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Afield and Afloat

Panhandle Passages: Stopping to Smell ‘Em

I’ll admit, I’ve never figured myself to be much of a flower guy. Prior to this year, my nature photography has gravitated toward wildlife. I’m guilty of zooming past countless beautiful plants and flowers to fill the frame with whatever bird, mammal, reptile or other critter catches my eye. I’ve rarely stopped to shoot, let alone smell and identify, the roses. That’s changed. As nature photography, in a more broad sense, has become a big part of my job description, …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – The Call of the Male Cicada

This call of the male cicada is unmistakable this time of year, when cicadas or more commonly called locusts emerge from their underground homes to breed. Starting in mid-summer and continuing for a couple months the songs of the cicadas’ can be heard for miles. There are several species of cicadas in Nebraska, but the most common cicada near my home town of North Platte is the Dog Day or Annual Cicada. These cicadas make their appearance during the “Dog …

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Panhandle Passages: Lessons from Star Party Country

I’d never heard of the Niobrara River, let alone canoed it. It was the early ‘80s in southwestern Nebraska and Dad had caught wind of people enjoying canoe trips down the scenic Niobrara. So, he borrowed a canoe from someone in McCook, strapped it to the top of his old Pontiac and drove us up Highway 83 for an adventure. My sister and I, still in elementary school, surely had a lot of questions along the way. I remember wondering …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – July was a Busy Month

Wow July was a busy month – I put on some serious miles traveling across southwest Nebraska, but I experienced some pretty cool stuff along the way. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hosted the first annual Carp-O-Rama at Lake Maloney, south of North Platte, which was a huge hit and gave people in attendance a new perspective on carp, carp fishing, and eating carp. Catching carp was only part of the day – once a carp was caught anglers learned …

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My Kind of Weather

When you grow up in Western Nebraska and move east, you never really get used to the heat and humidity, you just learn to live with it. And you learn that when the temperatures turn unseasonably cool in July or August, you get out and enjoy them. I did just that last weekend, taking advantage of gorgeous weather to photograph two stories: one on Wagon Train Lake and one on tanking, with this stop on the Elkhorn River. Not only …

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Panhandle Passages: Closer to Home

My job with the Game and Parks commission and NEBRASKAland has taken me to some incredible places throughout the Panhandle and beyond in the first six months. With more than 40 Commission properties within 160 miles of my home, there is a lot to see and photograph in this spacious region. That being said, it seems some unbeatable travel opportunities await me right before my nose. While I join others in the desire to set up camp at a location …

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Great Plains Connections with Julie Geiser – Gallagher Canyon – the tucked away SRA

I have lived in Nebraska my entire life – and am amazed at the places I come across that I never knew existed. Gallagher Canyon is one of those remote, beautiful places that is tucked away, yet unbelievably easy to find. Located south of Cozad, Nebraska, the drive is south on Highway 21 to the Gallagher Canyon State Recreation Area (SRA) sign, this is where your trip will get interesting – you may feel like you are headed in the …

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Panhandle Passages: Recording Our Assets

One of Nebraska’s great assets is the variety of animals that can be found when traveling from one end of the state to the other. Just as the landscape changes as one heads westward, so do the set of creatures one is likely to see. Within a short drive from Chadron I have a fair chance of seeing pronghorn, mule deer, elk and the occasional swift fox or golden eagle. And, of course, one of the state’s most prominent media …

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Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen – Herding… Geese?

One of my favorite moments in the past few weeks was going Canada goose banding with the wildlife guys. We’re all used to seeing birds with bands on their legs, but actually seeing it done is an absolute rodeo! It was like herding cattle… except with geese and boats on the water. I couldn’t help but laugh. Goose banding is done during a certain time period of the year, when the geese lose their flight feathers during molting. Even without …

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Panhandle Passages: What’s Up at Whitney?

One thing I like is the sight of a fish coming over the side of a boat. That’s just one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed a boat ride Thursday with Al Hanson and Joe Rydell, fisheries biologists for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northwestern district. Hanson, district supervisor, and Rydell were collecting data from the frame nets they had set in Whitney Lake the previous day, a process they use to keep tabs on fish populations at bodies …

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