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A magical time in northwestern Nebraska

Spring and early summer is a magical time of year that leaves us too quickly. It seems I never get out with the cameras as much as I want to during this period, but usually end up with a few keeper images, anyway. Here is a collection of random photos from recent weeks. I am often amused when any given chamber of commerce or tourism bureau brags on its sunrises and sunsets being the best. (Since we are all watching …

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A Special Community Fishing Night

You and your family are invited to come join us at a special Game and Parks Community Fishing Night at Lake Halleck in Papillion, NE this Tuesday night, July 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. Come, get some fresh air, sample some Dutch oven cooking and find out how easy and fun fishing is! Hungry sunfish await you! We at Game and Parks will be hosting the event. We will be furnishing loaner fishing tackle and bait as well as …

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Wildcat Hills: A Wild Place

Whether you’re looking for state-of-the-art facilities, or just a great view in the pines, this Panhandle park has it. High on the list of Nebraska’s captivating scenery and natural assets are the Wildcat Hills. It seems an understatement to label this topographical spectacle as “hills,” as it is actually a land of rugged buttes, ridges and canyons with topographical elements rising upwards to 1,000 feet above the North Platte Valley. Some of the state’s most recognizable landforms – Chimney Rock, …

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The Divine Devil’s Den

Scientists of yesteryear agree: this crevice in far northwestern Nebraska is in a class by itself. Western Nebraska has many landforms labeled canyons. Each contradicts Nebraska’s “flat” stereotype, but a true box canyon – one featuring steep walls on each side with single access for entrance and exit – is a rarity in the state. One site in the northwest corner of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s northwestern-most property fills the bill as such even though it does not …

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A Stitch in Time

In the world of living history, the clothes make the man (and woman). The cannon smoke has mostly dispersed, visitors are trickling back to the parking lot, and Sarah Dack is taking a break. She portrays an officer’s wife at Fort Kearny State Historical Park’s living history events, and looks every inch the part. Dack is wearing a big-brimmed sunbonnet, leather ankle boots, a sky-blue skirt, and a muslin shirt with pearl buttons, a stand-up collar, and a gathered yoke. …

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When the Carnival Came to Town

Years ago, the peak of Nebraska summer entertainment came with the Walter Savidge Amusement Company as it pulled into the depot aboard its 20-car, red-and-yellow Pullman train. The Wayne-based traveling show and carnival toured Nebraska and surrounding states from 1906 to 1941. Walter Savidge was born in Holt County in 1886. He began dreaming of show business at age 12 after attending a Ringling Brothers circus in Humphrey. He practiced tightrope walking on a rope tied between his family’s barn …

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Dodder: A Parasitic Plant

Plants are green. In school, we all learned about photosynthesis, the ability of plants to convert sunlight to food using green chlorophyll in their leaves. It’s one of those foundational ideas upon which we’ve built our understanding of the world. Well, as it turns out, the world is a pretty complicated place, and there are some plants that aren’t green and that don’t even photosynthesize. One of those is a crazy-looking plant called dodder that grows across much of Nebraska. …

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Summer Means Hot Bluegill Fishing

It’s hot. It’s humid. Yeah, it’s summer alright. Has your fishing success slowed with the conditions? Well, one fish leads the way with lots of action provided to anglers in the good, old summertime — bluegill. Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know. But, at 56 years of age (approaching 57), I still enjoy the constant activity of catching bluegill from the bank in summer, how about you? As someone once said: Bluegill bind us to memories that …

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The Worst Excuses For Not Wearing A Life Jacket

It bothers me to no end that people have such cavalier excuses regarding why they don’t want to wear life jackets on the water in a boat. In my 40 years at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission I have seen my share of boating tragedies. I have seen the victims of boating fatalities who were not wearing their life jackets. You never, ever forget them. Often the victims of those fatalities died right in front of close family members …

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Summer Checklist For Hunters

The turkey season is long over. Crops are sprouting. The intense heat and humidity of  summer’s “dog days” approach. Nevertheless, for those of us who are avidly involved in the hunting lifestyle, it is truly a year-round process which definitely includes summer! Like me, even though your grabbing your catfish or bass rod, I’m sure that some of your thoughts are now drifting toward cool, crisp mornings, falling leaves and maybe even a bit of snow cover on the ground. …

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