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A soccer field in western Nebraska, 5:30 p.m., February 22

February 22, 2011

Alas, I did not have my camera with me this evening when I headed out to the soccer field north of town for an evening run. The camera probably wouldn’t have done it justice anyhow. I’ll just have to paint the scene with words instead.

The yells of a dozen young men playing soccer carried across the field on the cold evening air, which was surprisingly damp-feeling for dry western Nebraksa.

Just to the north in a corn field, cattle lowed. Three of the young cattle, all fuzzy in their winter coats, stood right at the fenceline, watching the soccer players. The damp air carried the scent of corn stubble, a vegetative sweetness that made me think of a horse barn.

The sunset. Oh! The sunset!

Gentle blue and pink and purple swirls in the eastern sky warmed westward to oranges and reds cut with fiery edges, the silhouettes of the city water tower and bluff stark black in front of the glow.

And then, the icing on the cake.

A small flock of forty or so snow geese tumbled northwestward against the clouds in an untidy column and was caught by the rays of the setting sun. The white birds turned to glowing orange-pink confetti in the sky.


I seldom remember moments like this in detail for long, but I have the sense that I must save the joy and awe somewhere, deep down, and pull it out when I need a little sustenance for my soul on a hard day.

(p.s. – Wish I could have seen the snow goose flock husband saw from I-80 somewhere near Cozad yesterday. He guesstimated 100,000 birds. They migrate through the central U.S. in ginormous flocks, apparently. Here is a rather herky-jerky vid from North Dakota to give you an idea.)

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Suemommy permalink
    February 23, 2011 5:40 am

    Ohhhhh, beautiful painting! I can see and share the glory.

  2. February 23, 2011 7:14 am

    Beautiful, Katie.

  3. Rick Myers permalink
    February 23, 2011 7:48 am

    And, if you would have stayed out about an hour more you could have seen the International Space Station sail across the sky. Twas’ a glorious evening!

  4. February 23, 2011 8:42 am

    Nice job Katie! You put into words the exact feeling of inspiration and awe that our Western Nebraska sunsets provide.

  5. February 23, 2011 3:03 pm

    A well worded picture!

  6. Monique Larsen permalink
    February 27, 2011 7:54 am

    Photograph wouldn’t have captured it as well. Nice job.


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