beauty.

Nebraska's mystery and majesty have always inspired me creatively.

It's remembering those roots that keeps me fresh.

More than 500,000 sandhill cranes stop along the Platte River each spring as they make their way northward. Tom Lynn, Laura and I will be there to document their visit.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, George Archibald, one of the founders of the International Crane Foundation discussed cranes and their elegant dance. "[The cranes] have complicated and beautiful behaviors — they dance and duet and have all kinds of vocal and visual languages in ways that seem to be human-like. They are devoted to a single mate for life and rear just one or two chicks at a time. Because of this and other factors, they are also one of the most endangered groups of birds."

The plains of Nebraska are known as a vast, open space with endless skies and unbroken sight lines, the only constant noise the whistling wind but when the cranes descend on the wide flat Platte all that changes. These majestic birds create a city on the sandbars and bustling traffic in the skies.

I invite you to come to come to Nebraska in mid March to experience first-hand why so many nature enthusiasts call the sandhill crane migration one of the greatest spectacles of nature in North America.

I'll be leading a photo tour that will allow you to not only experience the migration but also to capture video and images of the phenomenon.

The tour includes entrance to the blinds, hands-on instruction from me, Tom and Laura with the cameras and support systems. There will also be an Apple certified Final Cut Trainer providing instruction.

You can learn more about the tour and secure your spot at