Home » Latest Issue

Latest Issue

Victoria Springs State Recreation Area

An Oasis at the Edge of the Sandhills Victoria Springs State Recreation opened in August 1925, an estimated 4,500 people attended the celebration. These days, around 6,000 people visit in an entire year. It’s a quiet little park, which is exactly why those who visit do so. Some folks will say the 60-acre park is in the middle of nowhere. But that isn’t true. It’s only 6 miles off the beaten path of Nebraska Highway 2 if you head west …

Read More »

Nebraska’s Fascinating Ferns

Spore-producing ferns are ancient plants, first appearing in fossil records about 360 million years ago, a time when amphibians were venturing out of the oceans to become the first land vertebrates. For tens of millions of years thereafter, the climate was extremely hot and humid and ferns flourished in the Earth’s expansive swamps, some towering to tree height. Although the flowering and seed-producing angiosperms, such as deciduous trees, grasses and wildflowers, eventually came to dominate the Earth’s flora, ferns continued …

Read More »

Backpacking the Pine Ridge Trail

An Adventure Story Through work and play, I have been no stranger to the Pine Ridge Trail. Portions of the route that transects the heart of public lands in the Pine Ridge escarpment between Chadron and Crawford have served me well as a way to access scenic landscapes and wildlife, or just enjoy a short hike or bike ride. Though I had been on many parts of the trail, which measures about 40 miles, I had never connected the dots …

Read More »

Your Camera Doesn’t See Like You

Park 2 of 3 Have you ever wondered why the photos you take at dusk turn out grainy or blurry? Why is it that only the left ear of your deer photo is sharp and the rest of the scene is out of focus? Simply put, your camera doesn’t see the world like you do. The first installment of this series, released in the May 2021 edition, covered mainly field of view and focus, but also mentioned depth of field. …

Read More »

Tips for Catching Northern Pike

Two men hold a norther pike at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area.

A Toothy, Primeval Fighter For anglers who love a good fight, the northern pike, a needle-toothed, aggressive — almost primeval — fish, is highly sought after. According to the 2021 Nebraska Fishing Forecast, Hackberry and Dewey lakes on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Box Butte Reservoir and Lake Wanahoo are this year’s top picks. Other reservoirs like Elwood, Enders, McConaughy, Merritt and Red Willow hold a few big pike. Several other lakes around the state have been stocked with pike …

Read More »

Continuing the Hunt

How to Pursue Your Passion as You Age Nothing drives a human being like pursuing a passion. And when it comes to hunting, well, some will do most anything to bag a bird or that trophy buck. But what happens when your physical capabilities limit or even stop you from chasing that long-time dream of hunting when you are past retirement? What once was a burning desire to strap on those waders and grab that gun, now gets replaced with …

Read More »

The Beaches of Bridgeport

Five sandpits in the North Platte Valley have created countless memories. One does not have to stray far from home to enjoy one of the Panhandle’s premiere getaways with shady campsites and sandy beaches. The 200-acre Bridgeport State Recreation Area is located along the North Platte River at the northwestern edge of the community for which it is named. It has 78 acres of clear water in five sandpit lakes with more than 70 first-come, first-served basic campsites. The lakes …

Read More »

Buffalo Bill’s Big House

The Wild West built this house. At first glance, an 18-room French Second Empire-style mansion might not strike you as “Western,” but take a look at that huge barn! This is what a Western man would build for his family if he found himself with a lot of extra money in the 1880s. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody came to Nebraska in 1869 as a Fort McPherson cavalry scout. Later he made his fortune as a showman. Buffalo Bill’s Wild …

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 »