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renae blum

Renae works for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and has written for NEBRASKAland Magazine and the Lincoln Journal Star.

Tag a Monarch

Help Uncover a Mystery By Renae Blum, NEBRASKAland Contributor It’s one of the miracles of nature: each fall, millions of insects weighing less than one gram fly to overwintering sites in Mexico from across the United States, some traveling several thousand miles. This is the monarch butterfly, and the details of how this migration occurs are still surrounded by questions. Since 1992, Chip Taylor and his team at the University of Kansas have endeavored to find answers via a monarch …

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The Eclipse through the eyes of citizen scientists

Photograph taken during the middle of the day during the eclipse at Verdon State Recreation Area (SRA) in Richardson County. Kurrus, Aug. 15, 2017. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

One year ago, for just a couple of minutes, the sky darkened in the middle of the day. The air cooled, stars and planets appeared, and the sun seemed to transform before our eyes. The 2017 solar eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But as fascinating as it was, not everyone had their eyes trained on the skies the whole time. There was a question that needed answering: how would animals and plants react to the eclipse? Life Responds That was …

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Outdoor Painting: Nature in 2-D

Here in Nebraska, beauty surrounds us constantly. It tends to announce itself most clearly in uninterrupted moments of quiet: a long morning in a deer blind, a lazy tubing trip down the Niobrara, an evening of calm after an afternoon of hiking. Seeking out that beauty can be its own goal and reward, driving us into the outdoors with the need to capture it forever. Photography is a common method, both accessible and familiar. Less well known, but growing in …

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Bird by Bird

bird fight

To celebrate Nebraska’s sesquicentennial, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission set out a challenge to the state’s birders: to spot as many species of birds as possible in 2017, with the goal of reaching 150. Some have taken it a step further: doing so through photographs.

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7 of Nebraska’s Best Beaches

lake_mcconaughy

Beaches and Nebraska – two words you don’t tend to associate with one another. Think again, though: thanks to the Sandhills, we have several natural white-sand beaches to enjoy. Many more inviting beaches and lakes can be found throughout the state. If you’re ready to explore Nebraska’s beach scene, here are a few places you should make a beeline for. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area (west-central NE) With its pristine white sand and cool, clear waters, Lake McConaughy would fit …

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Six great winter getaways in Nebraska

It’s just that time of year – the winter doldrums are settling in, and your feet are itching to escape and go somewhere new. Your office mate across the hall might be headed to Aruba, but that’s not an option for all of us. Rest assured, though, if you’re in need of a mid-winter getaway, plenty of options are tucked right into your backyard. 1. Ponca State Park Hiking Marathon Challenge Winter and hiking – an unlikely combination, you say? …

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