Outdoors

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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The cold weather of late has not exactly set the stage for fishing of any kind, but the pursuit of big bass on East Texas lakes is always on the top burner about this time of year. I was talking to bass fishing pro Lonnie Stanley a few days ago and he said that Sam Rayburn is in great shape thanks to recent rains.

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It is that dreaded time of year when our mailboxes start to fill with those W-2, 1099s and other forms that indicate to us what might be taxable income. Some people simply throw all of the tax documents in a shoe box or plastic bag, and take them to a CPA or storefront tax service for completion of 1040 forms and schedules.

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It’s hard to believe that most hunting seasons are already winding down. It seems to me that only a few days ago, the big discussions were what kind of shape the deer country was in. Along with that was the question of animal condition after the drought a year ago. Many of the predictions of doom and gloom were not supported. There was ample rainfall during the right time to supply ample forage for the deer in most areas.

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