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Bushcraft

Bushcaft. Have you heard the term? If run in outdoor circles like I do you probably have. Do you know what it means? It was brought to my attention recently, and I did not have a good explanation of its definition. So, I turned to Nebraskan Sam Larson, who is a renown, well-traveled Bushcraft (there’s that word again) Instructor and Wilderness Skills Expert and winner of the popular TV show survival challenge ALONE – Mongolia on the HISTORY Channel. He …

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Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter

Wait, what? Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter, seriously? Yup! Trust me. Don’t stop reading. Stay with me here. Gathering wild foods in Nebraska IS NOT … I repeat IS NOT just a spring, summer or fall outdoor activity, it can be done in winter. And I have done it successfully. If I can do it, you can do it! Plus foraging this time of year it helps beat the winter blues or  what is referred …

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Winter Activities Abound

It’s winter. Snow has already fallen. It’s cold outside. Brrrr … But 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 dramatic TV show series. Nah, not when there are fun things to do outdoors, that is! There is actually host of activities that can be done outside in Nebraska throughout the winter months. So, gather up your winter garb, here are some ideas …

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January Wildlife Viewing – Go Owling

By Olivia DaRugna, Watchable Wildlife Biologist Don’t let cold temperatures keep you cooped up inside this winter. January is a great time to look and listen for owls, an activity known as “owling.” Regardless of where you live in Nebraska or your birding skill level, anyone can enjoy watching and listening for owls. Owls are one of the earliest nesting birds in Nebraska, and because of this, winter is a great time to listen for them. Great horned owls (Bubo …

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Winter Wildlife Watching

By Renae Blum Winter is a great time to explore the outdoors and look for wildlife. While some species have migrated or are hibernating, quite a few are still active at this time of year. And thanks to fewer leaves on the trees, they’re easier to spot, too. Watchable Wildlife biologist Olivia DaRugna offered these tips for enjoying wildlife watching this winter. What species can I see? Winter is a great time to watch for bald eagles. They can be …

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You Can Hike Anytime

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist For many hikers, spring or fall is the prime time to be out in nature. But the truth is, anytime is a good time to be outside — even in the winter! As the days get shorter and the weather gets more iffy, it’s easy to lose motivation to get outside. While hunkering down in front of a TV might seem like the more attractive thing to do, know that hiking in the winter …

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Invitations to Nature

“Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes …

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Five challenges for Nebraska hikers

By Renae Blum Hikers seeking a challenge will find what they’re looking for on these five Nebraska trails. Along several, hundreds of feet of elevation changes will test your hiking stamina, but scenic views make it worth the climb to the top. Other trails take time to complete or offer minimal protection from the elements. Whichever trail you choose, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of scenic Nebraska – along with the satisfaction of tackling a challenge. Trail 10, Indian …

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Tips for Cold-Weather Camping

By Jamie Bachmann, Wildlife Educator In Nebraska, high summer reigns as the busiest season for family camping, but I’m the kind of mom who prefers to camp in seclusion, seeking to avoid the distractions of busy campgrounds. With less than 3 percent of land in Nebraska designated as publicly accessible, opportunities for isolation are limited. But when my kiddos were young, I heard tales — near legends — of families embracing cold-weather camping. Then in March 2003, a single car …

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Nebraska’s Fall Fungi

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist Humans eat them. We have about a million puns associated with them. They’re pretty to look at, and they are literally found everywhere. I’m talking about fungi, a group of spore-producing organisms, which includes molds, yeasts, mushrooms and toadstools. Fungi evolved around 1.5 million years ago, and today, they make up around 25 percent of all the biomass on earth. There are an estimated 3.8 million species in the world, and scientists have studied …

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