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Nebraska’s Varied and Vibrant Colors of October

It’s the month for pumpkin-spiced everything. It’s the month for Halloween decorations and candy galore. It’s the month when campfires are prevalent in the rings of state parks and recreation areas. It’s the month for the crop harvest in Nebraska. And, it’s the month when leaves turn color here in the Cornhusker State. Eastern cottonwood tree leaves beginning to turn their pretty yellow color along the Platte River in southern Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks …

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Nuts for Nuts in Nebraska

The days are getting shorter. The morning air is becoming crisper. Nature’s color show is just starting. The forest floor is beginning to be saturated with early autumn leaf matter as well as something else — nuts! Freshly fallen black walnuts on the forest floor along a creek bottom in southeastern Nebraska woodlands. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. One of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, …

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Top 3 Fall Mushrooms to Harvest

Double, double toil and trouble … It’s the Halloween season and a witch’s brew is not complete without a moist, edible fall mushroom or two, right? Just kidding. But, guess what? We have an array of fall fungi in Nebraska perfect for your dinner plate. The recent rainy, cool weather and subsequent sunshine and warmer temperatures should help to start bringing forth a flush of different wild mushrooms in various parts of Nebraska. The greatest variety of mushrooms is usually …

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DIY: Harvesting Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it the hunting seasons that are forthcoming? No, not really. Then, why? Well, I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries. Elderberries! Ripe elderberries growing on a Sarpy County, NE farm. Elderberries are never to be eaten raw, but must be properly prepared and used in proven recipes only. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Yep. I am thinking about that tasty elderberry jelly that a buddy of mine …

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Be Eco-Friendly, Pick up Your Trash (and that of others)!

Trash. A large amount and variety of trash. Plastic bottles. Plastic grocery bags. Fishing bait containers. Spent fishing line. Cigarette butts. Banana peels. Food wrappers. Diapers. Broken lawn chairs. Old tires. Now, add single-use face coverings and rubber gloves plus empty hand sanitizer containers. Whew! The list of trash items seems endless. So many people are visiting outdoor places and spaces during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In Nebraska, fishing and state park permit sales are up. Float trip outfitters report …

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Nebraskaland Behind the Scenes: Speedlights & Bikes

Story by Eric Fowler Photos by Alex Wiles View Eric Fowler’s featured July article on Platte River State Park Bike Trails HERE. When it comes to photography, “light is everything.” That’s what Jon Farrar, who spent four decades filling the pages of Nebraskaland with spectacular photographs, once told me. That simple statement is so true. Capture an image of the most striking landscape in the world in harsh mid-day light and you will likely have a photo that is average …

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Going tubing on a river? Here are the things to know before you go!

Ahhh … 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? Oh, yes! Summer river or stream tubing is fun, there is nothing like it! However, some recreational tubers on flowing waters get into trouble and actually end up spoiling their own float trip as well as the reputation of other law-abiding, ethical tubers! In addition, tubing …

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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Big Changes at the Big Lake Nearly everything about Lake McConaughy is big. At 30,000 surface acres, it is Nebraska’s largest reservoir, its dam is among the largest of its kind in the world, and its fish grow to trophy proportions, accounting for several state records. Even its nickname, “Big Mac,” reflects its size. Located 8 miles northeast of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is known to most Nebraskans and residents of neighboring states as a great place for …

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Platte River State Park Bike Trails

Mountain bikers have been riding the trails carved into the bluffs at Platte River State Park for decades, its hills and rocks providing a challenge many yearn for, with the scenery providing the icing on the cake. Now they have a new set of singletrack trails loaded with unique features all for themselves as part of an addition to the park that could become a mountain bike destination for riders from across the country. Along with 4.4 miles of new …

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Nebraska’s water trails offer more than just a float trip

Eager to get on the water? Yeah, me, too. This is a perfect time to float Nebraska’s water trails. During the current pandemic, you can easily go with the folks in your household, (socially) distance yourselves from others, and keep your hands washed floating the state’s pristine rivers and streams. There are dozens of other reasons to take a float trip, to boot. You can do it for the openness and space that it offers and the adventure of going …

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