Outdoors

It’s that time again! Yep, time to get out there in the yard and begin the spring cleanup. Our winters aren’t so long or so cold, but they can be really messy. Chances are your yard and garden are full of half-alive or half-dead plants, wind strewn debris and maybe even some old damp sheets or things used to cover your most sensitive plants during a couple of chilly nights.

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So when do folks quit going fishing? They don’t! Although most of the anglers are also hunters, there is no reason to overlook some great cold weather fishing. Even back during deer season, many deer hunters, especially in the Hill Country and in West Texas, were privileged to have access to stock tanks. There are also rivers and streams that meander near to or on their hunting grounds. The majority of ranchers that I’ve talked to about fishing in their tanks are super agreeable.

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I’ve had a love/hate relationship with crab traps for years. I love to use them to catch big blue crabs and the occasional stone crab on Sabine Lake and Keith Lake. Conversely, I hate to have to get out of the boat and untangle a mangled derelict crab trap that’s been wound up on the prop of my outboard.

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Jackie Steen, Master Gardener president

Did your mama always say, “Can’t get something for nothing”? Well maybe you can after all. For the second year, the Campbell Forestry group has partnered with the Jefferson County Master Gardener group to supply tree seedlings to our county. There is no cost to anyone. Yep, the seedlings are free.

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The warming trend we’ve had the past couple of days has set the stage for some fun outdoors that includes fishing, paddling and, of course, hiking.

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The lion’s share of the local waterfowl season is history. With only the weekend remaining, hunters should take advantage of some great hunting. The speckled belly or white fronted goose season has been closed hereabouts since Jan. 13. The ducks, snow geese, and Canada goose season is open until Jan. 27. The Canada and speckled-belly goose season will be open until Feb. 3 in the Texas Western Zone, but not here.

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Not every garden needs to be full of blooming flowers to be a showstopper space. Sometimes we get locked into the idea that we need green leaves and flowers to create beauty in the yard. How can you add more interest to your yard? How about adding variegated foliage plants instead of high maintenance flowers?

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We all love ’em. Sweet Texas oranges are those little juicy bites of sunshine that we can buy year round at local grocery stores. Lots of our oranges come from Florida and California (thick skins, pretty, not as juicy) and South Texas and Mexico (not as pretty, super sweet, super juicy). With a little care you can grow your own oranges on your own beautiful orange tree right here in Southeast Texas.

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We all love ’em. Sweet Texas oranges are those little juicy bites of sunshine that we can buy year round at local grocery stores. Lots of our oranges come from Florida and California (thick skins, pretty, not as juicy) and South Texas and Mexico (not as pretty, super sweet, super juicy). With a little care you can grow your own oranges on your own beautiful orange tree right here in Southeast Texas.

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Most of the time when we as outdoor writers relay the news to you, it’s about adults. But many years ago there were a larger number of youth hunting and fishing. During the past decade, those numbers seem to have dwindled.

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