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Frozen Art

Snowflake Photography with Don Komarechka Don Komarechka is a connoisseur of snowflakes. Give him a random snowflake, and he’ll probably have a pretty good idea of how and why it likely formed, despite having no background in science. He can also tell you exactly how to take a macro photograph of that snowflake in dazzling detail, having photographed thousands. Komarechka, a self-taught professional photographer from Barrie, Ontario, has made a career out of photographing what he calls “the unseen world,” …

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Hasenpfeffer – German Rabbit Stew

A forgotten family recipe When I was growing up, once a year my family would shoot a few rabbits while hunting pheasant and quail. The following weekend, using the rabbits, Mom would undertake what she called “the task of making hasenpfeffer.” Then, my uncles and older male cousins on the Steinauer side of the family would gather at our house for an evening meal of hasenpfeffer and gravy-smothered dumplings. This was followed by endless games of five-point pitch played for …

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The Red Crossbill

A distinctive finch with an unusual beak The red crossbill is a distinctive finch whose crooked beak usually catches one’s attention. Rather than being a deformity, the odd beak is an adaptation that the bird uses to extract its preferred food source – seeds from the cones of conifers such as pines, spruces and firs. Although its specialized beak may give the red crossbill an advantage in foraging on its preferred cone type, its relationship with conifer cone seeds is …

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Flying Squirrel

Nebraska’s Threatened and Endangered Species In spring 2004, I was attending a National Association of Interpretation certification and training program as a naturalist. The daily workshops were interesting, but as is often the case, the most memorable part of my trip took place during the meeting off-hours. I was spending the night in a cabin in the woods. I was also tired and very pregnant at the time, only a few weeks shy of my due date. As I was …

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Winter Activities Abound

It’s December. Snow has fallen. It’s winter for all practical purposes. There is a no need to be a couch potato this time of year staying cozy by the fire for hours or binge watching a preferred TV show. Not when there are fun things to do outside, that is! There is actually host of activities that can be done in Nebraska throughout the winter months. So, gather your winter garb, here are some ideas for you: Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing When the snow flies …

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Time to get Psyched!

SunsetIce2018

I am not going to tell you when we are going to have safe ice.  I learned a long time ago that you cannot point to a day on the calendar and say that will be when you can start ice fishing.  You have to check it, make sure it is safe, every time (topic of a lot of past blog posts, and will be for future posts). However, I do know this:  It is time to get ready, time …

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Regulation Reminders for Waterfowl Hunters

The holiday season is upon us and it’s filled with many hunting traditions as family and friends get together, especially in waterfowl hunting blinds. For most of us, hunting is about much more than a successful harvest. It’s about spending time afield bonding with family and friends, watching the sunrise over a river wetland on a crisp morning or watching the sunset from a harvested cornfield on a warm, windy evening, plus having exciting stories to tell when you get …

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Thankful For My Hunting Partners

It’s the season for giving thanks. There are many, many things for which I am thankful, especially in nature and the outdoor activities I enjoy doing here in Nebraska. But, this holiday season, I wanted to offer my heartfelt gratitude to the individuals who allow me to hunt with them. You see, being a Type A, overly talkative, boisterous, assertive person, these folks have put up with my constant chattering, story telling and more in hunting blinds over the years! I sincerely appreciate the qualities exhibited by those …

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What Is The Deer Hunting Experience Like?

The morning air is crisp and cold. The stalks of corn stubble and hardwood trees along the river bottom stand as stalwarts; motionless and silent. The scene offers a picturesque postcard setting against the slowly lightening predawn sky. The sounds of wildlife awakening for the day can now be heard along the river bottom. A raucous calamity of crows is off in the distance. Two fox squirrels squabble amid the leaves on the woodland floor along the edge of the cornfield. The insistent nasal yammering of a white-breasted …

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5 Things You Gotta Do This Deer Season

Its here.  The rut is on.  November Deer Season starts  Saturday. Nebraska is a deer hunting state.  And true to our title of the Mixed Bag Capital the state has 2 species of deer. To experience the most from this year’s deer season here are the five things you gotta do… 1) Find the does.  The bucks are doing just that and so should you.  Being 100 yards or so downwind of several travel routes to/from bedding areas can mean …

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