I’d usually rather be outside than inside, but occasionally I’ve found redeeming qualities in spending time under a roof. It helps improve the chances if the time indoors is spent discussing the outdoors.
Last week, for example, I attended the Nebraska chapter of the Wildlife Society’s conference in Chadron. Next week, I’ll be in Fort Collins, Colo., with two of my partners in public information for a week-long wildlife short course.
Those of us in attendance at the Wildlife Society conference witnessed many informative presentations from those working closely with the state’s wildlife — from efforts to keep deer off Interstate 80 in eastern Nebraska to a project for monitoring the scarce swift fox in northwest Nebraska.
Not surprisingly, much of the discussion was about wildfires – mainly the effects of last summer’s Pine Ridge fires and, unfortunately, the probability of more to come. Moisture, please.
I have to give a shout out to Teresa Frink, whose office is across the hall from mine at Chadron State College. Frink, who has been instrumental in building Chadron State’s wildlife management program, is now the president of the chapter. I participated in the wildlife short course she organized at Chadron State two summers ago and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about the critters that call Nebraska home. Lucky for you, it is being offered again this summer.
Indoors at the Wildcats
Also on the topic of learning about the outdoors from indoors, I really enjoyed a visit to the Wildcat Hills Nature Center south of Gering on Thursday.
The displays and artwork in the facility are top-notch. While I was there for only a short time, I could have spent a lot longer just watching the active bee hive featured in the center’s lower level. I look forward to taking my kids down there sometime soon.
Amanda Filipi, park superintendent and outdoor education specialist at the center, has a lot of dynamic activities, both indoors and outdoors, set for the summer – especially for children. Wildcat Weekends is one such example.
Not all of my time recently has been spent indoors, of course. I’ve done my best to get outdoors with camera in hand. As usual, nature has given me plenty of wild things to point the lens at.
Such as these wild sharp-tailed grouse at Fort Robinson State Park:
And this wild coyote in the Wildcat Hills near Gering:
Or these wild turkeys and wild mule deer near Chadron:
And this wild downy woodpecker at Minatare State Recreation Area:
And this wild sunrise at Bridgeport State Recreation Area:
Or this wild kid (who happens to live under my roof) hiking with her dad and brother in some of the always scenic Pine Ridge near Chadron: