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I didn’t go looking for fish anyway

Nine Mile Creek State Wildlife Management Area is a great place to fish for trout in western Nebraska. I don’t fish, so this is not that story.

Starting off on the right foot

In my first excursion into the world with other people in 10 months, I began 2021 on a high note. Traveling with my friends Steve, Katie, and Jeff, we hiked to the top of the bluff at the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area, walked across the bluff to the far side and back. After 8.5 miles, it was my first physically distanced, non-mask wearing trip since February 2020.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn are notoriously difficult to get close to in western Nebraska. They are naturally skittish and always on high alert for predators. Most people in Scotts Bluff County will see them racing in the fields away from anyone trying to catch a glimpse of the majestic animals.

At Custer State Park, pronghorn wander freely as there is little worry of their natural predators – coyotes, bobcats, and golden eagles – preying on them. Cars are always a danger, but they seem carefree as they run across the open land.

Pronghorns are diurnal and are active between dawn and dusk. They live for about 10 years. Some linger and let you get within 20-30 feet of them.

The only way to soar is to believe you can fly

A mule deer runs around the back of the Scotts Bluff National Monument in the late afternoon.

One thing I wanted to work on in 2020 was becoming a better photographer. I’m an okay one right now. I know I can get better. It takes practice, thought about how to frame your picture and why you are taking the picture, and some more practice.

A walk in the fog

Two hours after starting our hike, the fog has mostly cleared and Chimney Rock can now be seen.

I have written about how the day after Labor Day is the worst day of the year for me, so my friend, Sandra, offered to take me on a hike the day before to try to create some happy memories around this time of year.

A hike into history

The first visitors to the area called the sandstone slabs resting upon their clay pillars, toadstools. The name stuck. Each year, thousands of people are drawn to western Nebraska to see the unique landscape known as Toadstool Geologic Park.

I’m not saying it was Aliens but…

I read a lot of things on the internet so you don’t have to. I research and look at the all the angles to make sure I can dig down to the truth. Then I share it with you.

And the rains came

For all the Texans I’ve loved before

My only foray into Texas was a quick three-day visit to Dallas. Paul and I visited the School Book Depository building and took a tour. As I leaned as best as I could to see out the window I said, “Nope. Not possible. I’m a good shot and I couldn’t have done that.” With those few words, I had solved the case. Lee Harvey Oswald couldn’t have done it alone.

I’ve met a few Texans since then, mostly in passing. Over the past two years, however, there have been three Texans who worked in the local media, two at the Star-Herald.

No need to kill them, they’re just doing their thing

After dropping by the zoo on Saturday, August 25, 2018, to cover a story about raptor recovery (link will be here once it’s published), I got sidetracked on the way to my car. Outside the gift shop is are several boxes with flowers for pollinators. Here are a few of the photos I took of the bumblebees flying around.

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