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Ten Tips For Tubers

Leisurely floating on one of Nebraska’s many scenic rivers or streams in an inflated inner tube is a cool, refreshing, relaxing, way to enjoy a hot summer day with family and friends, isn’t it? Tubers take a break from floating the waters of the Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE. Photo courtesy of Daryl Bauer/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Oh, yes! Summer river tubing is awesome! There is nothing like free-floating a river on an inflated inner tube just about the water level …

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Cool Cliff Swallows (Of The Big Papio And Beyond)

You can’t miss them. You really can’t. Around bridges over rivers or creeks this time of year, they immediately snatch your attention. Maybe it’s their sheer numbers (hundreds, if not thousands of them) and their extreme aerial acrobatics that catch your eye. Or, maybe it’s them coming in and out of their clusters of gourd-like mud nests clinging to the walls beneath bridge overhangs that capture your awareness. Or, perhaps it is the throng of bird activity along the muddy bank of a stream or mud hole …

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Roasting The Perfect Marshmallow At Your Campsite

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire is one of the highlights of a camping trip or an outdoor gathering, especially to a state park area. No question. You would think roasting a marshmallow over the coals and embers in that furnished fire ring may seem like the easiest thing to do, right? Not necessarily. How many times have you seen someone pull their stick from the fire to reveal a perfectly roasted marshmallow? That’s right, not very often. What you normally see is somebody quickly removing their …

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Help Indian Cave SP trail projects June 2 to celebrate National Trails Day

LINCOLN, Neb. – Show an appreciation for trails and help restore them at Indian Cave State Park on June 2 in celebration of National Trails Day. Volunteers are needed for trail restoration projects that may include wood chipping trails, pruning encroaching vegetation, defining corridors, erosion maintenance and general cleanup. Work will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., or at the volunteer’s discretion. Bring work gloves and appropriate clothing. Pre-registration is required by May 29 by calling the …

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Game and Parks accepting 2018 trail grant applications

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is accepting Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant applications for fiscal year 2018 funding. The RTP is a grant program through the Federal Highway Administration that reimburses political subdivisions, such as communities, counties and natural resources districts, up to 80 percent of project costs for trail acquisition, development, renovation and support facilities. Applicants must have the financial means to undertake and maintain the project and all funding should be on hand. The …

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Time To Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Shrubs are flowering. Apple blossoms have emerged. Reliable indicators that tell me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus has many varieties and is a popular spring wild edible in Nebraska. To me, wild asparagus is one of the earliest signs of winter’s final end and the beginning of a new growing season. Asparagus growing rogue and freely in the countryside is no different from the cultivated kind, except that it has a fresher, …

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Wild Foods In Your Backyard

As the trees bud, the lawns green and the flowers bloom, did you know that may have food growing in your yard, lot, garden or field? I bet you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods make their initial appearances. It’s when edible wild plants are at their most tender, tastiest stage. And your own backyard, garden, vacant lot, alleyway or patch of woods or prairie, could very well be the closest and most productive place you’ll find to forage this time of …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is closely monitoring his yard for the appearance of dandelions. Why? Because, that will be his sign that morel mushrooms have popped up in his river bottom woods. Many folks in Nebraska are getting antsy to head to their morel mushroom picking spots along river and creek woodlands. But, when will the morels emerge? Kepler says the sprouting of dandelions in his Omaha yard will be the indicator, however,  he knows there is more to it. Whether vigilant for dandelion flowers, tree buds, blooming lilacs or flowering woodland …

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Cowboy Ultra race set for May 12-13

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraskans are invited to participate in the third Cowboy Ultra, a two-day race that will guide runners (solo and relay teams) along sections of the Cowboy Trail. The Cowboy Ultra will take place on May 12-13. There will be two races from Valentine: 54 miles to Long Pine and 105 miles to O’Neill. Registration is $65 and $80, respectively. The event, organized by Angry Cow Adventures, is limited to 50 people. For more information on the Cowboy …

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Bassway Strip WMA kayak landing improvements completed

LINCOLN, Neb. – Improvements recently completed at Bassway Strip Wildlife Management Area enhance access to the Platte River’s north channel for canoeists and kayakers. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission enlarged, reshaped and surfaced with river rock an existing primitive boat landing to facilitate easier and safer river access. In addition, a parking area was expanded and resurfaced with gravel. The improved launch site also provides emergency responders quicker access to the river. The canoe and kayak landing is located …

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