The Campfire Foodie Cookbook

The Campfire Foodie Cookbook: Simple Camping Recipes with Gourmet Appeal, by renowned cook, food stylist, and author Julia Rutland, arrives right in time for the outdoor season. Her camper-friendly cookbook comes with more than 100 delicious recipes with full-color photographs for every delicious dish. In the weeks to come, the author will share some of her favorite dishes with us. Be on the lookout for English Muffulettas, Vegetarian Campfire Chili, Southwestern Chicken and Lime Soup, and Mini Grilled Blackberry Cobbler. There’s something about a campsite that makes everything taste better. Julia isn't sure if it’s the scent of the trees or the campfires—or, perhaps, that nature itself casts a seasoning over your meals, making them richer and more satisfying. Either way, eating by a campfire brings a special kind of satisfaction. Let the evening cicadas and tree frogs serenade you with soothing sounds that you just can’t get indoors. About the author: Julia Rutland is a Northern Virginia-area food writer and recipe developer whose work...

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PaleoAdventures Offers Great Dinosaur Dig Experiences

Nothing fires up the imagination quite like dinosaurs—and there are more than 1,000 good reasons for that! Dinosaurs are a hugely diverse group of animals that dominated the landscape from 230 million years ago up to the Cretaceous extinction event about 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs are known to have inhabited every continent, including Antarctica. They were present in almost all climate zones and occupied nearly every terrestrial niche available to large animals through the middle and late Mesozoic. There are more than 1,000 species of dinosaurs known today, and that total keeps climbing as new discoveries are made each year. In their book Dinosaur Destinations: Finding America’s Best Dinosaur Dig Sites, Museums & Exhibits, Jon Kramer, Julie Martinez, and Vernon Morris introduce the best dinosaur-related sites across the country. The book features the most famous dinosaur dig sites, track sites, and fossil sites in North America, including venues that allow you to dig for real dinosaur bones! Take Your...

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Photographing the Wild Waterfalls in Spring

Lisa Crayford, author of Waterfalls of Minnesota, thinks that springtime and waterfalls go hand in hand. Here are her suggestions for your next waterfall outing! During this season in northern Minnesota, the snow is melting off the higher elevations. The rivers are flowing with great speed, heading down to meet mighty Lake Superior. If you’re not too familiar with the area known as the “Arrowhead” of Minnesota, it’s the northeast region that butts up against Lake Superior to our east. Starting in the port city of Duluth with a population of 86,110 and heading northeast all the way to Grand Portage is 151 miles. While driving on Hwy 61 all the way up to Canada, you’ll be passing over or around hundreds of creeks, streams, brooks, and rivers. Most of these give us cascades, rapids, and waterfalls. Some are more capture-worthy than others. If you’re heading up the north shore of Lake Superior, have time...

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Jump, Little Wood Ducks—The Tale of a Picture Book

Marion Dane Bauer shares with us how she and Stan Tekiela worked together to produce Jump, Little Wood Ducks, their latest children’s book. Jump, Little Woods Ducks is my fourth picture book to be illustrated by the naturalist and photographer Stan Tekiela. While most of my picture books have been more traditionally illustrated by artists, working with Stan has been a privilege and a joy. On our first book together, Baby Bear Discovers the World, Stan said, “You write the story. I’ll make the photos happen.” I did, and he did. He borrowed twin black bear cubs from a wildlife reserve and took them in his truck to different locations. He set them up to perform the acts of the runaway baby bear in my text. Stan used twins, as filmmakers often do when working with young human children, so that if one wasn’t cooperating he would have a chance of getting what he needed from the other....

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Big Birds, Baby Birds, Birds Everywhere

All of nature seems to be in reproductive overdrive or, perhaps more accurately, hyperdrive. Just look around: Baby birds seem to be everywhere. And adult birds are busy all day trying to fill the mouths of their begging fledglings. The rush for reproduction is bases on a limited amount of time to get the job done. I don’t think it is well understood that most birds only reproduce once per year in the spring. Yes, some of our smaller species of birds will reproduce twice each season, but the point is that they only reproduce in spring. They don’t migrate down south at the end of summer and start reproducing all over again. Many of our larger species, such as Osprey, Bald Eagle, and the Common Loon, only get one shot at reproduction each season. If something happens to their eggs or babies, then it’s all over until next year. Many of...

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Artwork of Amazing World of Dinosaurs Author on Permanent Display

In today’s post, James Kuether, author of  The Amazing World of Dinosaurs, shares with us how he created a 16- x 20-foot version of his dinosaur drawings for the Science Museum of Minnesota. When creating natural history art that incorporates dinosaurs, the challenge is to communicate the enormous size that many attained. So when museums began requesting my images to accompany their fossil displays, they naturally wanted those images to reflect the scale of their subjects. My first request for a mural-size image came from the Science Museum of Minnesota. This was my hometown museum, a place where I’d spent countless hours studying the dinosaurs in their collection. Late last year, they embarked on a redesign of their dinosaur exhibit and asked me to create a 16- x 20-foot version of one of my images. Having never created anything that size before, it was a daunting request. I create my artwork completely in the computer...

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Bug-Eating Woodpeckers

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela talks to us about Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Perched nearly 20 feet in the air, looking down at the forest floor below, I was waiting for a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers to return to their nest cavity to feed their babies. I love these moments. Sitting in my modified tree stand high up in a tree, I’ve been here long enough to completely blend into the forest. A hummingbird flies up to my face to check me out. Shortly after that, I watch a female Wood Duck flying through the dense forest canopy at high speed. How she doesn’t run into a branch is beyond me. Hour after hour, I watch and photograph a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers coming and going from their nest as they feed their newly hatched babies. Watching the birds coming and going with their beaks stuffed full of everything from caterpillars to beetles,...

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Amish Country of Wisconsin

Today, we are visiting Amish Country in Wisconsin with Mary M. Bauer, author of Wisconsin Day Trips by Theme. Steeped in a bygone era, the Amish are known for their traditional pacifist ways, horse-and-buggy travel, colorful handmade quilts, and plain clothes. Wisconsin has the fourth-largest population of Amish in the U.S., with the first families moving to Medford in 1920. Overcrowding in the East and increasing land prices have made relocating to Wisconsin an attractive alternative for the growing community. Based on their concept of Christian humility, the Amish adopt a “plain lifestyle,” forgoing modern conveniences, such as electricity, cars, telephones, computers, etc. Many of the Amish operate small bakeries, furniture shops, and quilt shops on their farms. Watch for signs detailing business hours; they are not open on Sundays. For a more personal glimpse into the Amish lifestyle, there are several tours available. See the Amish Tours section in this chapter...

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