Skip to content

Written by Lois Rodriguez

2ndPlace LowerTexasCoast BigSit TheHotWings birding2

She’s been at the helm of the Great Texas Birding Classic for 18 of its 20 years, but the passion behind it all has not waned for Shelly Plante, Nature Tourism Manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That’s why she was my go-to for a little basics on birding and some background on the Great Texas Birding Classic.

 MG 8887 2I was sitting in an Adirondack chair on the back porch of my rental cabin at Blanco Settlement, feet up on the rail, as a thunderous rainstorm pounded the tin roof and swelled the gray-green waters of the Blanco River, less than 60 feet below my vantage.

Oporto diningFrom the late ’70s through the late ’90s, Houston’s Midtown area—a pie-shaped region south of downtown loosely bordered by Interstate 45 and US 59—was largely known as a hub for Houston’s Vietnamese community. For adventurous diners, Midtown back then was the place to go for savory Vietnamese rice plates, steaming bowls of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup), or an inexpensive and flavorful banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich).

Bluebonnet Blaze of Glory 2Texas is blessed with an abundance and variety of wildflowers. Come springtime, nearly every corner of the state boasts photogenic displays of beautiful blooms.

Elephant FinishIt’s easy to love West Texas. The attractions of the Big Sky country are obvious. The openly bold landscape refuses to be ignored. But I have a different love for the more subtle charms of East Texas.

What a delight to be able to canoe down the Trinity River with its stunning contrasts of the sights and sounds of Dallas and the bucolic scenes of nature.

I love gingerbread pancakes and have had many great versions, but I came up with this recipe because I love ginger and wanted a better ginger kick. I treat candied ginger bits like blueberries or chocolate chips. For me, the more the better.

I do fiddle with the recipe some - adding more sugar or cinnamon based on my mood, but this base recipe should do it.

pancake2Today is Pancake Day … or Shrove Tuesday … or Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Whatever you choose to acknowledge, it’s an amalgamation of indulgences - carnivals and carb overload - before the Lent fast begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. Frankly, because I’m hungry at the moment, my mind is focused on visions (and flavors) of a delectable pancake .. or hot cake … or flap jack….whatever you choose to call them.

43a couple v2Love is a very personal thing, and hopefully you know how to say it best, but just in case, here are a few tips for inspiration.

BeeCaveBobPennsylvania will grab some national attention when Punxsutawney Phil, the prognosticating groundhog predicts the timing of spring by the presence (or lack thereof) of his shadow on Groundhog Day, today/Feb. 2. But on this balmy Texas day (68 low/77 high), it’s hard to believe that the weather in Pennsylvania (26 low/44 high) has anything to do with the weather in the Lone Star State. But that’s been remedied by the little armored Bee Cave Bob and Armadillo Day.

elphm2The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Texas, we have a few museums that work year round to make sure it is never forgotten.

Cattail Marsh3So, the time has come at the beginning of the year when we weigh (pun intended) our physical fitness levels. More often, than not, we're not especially happy with what we see, so we set out to make changes. (Yes, those resolutions we forget to keep). That's the bad news.

Back to top