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gerry steinauer

Wild Gooseberries and Currants

When I was a kid, my uncle Bill once picked a pail of wild gooseberries from woods in Pawnee County. Clueless what to do with them, he gave them to my mother. She baked them into what was probably a very good gooseberry pie, but I did not care for it. It was too tart for my tastes. Of all the possible gifts our candy store-owning uncle might furnish – he brought bitter fruit.  My next encounter with gooseberry pie …

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Searching for the Elusive Yellow Lady’s Slipper Flower

On a sunny, but muggy, morning last June, six Game and Parks Commission and Northern Prairies Land Trust biologists gathered at Indian Cave State Park. Our mission for the next two days: trek the park’s rugged, wooded hills in search of the elusive yellow lady’s-slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum). A common and widespread North American species, the yellow lady’sslipper grows in coniferous and deciduous forests and wetlands across much of Canada and the U.S. Nebraska, however, supports only a handful of …

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Hanging Pheasants and Other Wild Fowl

After a pheasant hunt last winter, I mentioned to my friend, Mace Hack, that we should go to my place and clean the birds. “Oh no, I now hang my birds for a few days before I clean them,” said Mace. “My English brother-in-law turned me on to it. Aged birds are so much better eating.” Though I knew that the choicest beef and venison steaks result from aging, the thought of hanging pheasants with feathers and entrails intact and …

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