Nothing speaks to the sandhills of Nebraska more eloquently than Baxter Black’s ode to the windmill “Sandhills Savior”! Baxter did himself proud with this one and, with his permission, I’m posting it here. Thank you, Baxter!
The photo is from Thompson Land and Cattle, Inc. in the sandhills. Thanks, Christi!
I challenge you to allow yourself the trip of a lifetime, with me, or someone else, or by your lonesome – but do make the sandhills a bucket list destination!
Sandhills Savior by Baxter Black
In the sandhills of Nebraska stands a monument of wills
Where man has staked his claim to them blowin’, rollin’ hills
Where the buffalo once scattered in the bunch grass, belly deep,
A whiteface calf, contented, sucks his mama, half asleeep.
The fertile black dirt farmland runnin’ up and down the Platte
Got covered up with people, their driveways and their cat
And them that lived in cities saw no use for sandhills land
So the cattlemen and cowboys come up north to try their hand.
They treated her with reverance and learned what Indians knew
That it cannot take abusin’ ’cause she’s fragile through and through
And they learned a crucial factor to keep them cows alive
Takes more than snow and sunlight, it takes water to survive.
So they dug their dainty windmills and pumped life outta the ground
It allowed the cows to flourish so the people stayed around
Then little townships prospered and, you can see by now,
They’ve built a whole existence upon the humble cow.
From Thedford to Hyannis, from Valentine to Rose
Across that sandy country where the prairie grass still grows
You’ll see those man-made daisies, silhouettes against the sky
Their steel petals gleaming on their stalks eighteen feet high.
On Nebraska highway twenty or state road eighty-three
There’s a million creakin’ windmills standin’ proud for you to see
They represent a people and the land they’re livin’ in
The lifeblood of the sandhills spinnin’ freely in the wind.