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Unprecedented times this spring like never experienced before by most of us has brought change in and around our communities, state and country. And while many could not go to work or socialize, and most had to change routines for meaningful gatherings or observances for loved ones or in wor…

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Along the Texas coast, you might think of cattle egrets as “cow birds” but there is actually a group of birds known as cowbirds that aren’t herons at all.

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I doubt many of you know this week is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. It’s a week declared by the American Mosquito Control Association to educate us about the dangers of these pests and how to control them.

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It is that time of year, when people are out in the garden, but with COVID-19, many people who have never gardened before are starting a garden. Those who live in town or in apartments may not have room for a garden but can still grow plants. One such way is to use a growing bag.

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A group of very aerobatic, insect eating raptors call our area home. The kites are some of the most graceful raptors, with sleek bodies, long pointed wings and small rounded heads.

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“Let me tell you ‘bout the birds and the bees. And the flowers and the trees. The moon up above. And a thing called love.” If you are like me, you can’t help but remember and sing the tune along with these words.

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In the minds of many Americans, helium balloons are associated with freedom and lightheartedness. Balloon releases are common parts of parties, openings and even memorial services. People like to imagine them floating away on the wind high up into the clouds.

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Because of the state of the world we are having to change the way we normally do things. The Victoria County Master Gardener Association chose to have our monthly meeting via Zoom.

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It’s gonna get hot out there. Those late cool fronts that came through in May are just a fond memory now. The heat is ramping up, but with some care, your gardens and you can avoid the heat-related stress.

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Our son knows I love plants. When he visits, we go to the nursery to find a new plant to add to my collection. Last summer we found a unique and appealing plant called the money tree plant, Pachira aquatica. It has been a delightful, easy-care addition to my plant family.

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During the late spring and summer, you may have noticed a bird flying around at dawn and dusk catching insects in the air. If it had long, tapered wings with a white stripe across them near the end, you’ve got yourself a nighthawk sighting. We have two kinds of nighthawks in Texas – the comm…

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If you are searching for an eye-catcher to add to your garden for a patriotic day like Memorial Day, you might want to consider Clerodendrum thomsoniae, bleeding heart vine, aka bleeding glory bower, bag flower, beauty bush and glory bower.

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Like most everyone else, the staff of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory have been working from their homes for the most part of six weeks now. Some of our field projects are exempt, so a few of our biologists are able to go out and roam in the wilds, well away from people.

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I acquired a small potted plant last year that was labeled Giant Turk’s Cap, so I had a real surprise when the first blooms appeared. They dangled straight down from slim, arching stems with frilly, deeply pinnately-lobed petals. These five petals were about 2-1/2 inches long and curled back…

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Many gardeners also love birding. Not all birder’s carry binoculars, water bottles and spend hours in the wild watching for an unusual variety of bird species to fly by.

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Hummingbirds have fascinated us for centuries, inspiring myths, art, and science. But what makes them so special? Hummingbirds have some of the most unique physical and behavioral features in the bird kingdom. Let’s take a look at the most notable ones.

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In my mind, mothers and flowers go together. This Mother’s Day consider giving the mother in your life a blooming plant that will last longer than a floral bouquet.

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I wrote an article on July 23, 2009, for this column on preparing a landscape garden and planting cacti plants. I have been intrigued with cactus and how they can survive the most inhospitable growing conditions, their magnificent forms and their beautiful flowers. It’s amazing that even the…

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Imagine: You are a diamondback rattlesnake, basking in the sun and enjoying your day without a care, because you have incredibly potent venom, and you can kill pretty much anything that wants to hurt you.

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Have you ever wondered the difference between succulents and cacti? Succulents are plants that store water in their stems, roots, and leaves whereas cacti are fleshy plants that store water but, by description, have areoles (spine cushions), making all cacti a part of the larger group of suc…

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As a child, I remember my mother always having a potted aloe vera plant growing in our kitchen window and potted African violets growing in our living room windows. The beautiful violet flowers were for looks, and the aloe vera was used on cuts, burns and any insect stings we kids got.

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Some time ago, the brown pelican was a rare sight along the Texas Coast. That’s not the case today. You can visit just about any bay or beach and see dozens of brown pelicans in majestic flight low over the water, or diving into the sea head first looking for fish.

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Recently, I read that the fiddle-leaf fig is the plant for this decade. It is considered the trendiest plant for inside sun rooms and outside patios.

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Recently, a humane organization located in Lake Jackson made a push to implement a “Trap, Neuter, Release” (TNR) program that allows cats to roam free and in colonies. Normally, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory does not engage in public issues as we mainly work on bird conservation, research and …

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In a normal year, it usually begins when we all receive our first gardening catalogue in the mail during winter — or see a display of spring flowers in a garden center.

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We at Gulf Coast Bird Observatory are conducting non-breeding shorebird surveys along the Texas Coast until the end of March. The beaches we monitor are Matagorda Beach, Bryan Beach, Quintana Beach and Follet’s Island.We are mainly focusing on threatened, endangered or species of high concer…

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A few years ago, a hastily purchased bag of “expanding” potting soil introduced me to coir.

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Not many people on the planet today appreciate the soil in their yards.

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Everyone’s favorite party fact is that a group of crows is called a murder. Well, it is if you’re an animal nerd like me. A murder of crows, a bloom of jellyfish, a pride of lions. Where did all these animal group names come from? Why can’t we just call it a group and be done with it?

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March is usually the beginning of busy times in our yards and gardens. Mowing, weeding, pruning, raking, transplanting, fertilizing, watering, oh my! But don’t we love it?

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A gardener works with soil and plants effectively alongside nature to create beauty in flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables. The knowledge of the synergy between man-made efforts and nature’s complexities can produce varied types of gardens.

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