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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Setting the Record Straight for Goldenrod

Goldenrod is a wallflower, standing in the background, while other flowers in the garden take center stage.  It has been blamed for watery eyes and runny noses, when in fact, the true cause of those allergy symptoms is probably ragweed which blooms at the same time.  Goldenrod has taken the heat for years for, but its  blame without substantiation.  It is a rare gardener to take up the cause of the Goldenrod, but I like this plant.  It has a place in my garden. 

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Where I Come From

Virginia Kerns Frantz was born near Granada, Colorado on February 28, 1924.  She remembers her childhood as a hand to mouth existence.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Great Plains, Small Town Hearts

Over a decade ago, I lucked into a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar titled  The Great Plains: Texas to Saskatchewan.  For five weeks,  Tom Isern  led 19 other teachers and I to read and analyze literary and historical texts, discuss conclusions, and visit iconic sites to better understand what it means to live on the plains.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

One Skillet Camp Breakfast

This breakfast is easy to make, and easy to clean up.  The only pan you need is a cast iron skillet. 

Here's what you do:

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

I'll Miss Fields of Gold

Sometime back I talked about our return to dryland farming.  One of the things I will miss with this change is being surrounded by fields of gold.  Some days, I would journey into the fields to be surrounded by eye-level orbs of sunlight.  I would stand quietly waiting for the sound of munchkins following the yellow brick road.  At the end of the growing season, I have been known to emerge with an arm full of heavy heads to hang in the evergreens to provide a feast for winter residents. 

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Making Lemonade

Let’s give the mailman something to laugh about and send one of those exaggerated postcards of giant insects or oversized rabbits.  You can find them at the Finney County Historical Museum, along with information on their creator, a photographer named Frank ‘Pop’ Conard who found a way to make lemons into lemonade during the dark days of the Great Depression.

2:27 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

New evidence and new doubts about In Cold Blood

Lead in text: 
Kansas Bureau of Investigation documents suggest that the events described in two crucial chapters of Truman Capote's "non-fiction novel", In Cold Blood, differ significantly from what actually happened. Writer Kevin Helliker explores this new evidence and other findings in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
GARDEN CITY, Kan.-Truman Capote's masterwork of murder, "In Cold Blood," cemented two reputations when first published almost five decades ago: his own, as a literary innovator, and detective Alvin Dewey Jr.'s as the most famous Kansas lawman since Wyatt Earp.
Harvest Public Media story
3:56 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Technology chips away at influence of prominent ag towns

Kansas City Board of Trade

 At the crossroads of industry, railroads and farm country Kansas City has long been a capital of the plains. In recent years, though, Kansas City and other agriculture hubs have seen technology chip away at their importance.

Since 1856, for instance, wheat has been traded on the floor of the Kansas City Board of Trade. In the old days, there would be a swarm of traders around the pits, shouting orders, making those crazy hand signals you've seen in the movies, but that will end later this summer.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

First Time Calling for Luke and Larry

Sometimes when Larry and I get together, our conversations head toward the past... and stories of our "firsts."  Larry's asking me about the first time I went out calling.  Here's my story:

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Life Cycles From Auction Buyer to Seller

All my married life, I’ve loved attending local auctions.  Part of the charm of these gatherings is seeing friends and neighbors and catching up with one another’s busy lives or listening to the auctioneer’s clever patter.  Another reason these events draw me  is the chance to see history and sometimes buy a little chunk of someone else’s story.  Unfortunately, there comes a time when those little pieces of other’s lives add up to enough stuff to clutter my closets to overflowing.  Before anything bursts, I need to take action.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Blue is the Sky, White the Snow, and Yellow the Gold

The Rocky Mountain Columbine was discovered by mountain climber, Edwin James,  ascending Pike's Peak in 1820.  It was officially names the state flower of Colorado in 1899.  Rocky Mountain columbine (Columbine Aquilegia Caerulea) is a beautiful flower with a rich aroma that attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to it's nectar.

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Sherman County Hero

Today we’ll visit the Texas Panhandle and stop by the Sherman County Depot Museum to hear the story of Sam Wohlford.  We’ll take a look at a  silver medal and a plaque that reads, “No greater love is there than for a man to risk his life for friend or stranger.”  And we’ll learn about Sam’s refusal to give up in his quest to save lives during the Great Blizzard of 1948.

High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Winter Calling

This week around the campfire, Larry Weishuhn and I were talking about winter varmint hunting.  Winter is a perfect time to get out and do some calling.  With varmints here on the High Plains, this is a true challenge.  You don't have to be a pro, even extreme novices can be successful using an electronic caller.  Now my friend Larry, you can't believe the sounds he can make with his mouth.  It is unbelievable.  He can sound like white tail deer, rabbits, but me, I have to use a call. 

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Trophy Dust Bunnies

Athletes compete to make the play-offs.  If effort and luck shine on coaches, managers, players, owners, and fans, two franchises make it to games such as the Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup or other legendary competitions.  Olympians dedicate four years to earn those few seconds or minutes they have to claim gold. Hunters spend seasons seeking the biggest buck, bull elk, caribou or other record setting trophy to decorate the family room.  After a week of packing a house we lived in for 16 years, I have decided homemakers need their own prize.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

The 70 Year Bluebonnet War

The history of  the state of Texas is expansive and colorful.  It's boundaries have fluctuated.  It's flown six different flags.  It's background is steeped in tales of battles and wars, including the war with Mexico, the Civil War,  and many Indian battles that include the Red River War, but until recently, I was unaware of a battle that was waged for 70 years. 

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Last Reminder of a Thriving Community

A trip along the history trail that tells of the settling of the west is littered with the remains of hundreds of ghost towns.  The lives of many of these settlements were very brief, as they boomed when they bet on the tracks of the railroads and then busted as they watched from a distance as the trains pass them by.  One of the largest communities was called Ivanhoe, and was developed between the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers on what is now U.S. Highway 83.  Today we’ll visit what remains of this once-bustling community – the cemetery.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Life Away From the Lens

I swore I would never be a woman who lived her life behind a camera lens.  I wanted to live in the moment, experiencing life as it occurred. 

I achieved this goal until I received a Nikon that captures moments up close and from considerable distance with clicks of a silver button.  Using that telescopic lens, I could see fine details my unaided eye used to see as blurs.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Trapped! In a Box Blind?

Let me tell you, folks, some of my favorite hunting memories are not about bringing home a trophy buck or making the record book, but about some of the mishaps that have happened along the way.  One of those times was when Larry and I were out deer hunting.  We were not having much luck, so we decided to do a little calling.  We were getting a little hungry, nothing was happening, so we decided to head back to camp to get something to eat.  I pushed on the door to open it, and the thing did NOT move.  The hasp had slipped down and locked us in!

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Harvest Public Media story
7:12 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Drought raises stakes on Republican River

The Republican River in Hitchcock County completely dry on July 25th, 2005.
Credit Melissa Widhalm, NDMC

There’s a border war going in the Midwest and it’s over water. Kansas and Nebraska have been battling for years over the water in the Republican River, which runs from Colorado to Kansas, through Nebraska.

Farmers in all three states depend on the Republican River to irrigate their fields and with agriculture such a prominent industry in the Midwest, the water battle amounts to a big deal. Kansas and Nebraska’s current dispute will eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court. And with many farmers dealing with drought and planning for water restrictions, the battle is heating up.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Pioneer Tree of Life

Can you imagine walking across an endless sea of grass?  Maybe your journey started along the Santa Fe Trail from a tree-lined river bank of the Ohio Valley, the forests of the Appalachian mountains, or the sugar maple groves of New England, and now you face a gale of hot, dry wind.  You think you must be on the edge of hell.. until... up ahead you see a shimmer of hope... a cottonwood tree.  

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Hooves and Wheels

This audio is pending

The saying ‘You can’t get there from here!’ must have been on the minds of many of the pioneers who tried to settle in far west portions of the HPPR broadcast area.  For a long time, road making was an individual task which involved taking off  in the direction you needed to go, and then hoping you would make it to your destination.  Eventually trails became roads, which then became highways as travel vehicles evolved from wagons to buggies to new-fangled automobiles, but it could still be a bumpy ride at best. 

High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Larry Makes the Record Book in Sonora Mexico

Larry with Record Book Coues Deer in Sonora, Mexico

Size is relative.  Most folks living on the high plains would scoff if you told them a good sized whitetail buck weighed 105 pounds and had 90 inch antlers.  They'd probably tell you that was a half way decent size yearling.  But, those stats are excellent for the Coues deer, named after cavalry surgeon, Elliott Coues.  As a matter of fact, Larry Weishuhn, made the record book recently with a gross score of 135, and a net score of 120 on his deer.  To get into the record book with a Coues deer, you only need a Boone and Crockett score of 110.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Sunset Memories

Skilled technicians with the right equipment create concert and video light shows that dazzle viewers.  An important component of such expertise is that anyone, anywhere can ooh and aah at  color and light shifting like a living kaleidoscope. Kansans don’t have to wait for light shows to come to town. They only have to look west each evening to enjoy award-winning productions the setting sun and our clear atmosphere create daily.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Redbud Adds Color and Beauty

One of the earliest trees to bloom in the spring is the redbud.  This favorite ornamental rarely reaches heights of greater than 20 feet.  The redbud comes in three color varieties: white, red, and purple.  They are self-pollinating and a fast grower, but that also means they have a shorter lifespan.  The redbud is a member of the legumes- their seed pods and flowers are edible.  They are forgiving of soil types, growing best in moist, well-drained sites.

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Harvest Public Media story
1:02 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Grover Norquist endorses Kansas immigration plan

Grover Norquist

An unlikely coalition of business and social interests tried last year to get the legislature to establish a state program that would help ag businesses hire undocumented workers and let them legally stay in the state. Conservative lightning rod Grover Norquist – more known for his anti-tax crusades than his immigration beliefs – endorsed the plan during a speech in Topeka this week. He likened current U-S immigration law to the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit enacted in the 70s. Norquist says most people broke that law, too.

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HPPR
6:50 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Kansas State of the State Address

Governor Sam Brownback presented his state-of-the-state address Tuesday evening to state lawmakers.  KPR's News Director J. Schafer and KU political science Professor Burdett Loomis provided analysis.  The governor's speech was followed by a response from Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley of Topeka.  If you missed listening to the event live, you can listen  HERE.

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Kansas Born Architect Impacts Amarillo Skyline

The White and Kirk building located at the corner of Sixth and Polk in downtown Amarillo, Texas.

A list of the movers and shakers who helped develop the city of Amarillo would have to include Guy Anton Carlander.  An architect who developed his own style by utilizing elements of design and decoration from the 1920s and 30s, his name is on the dedication plaques of many courthouses, hospitals and medical buildings, and office buildings throughout the Texas Panhandle.

Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

For the Love of Wildness

A while back, I read a book titled For Love of Wildness by retired Game Warden Terry Grosz.  I wish I’d found it earlier in my marriage to help me understand my husband’s love for his work.  This time of year, I always needed a good reminder of why he chose his profession and why he devoted so much time and energy that wasn’t always appreciated.

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Highh Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Smoked Duck is a Guaranteed Delight

So many people tell me how much they dislike duck.  I'm here to give you a recipe that is guaranteed to make those unbelievers mouths water.  Keep in mind that if you want to use this method, you'll need to start a couple days ahead of time.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

School Kids Choose Colorado's State Tree

The Colorado Blue Spruce was first discovered by botanist, CC Parry, in 1862, thriving on Pike's Peak.  30 years later, it was Colorado school children voted it the state tree.  However, it was not officially designated until 1939 when a resolution was passed by the state general assembly.  It has now become one of the most widely planted landscape trees in the U.S. 

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