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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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How To Not Let The Big One Get Away

All of us who love to fish have a story or two about the one that got away, don’t we? Invariably, the tale involves hooking the fish of a lifetime and losing it to unforeseen circumstances or mistakes. Trust me, I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to large, prized game fish. Without question, these stories, however embellished, can be devastating to those who have a passion for wetting lines. For as many wild and crazy occurrences …

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Hunting Turkeys in Foul Weather

Nebraska weather. Don’t like it? Wait a short while. It’ll change, maybe. Reality is rarely so kind. The Cornhusker State’s spring wild turkey hunting seasons are in full swing amid the ever-changing, ever-fluctuating weather patterns here on the Great Plains. Nevertheless, should we wait to turkey hunt until we have those beautiful bluebird-like days with warm sunshine and slight to no wind? If time is not available to do that, we might have to hunt when the weather is dealing …

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Morels Aren’t The Only Edible Mushroom In Spring

Topside photo of a dryad’s saddle, a.k.a. pheasant’s back or hawks wing, in Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Hey, what’s that mushroom? Hmmm … Wonder if it’s edible? Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant’s back mushroom, or hawk’s wing, is …

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Turpin Talks Turkey

Turkey calling. “It gets too much credit when a hunt goes right and too much blame when it doesn’t.” That according Dick Turpin of Lincoln, NE who is among Nebraska’s most veteran and legendary turkey hunters. Turpin, who is 84 years of age, will hunt turkeys for his 57th consecutive year this spring. He has hunted every spring season since it opened in 1964! I think he knows a thing or two about these birds. Turpin, originally from Bassett, NE, …

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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 …

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Est. 1921 – Chadron State Park

Western Eden, Where It All Began Under the headline of “Western Eden,” the front page of the July 8, 1921, Chadron Journal proclaimed that the Nebraska Legislature had “builded better than it knew” by creating its first state park. “For years to come all of Nebraska’s citizendom can point with honest pride to Nature’s play ground near its western boundary. It is an inspiration to view this locality, and to walk its cool shady paths with the knowledge that it …

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