I can't stop staring at this photo of Chewbacca running the Twin Cities marathon

Look at this amazing photo of a person in a Chewbacca costume running the Twin Cities marathon.
It takes quite a bit of dedication to run a marathon, but times that by a thousand to run a marathon wearing a heavy, hairy costume.

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Guns for sale: DNR confiscated firearms auction tomorrow [PHOTOS]

Hiller Auction Service
Up for grabs.
Over the past year, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers have busted a lot of hunters and anglers up to no good, and in certain cases, they've confiscated their gear.

Now, those lawbreakers' mistakes can be your gain: The seized items are hitting the auction block tomorrow, including more than 200 guns, 200 hunting and fishing items like poles and deer antlers, and 40 bows.

See Also:
- DNR shoots alligator near Scandia; one still on loose
- DNR says buck with record rack was poached

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Auction, DNR

Mpls named best city for recreational activities, St. Paul takes third

Categories: Lists, Outdoors
NerdWallet name checks Fort Snelling State Park
We know that the Twin Cities have the the country's best parks and fittest people. So it only stands to reason that we'd win another distinction right where those honors intersect: Best city for recreational activity.

See Also:
- Minneapolis has the best parks in the nation and it isn't even close, study says
- Twin Cities rated the most healthy and fit metro for the third year in a row [GRAPHIC]

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Minneapolis has one of the nicest tree canopies in the country, U.S. Forest Service study says

mplsforest rect.jpg
kla4067 on Flickr
It's easy to forget in February, but green things really do grow here.
It's impossible to appreciate this time of year, but if you're sick of winter, here's a comforting thought -- in just a few months, we'll again be enjoying one of America's finest tree canopies!

SEE ALSO: North Siders upset about city of Minneapolis's tree-planting tornado commemoration

According to an American Forests study funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Minneapolis has one of the 10 top treescapes in the country, along with Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, New York City, hated rival Portland, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

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Watch your heads, Minnesota boaters: Asian carp have arrived

Categories: Outdoors
Asian carp DNR.jpg
Commercial fishermen hold Asian carp caught March 1 in Mississippi River near Winona. From left to right, the fish are grass carp, silver carp, and bighead carp.
Batten down the hatches -- Asian carp have arrived in Minnesota. A silver carp and a bighead carp were caught in the Mississippi River March 1 near Winona, the furthest point upstream the fish have been seen thus far.

Recent reports make the invasive fish sound like villainous creatures from a sci-fi flick -- "the silver carp is known to jump out of the water and strike boaters in the head," MPR notes; according to the EPA, reported injuries from flying silver carp include "cuts from fins, black eyes, broken bones, back injuries, and concussions."

Not only can Asian carp lay the smack down on humans, but they mess up ecosystems as well. Bighead carp can weigh up to 100 pounds, silver carp up to 60, and the voracious eaters can easily out-compete native fish for scarce food supplies.

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Blake Buck attaches engagement ring to fish; girlfriend reels in fiancé

Categories: Outdoors
ice fishing engagement.jpg
Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Blake Buck and his buddy came up with a proposal for the ages.
Only in Minnesota.

Last Saturday, Blake Buck took his girlfriend Kellie O'Leary ice fishing on Otter Tail Lake near Fergus Falls. She ended up reeling in a fiancé.

Buck and his buddy, Mike Metzger, concocted an elaborate plan to have Kellie reel in a fish with the engagement ring attached, and the friends pulled it off without a hitch.

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Minnesota state parks campsite reservation system back online today

camping mn parks.JPG
DNR Facbook Page
Interstate State Park is open and enticing.
The shutdown was rough on Minnesotan outdoorsmen and women. No boat or fishing license renewal. Closed state parks. A minefield of poop outside of locked public restrooms.

Well, it's all over now. And starting this morning, the Department of Natural Resource's online campsite reservation system will boot back up. All the choicest spots for Fourth of July weekend 2012 are unclaimed and ready to be snatched.

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Major Northern Lights event predicted tonight

northern lights 1.jpg
The northern lights, at another time, in another place (Alaska).
The folks at Science Buzz say the sun spewed forth a mighty belch of solar particles yesterday, and they're expected to bombard the Earth tonight for a major display of the northern lights.

The spooky yet awesome light show is pretty common Up North, but it ought to be visible with the naked eye across a lot of Minnesota tonight -- if the sky is clear, and you can get away from city lights.

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Voodoo lily brings rotting corpse smell to Minnesota Zoo

The new voodoo lily at MN Zoo
Just in time for spring, the Minnesota Zoo has acquired a flower that blooms and smells like something died.

Amorphophallus konjac--also known as Voodoo lily or Devil's tongue--landed at the zoo on Tuesday and is expected to bloom within the next few days. You don't want to miss this, because when it does, the air will be filled with the rotting scent of death.

"I read one thing that says it smells like Hannibal Lecter's compost pile on a hot afternoon," says Kim Thomas, horticulture supervisor at the Minnesota Zoo.

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Rob MacIntyre discovers bottled-urine graveyard near his house

Categories: Outdoors

Photo by Hellochris, Flickr.
Try not to think about how long the containers had been sitting there.
Rob MacIntrye made an unpleasant discovery late last week: The wooded area near his north Minneapolis house was being used as a dump site for bodily fluids.

It's not that someone had merely been using the forest as a toilet. That would have been far less disgusting. MacIntyre actually found a hoard of various containers filled with urine.

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