Outdoors

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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These two river fishermen used live minnows to a catch a hefty stringer of crapp

One thing is certain – small ponds, creeks and lakes can hold big time numbers of panfish, as well as bass and catfish. There are hundreds of these small fishing waters scattered throughout East Texas on public and private property. They are all easily accessible most of the time and can be fished from the bank or in a small, flat-bottom boat.

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Thanks to a flood of rain water heading down the Neches and Sabine rivers, fishing on Sabine Lake is going to take a direct hit, meaning slower fishing. However, a good place to find both trout and reds will be along the Gulf side of the jetties, and at the short rigs. Fishing jigs around the rigs, anywhere from a half mile to 7 miles off the Sabine jetties, has been a good way to catch some pretty good numbers of trout.

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One of the most joyful blooms you find in the summer are those of the hibiscus. They can be dramatic. Some of the hundreds of varieties will grow flowers as large as a child’s head. Now lets talk color! Look for hibiscus in all shades of pink from soft to hot, shades of red, white, yellow, peach, purple and orange.

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If you look in your closet, you might be able to tell what your favorite colors are. Have you ever thought about using your favorite colors in the planning of your backyard? Love blue? A patch of blue in a container on your patio could make your morning brighter. Love orange? Why not place a huge orange bougainvillea outside of your kitchen window? Color is the most noticeable feature in most of our yards, so why not make it a color that you love?

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Master Gardener Donna Thompson, green house specialist, seeded and transplanted
Cecil Hightower, Test Garden Chairman, helps customers with a plant.

If winter left your plants in a frozen mess, take heart! The Jefferson County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale and Market Day is around the corner. Everything you need to get your garden glorious again will be offered. Our Master Gardeners have been celebrating spring with this very popular plant sale for as far back as 2007, according to Peggy Coleman of Texas Agri-Life. She adds that the event may even date back further than that.

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Trey Prye used a floating Fat Boy lure to catch this 7.13-pound trout while fish

Cold fronts continue to make trout fishing extremely tough to figure out on Sabine Lake. However, a few anglers willing to grind it out are finding heavy trout on both Sabine and Calcasieu. During the Dailey’s Hunt N Fish big trout contest held on both Sabine and Calcasieu lakes last Sunday, March 23, the heaviest trout came from Louisiana.

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Red snapper catches are fantastic around rigs and over rocks in 100 to 250 feet

Red snapper are in the news for the numbers of fish being caught, and the fact that a Texas judge has snubbed the National Marine Fisheries Service. That, in turn, has lengthened the recreational snapper fishing season.

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