Outdoors

Say “decorate for Christmas” and many of us immediately think of the plants that say Christmas. Your decorating list could include poinsettias, paperwhites, rosemary, amaryllis, holly, Christmas cactus, Christmas rose, mistletoe and your own Christmas tree. 

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Duck hunting has been better than expected for most hunters. During the first sp

With temperatures above normal for this time of year, both fishing and hunting are two very good options here in Southeast Texas. Duck hunting during the second split has been better than expected in the coastal marsh and on flooded fields. Fishing on the Sabine continues to be excellent for flounder, reds and trout for boaters and waders.

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Lots of local gardeners have great luck with growing grapes, and I wondered why. According to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America. It was established by Franciscan priests close to 1659. As European settlers followed the development of mission outposts, they brought more grapevine cuttings. The grape growing industry in Texas developed through the 1800s.

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Our master gardeners are keeping us busy this fall. Just a couple of weeks ago at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, they set records with the number of folks who came to the annual Fall Plant Sale. And this is with good reason. Their plant options are numerous and varied.

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This week’s blast of cold weather will more than likely send big-time numbers of ducks and geese down the Central Flyway. The duck season so far has been hit and miss here in Southeast Texas, but the numbers of ducks on the middle Texas coast is definitely better than expected.

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If you have never tried to grow citrus in your own backyard, you might be surprised at how much luck you could have. Yes, we can grow oranges, grapefruit, lemons and other citrus with just a little care, patience and knowledge.

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I don’t know if it gets any better than this in Texas. We can hunt deer, shoot ducks and geese, fish for reds and trout under birds on Sabine Lake, or head to the surf to catch bull reds till our arms give out.

A few days ago, I fished Sabine Lake and two of us caught enough trout and reds to feed a family reunion. The very next day, I was sitting in a duck blind shooting red heads and pintails over a spread of decoys.

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We are lucky to be in Texas this time of year. Some of our summer blooming plants like hibiscus and bougainvillea are still giving us a show, and we can add in gorgeous fall blooming annuals and perennials. Just for fun, how about we focus on some purple beauties and create an area that will not only draw you to the garden but butterflies, bees and birds as well? It seems that we all love purple.

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White Tail Deer

Finally the biggest event in Texas hunting is here – Saturday, Nov. 1, is the season opener on deer across the Lone Star state. It’s a fact that white-tailed deer hunting in Texas provides an opportunity for more than 800,000 hunters to go afield and harvest America’s most abundant big game animal. It’s also a fact that deer hunters annually contribute more than $2 billion to the Texas economy.

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The classic Black-Eyed Susan is known and loved by all gardeners. You may also know them by Coneflower or their common name, Rudbeckia. They look great in fields or pastures growing wild but are equally stunning in more “domesticated” settings. Picture them in your yard with their bright, yellow-gold petals and picture perfect dark brown, rounded centers.

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