HPPR Environment

Awareness:
geography
geology
hydrology (water, aquifers, rivers)
flora
fauna (wildlife)
climate
weather
ecosystems
climate change

Management & conservation
water conservation
soil conservation
wildlife protection
policies & regulations

On today's episode of Growing on the High Plains, mum's the word. (I'm talking about the flower, of course.)

Ask any gardener in our region and you're likely to hear a chorus of praise for the chrysanthemum. They're colorful, hearty, elegant, and resilient -- a real High Plains hero. But mid-November is a bit of a crossroads for these favorites, so learn how you can reuse and rescue today's mums for tomorrow's garden.  

Hot spot for hunting wild hogs in Texas

Nov 12, 2016
Photo by Luke Clayton

This week, Luke takes us to eastern Texas to hunt wild hogs.

Hunting guide Larry Large of Hunting East Texas talks about one of the best spots for hog hunting in the eastern part of the state, located about an hour east of Dallas, near Athens.

Stehanie Mahe / Reuters

Wind farms appear to be killing many more bats than anyone previously realized, according to The Washington Post.

For years, scientists have been documenting the death of birds and bats in the spinning blades of turbines. But now it seems bats are dying at a higher rate than previously estimated.

David Carson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

If you find yourself out in the yard cleaning up Autumn leaves this week, you might consider putting down the rake.

George Frey / Getty Images

High Plains energy producers who oppose curbing greenhouse gases can rejoice this week, their candidate has won.

While home gardening has certainly seen a rich resurgence in recent years, planting food crops for the purposes of conserving and preserving dates back to a time of meager means.  

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I'll share some history and context regarding the American "victory garden." Self-sufficient citizens that planted and maintained food plots helped supplement shortages in a time of war. Nurturing fresh food for the troops (and the family table) provided a sense of service, pride, and community.  

Getty Images

Big oil is investing big time in technologies to capture and store greenhouse gas emissions.

As Bloomberg reports, some of the world’s biggest oil companies are investing $1 billion to develop methods to improve energy efficiency. The investment is a joint effort from 10 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The companies hope to deploy low-carbon technologies on a large scale.

NB/Reuters

Oklahoma’s earthquake victims have joined forces, and now they’re demanding action from their lawmakers.

As KFOR reports, last week, a group of homeowners  who have been terrorized by the quakes gathered at the state capitol, asking to be heard.

Finding enough space for a hearty garden is not a problem you would think affects most of us on the High Plains. However, gardeners all over the world have become increasingly adept at creating a manageable growing space in a compact area.

Today's installment of Growing on the High Plains looks at one smart solution: straw bale gardens. They're raised, tidy, hospitable to seeds, and can yield a spectacular crop with care and attention. 

Kathleen Lavine / Denver Business Journal

Wind energy is booming in Colorado, reports the Denver Business Journal.

In fact, 14 percent of the state’s power now comes from wind, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. And the Centennial State isn’t alone; wind power is surging in many parts of the country.

Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

Greenhouse gas emissions have reached a new height, UPI reports.

The last few years have witnessed growing support for an effort to combat climate change. Even so, a new World Meteorological Organization report finds rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The report noted that, since 1990, there has been a 37 percent increase in the warming impact on the climate because of greenhouse gases like CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

Nathan Rupert / Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado wildlife officials are proposing killing more mountain lions and black bears in the coming months, reports The Denver Post. The move comes as the state has faced a dwindling deer population. 

Have you ever wanted s'more information about the origin of those squishy, sweet puffs we all take for granted around the campfire?  

Today's Growing on the High Plains peeps at the ancient origin of the marshmallow, and it's hiding in plain sight. Join us as we tap the root of the "mallow plant," commonly found around marshy wetlands. 

From mucilaginous medicine to confection perfection, this treacly treat goes WAY back -- and the story of its cultivation is more than just fluff.

Wallethub

On average, Americans spend nearly $2,000 per year on energy bills. But that burden could be lighter.

Experts estimate that the U.S. could save more than $1.2 trillion if more energy-efficient measures were put in place.

Sue Ogrocki / The Wichita Eagle

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma last month raised some big questions for Kansas geologist Tandis Bidgoli.

“I was very concerned,” Bidgoli said, “because it didn’t appear there were any foreshocks to that event.”

This week's edition of Growing on the High Plains features a regional bird of paradise that's both easy to maintain and brilliant when in bloom: the bromeliad. With minor maintenance, this sturdy plant will continue to grow, gracing your garden with its glory. So it's a lot like public radio! Please help HPPR continue to "pretty up" your days on the High Plains. Donate today during our Fall Membership Drive.  

The Coloradoan

There’s a stereotype that every Coloradoan drives a Subaru. And judging by AAA Colorado's list of the state's 10 best-selling cars, the cliché isn’t far from the truth.

Five of the top ten selling care in Colorado are Subarus, with the Outback and Forester taking the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. As The Coloradoan reports, residents of the Centennial State like all-wheel drive Subarus for recreating and navigating snow.

Cori Duke / KJRH

A prominent Oklahoma geologist says, when it comes to earthquakes, the trouble could come from unknown quarters. Specifically, the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey is worried about what scientists don’t understand about geology.

Justin Haag / NebraskaLAND Magazine

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking the perpetrators of the unlawful killing of big game animals in western and north-central Nebraska, reports The Lincoln Journal-Star.

Trey Ratcliff / Creative Commons

A coyote killing contest in western Kansas has settled a lawsuit with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The settlement ends a legal threat that had labeled the contest “cruel and inhumane.” The Smoky Hill Calling Contest was held in WaKeeney, Kansas, in January. At the event, the hunter who killed the most coyotes was awarded $500.

Hutchinson News

The severity and frequency of earthquakes in Colorado appears to be lessening, reports The Hutchinson News.

In the past three weeks, there has been just one quake of magnitude 2.0 or greater in the Sunflower State. Only one resident in the state felt that earthquake, which was centered underneath Anthony’s Forest Park Cemetery.

Today's edition of Growing on the High Plains asks you to hearken to our High Plains history as we ponder the lot of early pioneers, especially what harvest time meant to them. 

Like our forefathers who settled this land, so must we all pitch in to ensure a bounty when it's needed. (Just ask the Little Red Hen!) Today, we ask YOU to take a moment and consider what it is that you reap from HPPR's programming.

The Verge

We’ve seen plenty of troubling news lately about the disappearance of bees in the heartland. So  it’s nice to come across a happy bee story this week.

This week's installment of Growing on the High Plains provides an inside scoop on how best to beckon bashful butterflies to your High Plains garden. 

  From deadheading your branching mums to seizing (rather than sneezing) rods of gold, these well-worn pointers will ensure an influx of "flying flowers" to your all-you-can-eat growing space.  Learn what to plant and how to prune so that you'll optimize unannounced visits from thirsty nectar collectors.   

Accuweather / The Wichita Eagle

High Plains listeners who enjoy a cold winter may have reason to rejoice.

Signs aren’t pointing to a repeat of last year’s mild season, reports The Wichita Eagle, and that means there could be more snow on the way. However, the cold won’t come until late, say meteorologists; the early part of the season is expected to be rather mild. Dave Samuhel is a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather. He says this year will “be more like winter should be.”

kansas.com

In 1810, the explorer Zebulon Pike wrote about Kansas, saying: “These vast plains may become in time as celebrated as the sandy deserts of Africa.”

Ripe, fragrant fruit from the orchard is the apple of any gardener's eye.

Too bad this year's crop of apples had an abundance of beady, little eyes of their own. 

This week's installment of Growing on the High Plains gets to the core of how to avoid "coddling" common uninvited guests that often make cozy homes in our summer fruit trees.

Getty Images

Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than any state in the lower 48, including California. And, as CNBC reports, the cause of all this shaking appears to be manmade. But can anything be done?

"The fairies break their dances and leave the printed lawn." —A.E. Housman

This week on Growing on the High Plains, I have an offbeat tale about odd circles that seem to crop up supernaturally on the grass. Rest assured: there's a logical reason for the peculiar presence of these "fairy rings," especially given this summer's peculiarities.  Whether they're marked by darkness or puffs of white, learn more about this serpentine fungus among us.  

They pray. They prey.

But pray/prey tell: why is it that gardeners have been seeing more of these elegant insects this year? Whatever the reason, they're a welcome sight -- not only for their alien-esque arabesques, but also because they feast on pests like something out of a horror film.

Hear more about mantids on this week's edition of Growing on the High Plains.

And it's a good one! (Don't forget your popcorn.) 

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