Home » Afield and Afloat

Afield and Afloat

Beyond BOW Hunting

Where Skills Are Learned in the Field Women are the fastest growing group of outdoor enthusiasts, and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is a great contributor to this trend. In Nebraska, this program has taken hundreds of women into the field during its 30-year run, and, personally provided some of my most memorable hunting experiences. Many occurred during BOW’s annual training event the first full weekend in October. This event is packed with three days of learning about outdoor-related topics …

Read More »

Becoming Part of Something Bigger

The Wildlife Conservation Fund The Nebraska state income tax form isn’t known for its wildlife illustrations. Yet, tucked on the second page is a small illustration of a peregrine falcon, along with a space to donate to the Wildlife Conservation Fund. These tax-deductible donations play a vital role in conserving Nebraska’s wildlife, said Melissa Panella, Nebraska Game and Parks’ wildlife diversity program manager. They form the Wildlife Conservation Fund, which is “one of the primary means that Game and Parks …

Read More »

The Dewy Bug Guy Is Back

All the photos in this article were photographed on the morning of Sept. 15, 2019, at Lincoln Creek Prairie in Aurora. When I first started working with Nebraskaland as a college student in the mid-1990s, my nickname among at least some of the magazine staff was “the dewy bug guy.” It was completely fair. A large part of my portfolio, such as it was, consisted of insects covered in tiny water droplets. At the time, my parents had recently helped …

Read More »

The Wonderfully Named Fungi

Jelly fungi have great names. Some are delicious sounding: jelly drops, orange jelly, golden jelly cone, apricot jelly and black jelly roll. At the other extreme, some are graveyard spooky: willow brain, goblin ear, jelly tongue, Judas’ ear and, best of all, witches’ butter. Growing in forests, the appearance of these gelatinous mushrooms ranges from blobs of jelly spilled onto a decaying log, to ears sprouting from a tree trunk, to globs of brain tissue smeared on a branch. Like …

Read More »

Wood-Sorrels

A Burst of Tartness On a hot summer day, I often pop a wood-sorrel’s clover-like leaf into my mouth to experience a burst of citrusy tartness. The practice is a long tradition, as for millennia Native Americans have enjoyed them. Three species of wood-sorrel are native to our state. The yellow-flowered yellow wood-sorrel (Oxalis stricta) and gray wood-sorrel (O. dillenii) are common, weedy species that bloom spring through fall in lawns, gardens, pastures and other disturbed habitats. The former is …

Read More »

Western Fireworks

In the pursuit of captivating photography, it sometimes pays to aim low. When developing an interest in nature photography years ago, capturing the subjects on these pages were at the bottom of my list. Yet, on countless mornings of taking photos of landscapes and wildlife, there they were: Little bursts of color around my feet. I already knew that pretty sunrises, sunsets and fauna were even more attractive with wildflowers in the scene. Soon, though, I learned a macro lens …

Read More »

Your Camera Doesn’t See Like You Do

Part 1 of 3 Have you ever taken a picture of a bird or other animal, only to have it show up as a mere pinprick on the resulting photo? Why do some photos have large portions that look blurry and only a few bits that are in focus? Simply put, your camera doesn’t see the world the way you do. The lenses on your camera are constructed very differently than the lenses in your eyes (though the basics of …

Read More »

Our Fascinating and Fearless Foxes

Foxes are continuing to populate our urban areas A big dog rushed into my backyard a few years ago, likely because it saw a red fox puppy playing under the bushes. It let out a deep bark as it saw the adult fox that was watching over the pups. That is when things really got interesting. The adult fox leapt up and raced toward the big boxer — pretty brave for a 10-pound fox. It made a loud bark on …

Read More »

Weathering Turkeys

Using the elements to your advantage With Mother’s Day being the target date to pursue lonely toms, you can find success at almost any turn if you’ve paid your dues scouting. However, even the best laid plans can go to waste if Mother Nature intervenes and makes your hunting, well, miserable. On more than one occasion, I’ve scheduled a hunting trip around early to mid-May, only to be blindsided by weather that only Nebraska could provide at that time of …

Read More »

Park Memories

Waiting to Be Made It was January 1993. I was in my first month of a dream job as a staff photographer and writer for Nebraskaland Magazine, and I was flustered. Then editor Don Cunningham had placed a large stack of hardbound Nebraskaland volumes on my desk and asked me to become familiar with the material so I could pitch him a few of my own story ideas. Not wanting to fail my first assignment, I pored over roughly two …

Read More »