Story and photos by Bruce Thorson
July 20, 2009, Spade Ranch, Neb: Clay Bixby, 20, pilots his plane low over the Spade Ranch, formed in 1888 and one of Nebraska's oldest ranches, as his father, Brett, and brother, Mace, watch. Clay's mother, Colleen, thought it better to duck.
Nestled in the sandhills, the Spade offers grazing to horses and cattle.
Clay Bixby untangles the rope used for the dinner bell.
Clay Bixby drives a horse team pulling a steer so that Mace Bixby can practice his roping technique.
Chickens roam during the day eating the bugs and keeping those pests down.