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Afield and Afloat

Photographing East Ash Road

A photographer captures the Pine Ridge’s East Ash Road through the seasons. The first time I laid eyes on this corkscrew turn nestled in the Pine Ridge of the Panhandle, I couldn’t help but question if I had stepped outside the borders of Nebraska. Such a far cry from the familiar geography of the Plains, the Pine Ridge is an area that has continually captivated me and keeps me coming back to discover more. As the seasons pass, the rugged …

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Super Tag

21-year-old completes multi-species Super Tag. Zachary Welch of Ainsworth is the latest hunter to complete the Nebraska Game and Park’s resident-only super tag, which allows for one elk, one antelope, one deer and two turkeys. The permit is awarded to one hunter annually by lottery and is valid for two years. Welch, a 21-year-old student at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, successfully hunted all five animals within four months by archery. He harvested a bull elk south of Wellfleet, a white-tailed …

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Northwestern Exposure, Feb. 21, 2019: Bringing in the Sheep

One of the most impressive conservation projects I’ve photographed each of the past six years is the capture of wild bighorn sheep. Watching a helicopter as it darts in and out of rugged terrain and arrive to the processing site with sheep tethered below does not get old. Neither does watching the team of wildlife professionals take samples, install tracking equipment and release the animals back to the wild. With single-digit temperatures, this was the coldest bighorn sheep capture I’ve …

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Northwestern Exposure, Feb. 6, 2019: Killer Frost

There is always a lot of beauty in the Nebraska Panhandle. For nature photography, though, I am a lot less inspired during periods without snow or colorful foliage. Seems we have not had as much snow this year as usual, and the snow we have had has melted quickly. With such conditions, I gravitate toward the wildlife for imagery. Such as pronghorn at sunrise. Those of us who have been around long enough to witness the return of the bald …

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Northwestern Exposure, Jan. 31, 2019

In an effort to show some of the beauty I get to frequently encounter in this part of the world, I’ve decided to periodically feature some of my favorite photos on this site. Here are some scenes from around the Panhandle in recent weeks. Frosty ponderosa pines always catch my eye. With a little splash of evening sunlight, it seemed these specimens in the Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest were begging to have their photo taken. …

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An Ice Storm Feast

Photographs after an ice storm. I woke up on the morning of January 17 with a clear plan of attack. The biggest ice storm in a decade had ended the previous evening, and the forecast had correctly predicted clear skies and calm winds for the post-storm sunrise. Road crews had worked through the night, allowing me to slowly and carefully make my way across Aurora to a series of restored prairies along Lincoln Creek. It was going to be an …

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February Rabbits

Rabbit hunting is a cure for cabin fever. With upland bird seasons closing Jan. 31, there’s not much to hunt in February besides rabbits. February is actually my favorite month to hunt rabbits. I typically discourage my dog, Phantom, from pursuing rabbits, often ignoring her rabbit points so she remains focused on birds. But once February rolls around, we have some fun. Look for cottontails near brush piles or thick shelterbelts. With a pointing dog, be prepared to kick some …

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Tips: Keep Me Warm

Tips from Nebraskaland photographers on how to keep warm. Each year, the contributors to Nebraskaland Magazine spend hundreds of hours outside in frigid temperatures. There is no way to consistently battle this type of climate without a game plan. For me, I eat multiple servings of protein – including peanut butter and yogurt, before and during my trips to increase my metabolism which, in turn, increases body heat. Here are some thoughts from our staff. Jenny Wheatley – “I use Hot …

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Wild What’s Up

Send your wildlife questions to our environmental educators. As an environmental educator, I am asked countless questions about wildlife, habitats, and plants. Occasionally I know the answer, but now and then I have to do some research. Nebraska Game and Parks now has an email address (wildwhatsup@nebraska.gov) where people can send their wildlife questions and get a response. Here are some questions we have recently received. Do fish freeze in the winter? Fish are cold-blooded, which means that as the …

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Threatened and Endangered

The Scaleshell Mussel If you spend time along Nebraska’s lakes and rivers, you are likely to come across the occasional large “clam” shell. These are examples of our state’s native freshwater mussels. It can be quite interesting to observe the unique shapes, sizes and colors of the 29 species found in our state, although a few of those are considered relicts, meaning only their shells, and not the living mollusk that would normally reside within, are detected. They have descriptive …

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