Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect

Nov. 19, 2011 at 5:19 a.m.

My annual Thanksgiving column garners more comments and emails from readers than any of the other 51 columns combined, and, truthfully, it is healthy to reflect on the blessings, good times, funny times and not-so-good times in the outdoors.

I thank the good Lord every day for this lifestyle he has given me.

Here are a few reasons why:

Full moon over Matagorda Bay . A saddleblanket flatfish . Stiff winds from the north with autumn wings riding it . Water so green you see the flash of a four-pound speckled trout eating your soft plastic . Helping your child put on his/her waders . Birds working on a placid bay . Blue-winged teal so thick you don't know whether to shoot or just watch . The sound of 50 redfish crunching as they roll through the grass . The sweet smell of watermelon on Trinity Bay . A crushing blow from a topwater trout . The naps after a good hunt . My daughter asking for a shotgun for Christmas . Pintails just being pintails . A flooding rain to fill the cracks . Snow geese showing up overnight . Thinking it's another redfish, then seeing the black tail of a seven-pound trout . Dolphins saying hello on the Hump . A good dog riding shotgun on the ride to the duck pond . Another morning . Water so clear you can see your toes and the trout swimming around the reef . One more drift . Chopped beef sandwich at Junior's after the hunt . Watching a zoo of wildlife on the Pierce Ranch . A fish on every cast at Shell Island . Flounder to six pounds at Monkey Island on Big Lake . Gumbo after a marsh hunt at HR&G . A popping cork dunked tight to the granite . Liar birds over a huge school of reds . Spawning bass in the shallows ... Heavy horns caught on camera . The taste of venison from your first whitetail . A two-pound Gulf trout . Greenheads in flooded timber . Trout under lights in the Colorado River . A specklebelly decoying at 10 yards . Two dozen redheads balling up over the dekes . Listening to a good game while catching fish . Frosty earlobes on a fast ride down the ICW . Trout blasting a plug as the sun sets on the horizon . Winding through the marsh in an old flatbottom . Bailing out of the boat, taking two steps, then never moving . Groggy mornings at Buc-ees . Snow geese going to roost . Prasek's Ranger cookies . Whistling wigeons working a bay flat ... Light north winds and an emerald surf . A feather-light piece of graphite and a smooth levelwind . Photos of seasons past . A blonde ponytail sticking out of a camo hat . The purr of a four-stroke . Working slicks in Jack's Pocket . Holiday weekends at Sunday Beach . Speckled trout caught that morning, fried that evening . Largemouths attacking Pop-Rs . A wintertime wade and the thump of the Corky . Watching your wife pound fish on artificials . Sand on your tires and trout in the cooler . Maroon-caped canvasbacks showering your spread . Bluewings on a shallow shoreline heading north in the spring . Turquoise on the caudal fin of a marsh red . Flounder staging on the edge of the channel . Mourning doves in a field of ripe goatweed . Picking out the sprig with the longest tail . Juvenile snow geese flipping and whiffling over your head . Shrimp hopping on the surface . Tripletail hanging tight to the pole . Greenwings in groups of 50-plus buzzing the marsh . Wood ducks breaking limbs to splash down on their timber roost . Every sunrise .Every sunset.

It wouldn't hurt for you to make your own list and say a few thank yous.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed hunting and fishing guide (



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