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Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

This note is going to be short.  My wife and I are on vacation in the Galveston Bay.  We're staying in a canal house, and fishing off the deck.  I've also been going out at night gigging flouder with one of my friends.  We've also been taking care of the crab traps.  Take a look at the slide show, and you'll see the amazing stone crabs we brought home.

It's a great time to be outdoors!

austinnativelandscaping.com

 In this look back at Great Gardens across the High Plains, Skip travels to Amarillo, Texas.  There she meets Bob Hatton, who took a yard composed primarily of lawn, and created a landscape featuring plants that trigger memories of his childhood like this beautiful redbud tree.

alzheimersreadingroom.com

I’ve been penning stories about the outdoors now for almost a quarter century. One of the benefits of being an outdoors writer so long is sharing the knowledge I glean from all the professional hunters and fishermen I work with. 

fundanything.com

The Great Garden series continues with a trip back in time to the Shirley Opera House in Atwood, Kansas.  Skip talks with Alice Hill who is setting the tables at the Opera House with good things from the garden.

You'll remember Alice Hill, whose latest adventure is Full Circle Aquaponics.  She's busy growing everything they eat at Beaver Creek Ranch. 

amarillo.com

The newest Texas Panhandle wind farm just began operation, and two more projects have just signed interconnection agreements.  The total cost of the pair will be about $900 million according to a recent article from the Amarillo Globe-News.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

If you think the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation stamp, the "Duck Stamp," is just for waterfowl hunters, think again! Whether you hunt, bird, photograph wildlife and scenery, collect stamps or conserve habitat, you'll want to purchase this stamp.

Joe Birzer / Wheatland Electric

Hays High won big in the standard class at the 15th annual High Plains ElectroRally recently held in Hays, Kansas.  Wheatland took honors in the solar class, and Olathe Northwest won the Team Spirit Award.

The ElectroRally is a "one-hour endurance race for electric cars" designed and constructed by high school students, said Joe Chretien, associate professor of applied technology at Fort Hays State University in a recent press release.

The electric car that completes the most laps within the hour wins the race.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  My guest this week is guide Billy Carter who has lived, fished and hunted on beautiful Caddo Lake in deep east Texas his entire life. Billy and his wife Dottie own Spatterdock.  They have several furnished rental houses situated right on the lake. They also manage the oldest inland marina in the state, Johnson's Ranch Marina.

crh.noaa.gov

The National Weather Service serving the Central High Plains will no longer issue wind advisories. 

highplainsgardening.com

As we continue looking back at the Great Gardens of the past, today we'll head to Amarillo, Texas to meet Angie Hanna.  Angie has coined the term "extreme" gardening, referring to growing things in a transitional climate that is between growing zones, faced with constant shifts.  The challenge of the climate brought Angie to a goal of working with the climate, not against it.  

Angie also has a website full of growing tips for our neck of the woods: highplainsgardening.com.

With curbside composting, food waste not a total loss

Sep 30, 2014
Cassandra Profita for Harvest Public Media

Wasting around 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. certainly has its drawbacks: It's not feeding people in need, it's expensive and it does a lot of environmental damage.

But across the country, cities, towns and companies are finding food waste doesn't have to be a total loss. In fact, it can be quite valuable – in making fertilizer, electricity or even fuel for cars, trucks and buses.

Michael Brashier/Flickr

Many producers have converted to no-till, and now progressive farmers are learning to cover crop to keep soil covered after harvesting a cash crop. Ryan Speer is such a producer.

planobluestem.blogspot.com

As autumn officially arrives this year, I am reminded how blessed we are in western Kansas to live close to nature and her cycles.  On this vernal equinox when daylight and darkness are essentially equal,   I give thanks that I live somewhere that makes it easy for me to note such an occurrence.

epa.gov

The Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency says climate change is already happening in Kansas and the entire region.  Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reported Administrator Karl Brooks says the best way to minimize climate change is to implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Great Gardens Series

Sep 24, 2014
HPPR

Skip Mancini asked gardeners from throughout our broadcast area to participate in a special 'show and tell' series on Growing on the High Plains. A 'June in January' look at eight great gardens begins with an overview of the people and places that Skip visited during the summer of 2008.

Pat Aylward/NET News

It’s a hot summer day outside of Lincoln, Neb., and Jack Chappelle is knee-deep in trash. He’s wading in to rotting vegetables, half-eaten burgers and tater tots. Lots of tater tots.

“You can get a lot of tater tots out of schools,” Chappelle says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s elementary, middle school or high school. Tater tots. Bar none.”

Kansas Farmer

Scott Gonnerman started no-till practices in 2005 and began cover-cropping his east Nebraska fields in 2009. He says he used to think of the soil simply as dirt.

Luke Clayton

For the past five years, my friend Larry Large and I have outfitted elk and bear hunts on a ranch located in northern Colorado, not far from Wyoming’s southern boundary. This is rough, wild country and game is plentiful. It’s one of the few places that I know of with such a large population of black bear. Elk are always plentiful here and because we hunt during the September archery season, before snowfall triggers the resident elk to migrate to lower, warmer valleys, the animals are using their summer pattern of bedding in the black timber up high and moving into the valleys and lower elevations during the day to feed and water. 

hutchnews.com

Today begins a look back at a series called Great Gardens, which originally aired in 2008.  Visits to eight High Plains gardeners located throughout the HPPR broadcast area resulted in interviews on a variety of topics.  From wildflowers to grapevines to landscaped lawns and cottage gardens, we'll begin a repeat of this series, and a call for eight more gardeners to join in a new interview series for the future.     

United Soybean Board/Flickr

No event did more to emphasize the severity of the erosion crisis than the Dust Bowl affecting High Plains states beginning in the early-1930s.

USDA / NRCS

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, says, "This is cotton country. It's rare to find a pristine playa lake." He bought the native grassland on which the playa sits from family members, then protected the playa and a grassland buffer with a permanent Wetlands Reserve Easement.

Luke Clayton

Howdy, Folks!

We're all settled in up here in the Rocky Mountains.  We've been hearing the bugling, and seen some pretty nice herds, but so far, we've been unsuccessful.

This morning, one of the hunters missed a pretty good shot, but there will be another.

We're all back in camp, and I'm on the porch, talking with our Camp Manager Billy about the delicious breakfast he made.

Be sure and take a look at the pictures!

I'll be back with another story from the mountains and more pictures next week!

snakeroot.net

Skip explores a part of the plant world that offered something sweet in ancient times.  Today it's most prevalent in boggy areas or landscaped water gardens, which makes it quite popular in lots of back yards on the High Plains.    

Farmers in Texas County, Oklahoma, face three big challenges: wind, not much rain, and heat, but in the last two decades they've reduced water consumption by 60%.

Michael Pearce / kansas.com

Chester Peterson, Jr., of Lindsborg, Kansas, owns grass and cropland on the western margin of the Flinthills, a rolling landscape of tall- and shortgrass prairie largely unchanged since settlers crossed it in the 1860s.

dogbreedinfo.com

If you saw our fuzzy white dog, you’d swear he was good for nothing but keeping the end of the couch warm and watching his food bowl. In reality, he’s a sticker patch super hero who aides Mother Nature in her efforts to make sure prickly seed producing plants of all kinds never die out.

Elk Camp: On the Road

Aug 29, 2014
Luke Clayton

 Howdy, folks! 

It's raining on the way to the mountains.  It looks like the end of the rainbow is our elk camp.  I'll be sending you audio postcards from the trip thanks to my son-in-law who got me one of those smart phones and showed me how to use it.  I'll be sending pictures too, so you can see what things look like up here.

Deadheading

Aug 27, 2014
agricultureguide.org

Today we'll learn about an ominous sounding chore that is a necessity for maintaining a perennial flower bed.  To some of our more mature listeners the title of today's show might recall Volkswagen vans packed with Greatful Dead fans touring the summer rock concert season.  But for the true garden buff, the term denotes a frequent summer chore of clipping spent blossoms in order to tidy up and control re-seeding.  It's a task that's never-ending but necessary.   

USDA / NRCS

Over its 80-year history, the federal government's Farm Bill program refined soil, water and habitat conservation programs. Along the way, its strategy changed from "let's see how many we can sign up" to a more focused  "best bang for the buck" approach to conservation, spending funds on projects to conserve fragile landscapes.

http://threatsummary.forestthreats.org/

A relatively new tree disease has made its way to the northeastern plains of Colorado.  Thousand cankers has been confirmed in Fort Morgan.  It was likely transmitted to the community through infested wood according to a press release from Jennifer Dimas, Colorado State University Extension Office.

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