Robert Bateman Hand Signed Limited Edition Print 22″ x 22″
Edition Size: 950
“It was, of course, pitch dark when I arose for my birding adventure, my long-awaited chance to view the sandhill cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska. This gathering of cranes goes back eons before recorded history in America. The broad, shallow waters of the Platte in this area form a migration, feeding and staging ground for the cranes. The braided river, with numerous channels and gravel bars, is a safe place to stand and rest for the night. I wanted to be there before dawn so that I could see them rise from the river and fly to feed in the stubble fields of the area.
Cranes need to be able to see across a wide expanse, watching for predators. Sadly, farther up the Platte River, government policy has allowed massive withdrawal of water to irrigate industrial-scale, subsidized agriculture. This means that spring floods that used to sweep away willow and other seedlings are weakened. As a result, islands of thick vegetation are springing up, making this traditional staging area unsuitable for cranes.
In my walk to and from the river, I saw this farm windmill with cranes flying across the morning sky. This is a relic of an era when humans worked more closely with the different elements of nature. When traditional human activity comes up against nature it is usually a gentle interface. When industrial human activity comes up against nature, it is always a brutal interface.” Robert Bateman
(From the original painting Windtalkers – 2004 – 36″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas)