Home » NEBRASKAland Articles

NEBRASKAland Articles

Mulberry Muffins

By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Mulberries should be peaking right now, and one of my favorite ways to eat them is in a muffin — or two. A couple hints on using mulberries: One, collect a combination of ripe and unripe berries for better flavor; ripe mulberries are sweet, but flat-tasting, and the acidity of unripe berries will improve the end result. Two, mulberries are so delicate that they can be a pain to handle. Forget about trying to remove the stems …

Read More »

Nebraska’s Third Black Vulture

By Joel Jorgensen Spring is a period when many birds are on the move. This means it is a great time of year for birders to be on the lookout for rarities or vagrants. A rarity is a bird that usually appears somewhere outside of its normal range. Finding a rarity sometimes requires special effort, but other times, it’s just luck. On April 26, birder and photographer Steve Kruse discovered a vulture on the ground at Merganser Recreation Area in …

Read More »

Bear With Me a Moment

By Roger Welsch Maybe it’s just a habit of old romantics like me, but I like to think that sooner or later, even the most unimaginative Nebraskan must wonder — maybe while watching an old movie or cruising along on Interstate 80 — what these Plains must have been like before the white man came. We know that many things have changed. The herds of bison that stopped trains for hours and the clouds of passenger pigeons that darkened the …

Read More »

All-Season Dog Training

By Todd Mills Keeping your hunting dog in shape during the summer can be challenging, to say the least. With nothing to hunt, and kids and family activities getting in the way, it’s easy to neglect your hunting companion. Unfortunately, that can lead to frustration when fall rolls around. An out-of-shape dog can lead to handling issues as well as physical problems — all can result in anxiety, and in some cases, disaster. Although keeping your dog in hunting form …

Read More »

Gumweed Bonanza!

Story and photos by Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy As a short-lived plant, gumweed lives the life of a scrappy and unfairly maligned opportunist. When grasses are heavily grazed, a streambank erodes, or repeated travel creates a trail of bare ground, curlycup gumweed jumps up and says, “Hold my beer!” It can’t fight toe-to-toe with perennial grasses, but if those grasses are temporarily sidelined, gumweed can ably fill the space until the regulars can return. As a reward for its service, …

Read More »

Southwest Nebraska’s 1884 UFO

By David L. Bristow, History Nebraska The story went like this: A “blazing aerolite” crashed near Benkelman in the southwestern corner of Nebraska. Local cowboys found metal machinery scattered over the prairie, but the intense heat kept them from getting too close. Returning the next day, they found the remains of an object “about 50 or 60 feet long, cylindrical, and about 10 or 12 feet in diameter.” That was how the Lincoln-based Nebraska State Journal broke the news on …

Read More »

Patterns from Above

I fell in love with flying in small planes when I was a little twerp, riding in the back seat of one my dad was piloting. My first foray into aerial photography came during an internship at Chadron State College. That assignment was a big one: Photograph the entirety of the Oregon and California trails from Missouri to the West Coast. Wow. So when I joined the staff at Nebraskaland Magazine 21 years ago, I quickly raised my hand when …

Read More »

The Turtle Family

The Rutten Family of Cedar Rapids Pass on a Hunting Tradition The Ruttens of Cedar Rapids do something that no one else does: hunt snapping turtles with their bare hands. Every summer, the Rutten “boys” — geared in old tennis shoes, jeans and a T-shirt — ease down into the greasy, stagnant oxbow lake on the flood-prone family property, called “The Island.” Each man carries a pitchfork, while other family members wait on the bank ready with gunny sacks. Walking …

Read More »

My City Sanctuary

Story and photos by Marissa Jensen Quiet amid noise seems like a contradiction, and yet, I’ve discovered it in the most surprising of places. Omaha is a bustling city where everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere — now. This incessant busyness is overwhelming. Every day, as weekdays feel longer and demands scream louder, I feel a part of me slipping away in all the noise. It was on such a morning, while in search of something “more” both …

Read More »

In Hot Pursuit

Story and photos by Renae Blum It had already been an enjoyable day: wading in Pawnee Lake, picnicking along the shore, chasing Frisbees and etching names in the sand. But it was perhaps a simple green post that garnered the most excitement of all. “I see it! I see it!” Spotting the familiar outline along a wooded trail, Kenzie and Ellie Muma of Papillion took off at a breakneck pace, racing to get there first. Once their laughing parents caught …

Read More »