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Author Archives: Gerry Steinauer

Gerry Steinauer has been a botanist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1989. Prior to this, he worked for The Nature Conservancy in various areas of the Great Plains.

Wild Gooseberries and Currants

Gerry Steinauer/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

When I was a kid, my uncle Bill once picked a pail of wild gooseberries from woods in Pawnee County. Clueless what to do with them, he gave them to my mother. She baked them into what was probably a very good gooseberry pie, but I did not care for it. It was too tart for my tastes. Of all the possible gifts our candy store-owning uncle might furnish – he brought bitter fruit.  My next encounter with gooseberry pie ... Read More »

Searching for the Elusive Yellow Lady’s Slipper Flower

GS_JanFeb2014

On a sunny, but muggy, morning last June, six Game and Parks Commission and Northern Prairies Land Trust biologists gathered at Indian Cave State Park. Our mission for the next two days: trek the park’s rugged, wooded hills in search of the elusive yellow lady’s-slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum). A common and widespread North American species, the yellow lady’sslipper grows in coniferous and deciduous forests and wetlands across much of Canada and the U.S. Nebraska, however, supports only a handful of ... Read More »

Hanging Pheasants and Other Wild Fowl

Author Gerry Steinauer on a pheasant hunt in South Dakota.

After a pheasant hunt last winter, I mentioned to my friend, Mace Hack, that we should go to my place and clean the birds. “Oh no, I now hang my birds for a few days before I clean them,” said Mace. “My English brother-in-law turned me on to it. Aged birds are so much better eating.” Though I knew that the choicest beef and venison steaks result from aging, the thought of hanging pheasants with feathers and entrails intact and ... Read More »