News & Events

Featured Artist

February 2019

Journey into a captivating world of sunswept limestone contours, mysterious ancient architecture, majestic elk crossing misty waters, and the crimson cheeks of a curious child captured through the eye of award-winning photographer Cheryl Opperman.  Her bold images provide a vivid bridge directly into the heart of countries, indigenous peoples, wildlife, and landscapes spanning the globe.

An extensive list of credits for organizations and publications including the American Humane Association, Overseas Adventure Travel, The Denver Post, Ducks Unlimited, Apple and the National Geographic Society result from her alluring exploration of over 20 countries on seven continents.  Cheryl’s esthetic compositions, artistic use of light, and exquisite detail have been honored with several prestigious awards including the Grand Prize in professional category of the “Ultimate Image of Earth” international contest for Earth Day 2000, the “People in Nature” Category Winner in the 2003 Nature’s Best International Photography Awards, First Place for Travel/Tourism photography in the 2004 International Photography Awards, First Place “Birds” in the professional category of the 2006 National Wildlife Federation Photography Awards, and the “Wildlife” Category Winner in the 2015 Windland Smith Rice International Awards.  She has been interviewed on camera by 9News television in Denver, Colorado, the Luminous Landscape, and Smithsonian Earth.  She was also featured as a leading female nature photographer by Outdoor Photographer Magazine.

Her photographs have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions across the country at notable venues including the Temple Hoyne Buell Theater, Boettcher Concert Hall, and Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Employing the power of photography to inspire interest in the environment and other cultures, she has presented slide shows or classes on various topics to schools, camera clubs, the Intermountain Regional Headquarters of the National Park Service, the North American Nature Photography Association, and the Crane Trust.  Cheryl is a 1992 honors graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial/Scientific photography.

Cheryl is also the Crane Trust's Photography Instructor for our VIP Photo Workshops and Safaris. Her background allows her to show growing photographers the best techniques to photograph the cranes in our workshops. While our Photo Safaris gives professional photographers access to our photo blinds, a mere 5 feet from the river bank, so they too can capture amazing photos. If you are interested in coming to take photos during the peek of the Sandhill Crane migration please call Nikki Chavez at (308) 833-3808. Limited space is available!

January 2019

Rick Rasmussen is a native of Central Nebraska and has been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 35 years.  While he has traveled to many locations around the world to capture captivating images of nature and wildlife, he is best known for his timeless images of the Sandhill Crane migration near his hometown.  Rick has received numerous awards including two international awards in Nature’s Best Magazine.  He has also been published in Nebraskaland, Nebraska Life, Wyoming Wildlife and Duck’s Unlimited magazines.  His images not only capture the beauty of nature, but they are an important symbol of his commitment to its preservation

Catch up with Rick on Facebook at Platte River Photography or stop into the Crimson Crown Gift Shop and Hornady Art Gallery inside our Nature & Visitor Center to view and/or purchase one of his beautiful photos.

December 2018

Hot off the press, Ben Gottesman and his team created this new CD - ‘Sounds of the Migration’ from recordings of nature out on Mormon Island on Crane Trust land. We very often get asked if we have anything that visitors can listen to in order to bring back their fond memories of what they heard in our blinds on the side of the Platte River, during the spring migration. We now have a beautiful CD full of the calls of the cranes for visitors to listen to in the comfort of their homes. Put your feet up, relax, close your eyes and enjoy…

Come down to the Crimson Crown Gift Shop in our Nature & Visitor Center to grab a CD and always be able to hear the sounds of the great Sandhill Crane migration! 

November 2018

Shelia Litke, from Blue Creek Pottery, has featured her pottery at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center gift shop for a couple of years now. We enjoy describing to visitors how she makes a variety of pieces, using real burned-on bison hair, each with its own unique squiggly pattern.

Each pot is bisque fired and later the bisque is heated in the kiln and the bison hair is laid against the hot surface. The hair attaches itself to the hot pot and begins to burn. As the ash forms, a small deposit of carbon is absorbed into the clay surface, leaving a permanent trace of the bison hair.

Catch up with Shelia on Facebook at Blue Creek Pottery or stop into the Crimson Crown Gift Shop and Hornady Art Gallery inside our Nature & Visitor Center to view and/or purchase one of her beautiful products for your own space or as a gift for the upcoming holidays.



October 2018

It took Kathy Chase five years, thousands of miles and more than one unexpected adventure to create her collection of prints, calendars, cards, magnets, ornaments and postcards. New to the Nature & Visitor Center gift shop this year, Kathy’s products have created quite the buzz.

Visitor’s often remark on how they recognize many of the barns featured in Kathy’s products, sometimes from places in Nebraska they have visited and sometimes warmly remembered from their hometowns.

Catch up with Kathy on Facebook at Days Gone by Photography by Kathy