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Sand dollar sugar cookies make a splash for Shark Week

Food

Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel this Sunday. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual Shark Week event, so expect new television shows centered on the sea’s most fascinating predators. Over the past three decades, the mid-summer shark series has gained quite the following — it’s practically a national holiday at this […]

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Gardening with Parkinson’s Disease

Garden

The sidewalk reflects brutal summer heat as John Staudacher carefully navigates the steps leading to his front garden in Pittsburgh’s Regent Square neighborhood on a humid afternoon. Staudacher, a lifelong gardener, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last November after years of symptoms. The disease has made it harder for him to do everything necessary to […]

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Good news on mentored catfishing in PA, not so good news elsewhere

Outdoors

Lions and tiger and bears? Forget about it. We’re talking channel cats, walleyes and muskies. All have or are about to get some attention across Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, not all of it’s good. But let’s start with the positive. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering a couple of special mentored youth catfishing opportunities for […]

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White tails on whitetails predict the future

Outdoors

It’s the developing headgear on white-tailed deer that get all of the attention at this time of year. Look what people write when posting trail camera pictures on social media. The focus is on how big a buck’s antlers are already, or how big they might be come fall. Of course, that’s understandable. Those bony […]

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Putting the public back in public hunting a goal

Outdoors

They’re going to have to do better. Pennsylvania entities – chiefly municipalities – that want permits to cull overabundant white-tailed deer from around their residents’ homes and businesses using sharpshooters must first try managing those animals using real, actual public hunting. That has, by letter of the law, been the rule for a while now. […]

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Campfire eclairs a wonderful camping dessert

FoodOutdoors

Campfire éclairs check a lot of boxes. First, they’re made over, well, a campfire, which is always a good thing because that means you’re outside, camping and relaxing. They’re simple. They’re family friendly. Children, especially, (including teens, though they might not admit it) get a kick out of preparing them, something that’s more important than […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a tip for gathering live bait

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras…   Lure of the week Lure name: Freddy the Frog Company: Westin Lures (http://www.westin-fishing.com/en/) Lure type: Topwater Sizes and colors: Available in a 7 ¼-inch model (roughly half of that body, half legs). Specifics on color haven’t yet been released, but the company promises “a range of […]

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A cookbook to get you fired up about grilling from Char-Broil

Food

The origins of grilling go back to prehistoric times when our ancestors skewered meat on a stick and stuck it over a hot fire. While there’s something still so satisfying about watching the way the intense heat turns food to a crisp, we’ve come a long way since then. Humans have perfected grilling and barbecuing, smoking, rotisserie […]

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Edamame, olive salad

Food

This edamame, olive salad will make you feel like you’re lunching at a seaside restaurant on some far flung Greek island. I swear it! It’s such an unusual combination that your taste buds will think you’re on vacation. I had a variation of this salad last week at an unlikely waterfront spot in North Carolina. The restaurant served […]

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Family creates water garden

Garden

The soothing sounds of running water surround Scott and Catie Walsh as they hold their 7-month-old daughter Amara in their Sewickley Hills, Pennsylvania garden. The family loves the outdoors, spending countless hours around their pond garden. When they moved here three years ago, the backyard was a steep slope that was almost impossible to care […]

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This man invented the ice cream scoop and made summer a whole lot sweeter

Food

Alfred L. Cralle died in a car accident nearly 100 years ago, but his invention continues to provide an essential part of your summer experience. July is National Ice Cream Month, and while you’re feverishly shoveling spoonfuls of yourfavorite flavor into your mouth, it’s Cralle you can thank for those picture perfect scoops. While working as a porter […]

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Tips on dealing with mice in trail shelters

Outdoors

There’s getting close to nature, and then there’s getting infested by nature. Spend enough time in backcountry shelters and, sooner or later, you’ll probably get to experience the latter. That’s because if there’s anything that likes a lean-to or Adirondack better than a tired, boot-worn, hungry hiker, it’s an opportunistic mouse. Not every shelter has […]

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Survey shows stocking bigger channel catfish leads to better fisheries

Outdoors

This is an experiment that seems to be working. For decades, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has stocked channel catfish in various waters around the state. The fish were always released as fingerlings, about 2 to 3 inches long. Biologists knew some would get eaten by other fish – primarily largemouth bass – but […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a fish taco recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras…   Gear of the week Gear name: Target spots Company: Birchwood Casey (https://www.everybodyshops.com/birchwood-targets-asst.html) Gear type: Targets Product description: Targets don’t have to be fancy. After all, the goal is to punch them full of holes, right? So it doesn’t always make sense to spend a lot of […]

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Changes to rules might mean less wildlife funding for states

Outdoors

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been saying for years that it needs more money. It’s had no luck getting it. State lawmakers have refused to increase hunting and trapping license fees since 1999. Now, there’s this. The commission is actually losing going to lose money – about $700,000 a year to start, though that‘s expected […]

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Baits to consider for summertime bass fishing

Outdoors

Bass fishing is, as much as any kind of angling, all about size. Specifics don’t always matter, though. Sure, in traditional tournaments it’s weight in pounds and ounces that’s vital. Or, in the case of catch and release events like those favored by kayakers, it’s length in inches. But among friends, in casual situations, getting […]

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4 Creative takes on caprese

Food

Don’t get me wrong — you can never go wrong with a classic caprese salad. But the ingredients are so simple they lend themselves to lots of creative interpretations. Here are four fun ways to eat more of summer’s most perfect meal.   CAPRESE PIZZA This warm and crispy pizza combines two Italian favorites. You might find […]

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Vertical Vegetable Gardening

Garden

To say Chris Leininger’s outside office windows are unique is an understatement, as they are covered with vegetables, herbs and flowers growing vertically at the Carnegie Mellon University campus. Tiny bright green cherry tomatoes share space with flowering pole beans and peppers. The Ph.D. candidate has been interested in environmental design for decades, using dead […]

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Beaver River muskies proving elusive

Outdoors

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has stocked tiger muskies in the Beaver River in western Pennsylvania for years and years and years. So how’s that worked out? Well, no one seems to know. Not even the commission. That’s a problem. “We’re spending money to stock these fish. We really need to make sure that […]

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Doe license sales begin as license changes loom

Outdoors

No one would mine coal if they had to leave all of the ore underground, right? It should be the same with data. That’s the opinion of Eric Richey anyway. Founder and CEO of Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (http://s3gov.com/), a Nashville, Tenn.-based technology company, he said data mining is only effective if people are able to […]

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Efforts to restore American shad face obstacles

Outdoors

The American shad, called the nation’s “founding fish” because it sustained generations of Native Americans and later European settlers, is facing tough times. There may be cause for hope of a turnaround. Or there may not. The species’ life history, enigmatic still to scientists, makes the future hard to predict. But there’s no question where […]

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Hunters may be able to chase Hungarian partridges

Outdoors

A failed experiment decades old is, potentially, returning to Pennsylvania’s hunting scene. Say hello to the Hungarian partridge. The birds – also called Huns or gray partridges – are native to Europe. They were brought to the United States in the early 1900s and released in states all around the country in an attempt to […]

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Low head dams are absolute killers for boaters

Outdoors

This isn’t necessarily the kind of thing you’d want to admit to doing around the neighbors. But it’s illustrative nonetheless. Take a baby doll sometime, one with a head and body made of something firm, like plastic. Put it in your front loading washing machine and turn it on. Watch – and listen – as […]

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Outdoor Extras, including S’mores Pudgy Pie Recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Tasmanian Devil        Company: Wigston’s Lures (https://www.wigstonslures.com.au/) Lure type: Soft plastic worm Sizes and colors: Available in four sizes – ¼-, 7/16-, 11/16- and 14/16-ounce – in 76 color combinations, from bull frog, foxy lady and eliminator to spotted dog, bloody ripper […]

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HAMBURGERS VS HOT DOGS: HOW TO EAT HEALTHIER THIS FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY

Food

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and chances are you’re about to face the toughest choice of your summer: hot dog or hamburger? If you’re thinking “Both!” you’re in good company. But if you’re trying to make healthier choices this holiday, “both” probably shouldn’t be your response. Consider what a registered dietitian says about this age-old […]

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Tropical Plants

Garden

Frank Pizzi is dwarfed by a giant banana tree with dark metallic purple stems and almost impossibly huge strapping leaves in the Jungle Odyssey exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. While many visitors are intrigued with the giant anteaters, playful capybaras and ocelots, gardeners can discover an array of tropical plants that could […]

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