“When snow softens in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, water flows northeast and southeast respectively. Splashing and falling forward, humble threads of water flail and weave over rugged bolts of land… Resilient water pushes torpid to Nebraska, flowing from two tributaries via two neighboring states of America. The North Platte and the South Platte rivers eventually form the Platte River, and as a new tributary itself, many water challenges continue.”
Water from the North Platte River forms the largest lake in Nebraska. In summer, there is a busy world of outdoor recreation.
The lake is created by an earthen dam—engineered to provide hydropower and irrigation—downstream.
Despite any bad press you might hear about dams, there are many positive things going on here.
Although we will “visit” in summer via a water district testimony in Lincoln, our story takes place in winter. The cold land and frozen waterscape is better for cinematography to capture a solemn place for our isolated, on-his-own main character.
Winter attracts many birds, including seagulls (yes, seagulls), ducks, geese, and bald eagles—which will be additional metaphorical fabric for our story.
The Dam and the Lakes are characters and key locations.
Here is an excerpt from the Fauna’s Thread manuscript: Andrew cued the video and narrated. It opened with an aerial shot of the big lake in summer and a fly-around near the dam. “Our dam is a solution to a long-term issue, a provider of valuable resources, and a recreation area, which is unrivaled in our state. Water, which passes through the dam, is indeed diverted, but half of that water continues down the river without ever being diverted again.”
The flyover moved closer to the spraying water from the exchange pipe as Andrew continued, “Hydropower is a non-polluting energy. This energy powers thousands of homes and businesses in Nebraska, including the Henderson farm, the Eloise Gale Sanctuary, Senator Brown’s hunting lodge, and the Riverview Campground recently purchased by the chairman of this committee for his daughter and new son-in-law.”
Pine trees dotted a bay and wildlife frolicked near the shore. “Thirty-five-thousand surface acres of water are home to game fish and animals. The lake is so large it has its own ecosystem.” Canada geese touched down. Water-skiers splashed across the lake and the beaches were populated with sunbathers and kite-fliers and campers. “The lake provides limitless activities, sporting events, and unlimited recreation. And all of those people buy fuel, food, and lodging, which leaves tax revenue too. They’re Nebraskans and visitors from surrounding states.” There was a regatta, jet skiers, fishermen, and hikers walked within the wildlife and the birds.
“Most people don’t realize it, but we have a slice of the ocean right here in Nebraska.” There were seagulls, beach games, sand castles, bikinis, and a flock of pelicans rose into the sunset.
“I encourage you all to ‘Come Visit.’”
Words and photos copyrighted Jamie Vesay. Thank you.