Get Your Tickets: Unify to Beautify’s 2012 Ranch House Tour

This weekend only – Saturday April 28th, 2012 – four beautiful ranch homes located in Live Oak County will open their doors to the public from 10am to 4pm during Unify to Beautify’s 2012 Ranch House Tour. Pictured above is just one of the four spectacular ranch homes featured in this year’s Unify to Beautify’s 2012 Ranch House Tour. You can daydream to more dazzling, pretty pictures of this breathtaking Colonial Spanish ranch house here in this special feature by the Corpus Christi Caller Times which recently interviewed its owners. Believe me when I say you really don’t want to miss out on this rare chance to take a sneak peek beyond the fence lines of some amazing south Texas ranches. This is the group’s 3rd Annual Ranch House Tour and they have yet to repeat a home! Plus, in the process you’ll also be supporting a great group that’s committed to improving the quality of life in their local community. Tickets are $15 a person and must be shown to event volunteers in order to enter each ranch. All proceeds from the self-guided home tour go towards the diverse projects of Unify to Beautify that help enhance George West,TX. To learn more about Unify to Beautify and their commitment to George West,TX checkout their Facebook page.

Event information via  Texas Monthly:

Saturday April 28th

Home Tour hours: 10am to 4pm
Tickets are $15 person; limited number available.

Advance tickets available locally in Live Oak County from:
– Unify to Beautify Members
– George West Chamber of Commerce
– Desert Flower Realty
– This-N-That Cleaner
– Curry’s Nursery & Floral
– Finders Keepers

Refreshments and Tickets will also be available at the historic Buck West House the day of the Tour from 9:30am – 1:00pm

George West Chamber of Commerce
Buck West House
406 Nueces Street
George West, TX 78022
ph: 361.449.2033

(Photo by Eddie Seal/Special to the Caller Times)

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2012 Annual Choke Canyon Birding Festival canceled – But you can still go out on your own

If you’re getting frustrated searching and searching and searching for information about the Annual Choke Canyon Birding Festival that usually takes place the first weekend in February please be advised that it has actually been canceled this year. According to the Three River’s Chamber of Commerce several reasons lead the group to make the hard decision, including the severe Texas drought that has been taking a toll on wildlife in the area as well as the lack of accommodations in the area due the recent up tick of activity at the Eagle Ford Shale.

That said, if you don’t mind roughing it for a few days and camping at the Calliham section of the state park (more info here) you can still head out to Choke Canyon State Park on your own this weekend and do your own exploring and birding. During the 2011 festival avid birders spotted 76 different birds out at Choke Canyon. You can read about one birder’s experience here and check out some of her beautiful photos from the 2011 Choke Canyon Birding Festival here. This year there’s really no telling what you might see hiding out in the gently-rolling brushlands and stream valleys of the park. The Texas drought has indeed been brutal on local wildlife so you may not see as much as you would during a good year. BUT you may also be lucky enough to some see rare birds that have been showing up in the area lately – possibly from the pressures of the drought – one of the most recent spottings being a northern jacana.

Northern Jacana

If you go on your own…
Here’s a little sneak peek of what *might* await you at Choke Canyon…

(This video was recorded/uploaded over one year ago…) 

How to get there…
Choke Canyon State Park is located on the 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir, just 10 miles west of Three Rivers,TX on Highway 72, and consists of two units: South Shore and Calliham. Learn more about Choke Canyon State Park here.

Good to know before you go…
Camping is only available/allowed in Calliham unit of the park.
Calliham Unit: 2 miles of hiking trails, a mile-long bird trail with feeders and a wildlife educational center that offers educational programs.
South Shore Unit: day trip only, 0.25-mile hiking trail, together with a 0.25 birding trail.

(Photo borrowed from here)
(Video borrowed from this avid outdoors man) 

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Think you know everything there is to know about whitetail deer?

Well think again dear friend (no pun intended.) Even experts – i.e. researchers and wildlife biologists – admit we actually still have a lot to learn about these beautiful graceful animals… For example, we still know very little about their vision. We assume they have amazing vision because we can’t sneak up on them very well, but could it be it’s because they’ve got great scent detection? What we do know for certain according to this pretty interesting study is that whitetail deer only see yellow and blue, and that more importantly they see UV, which is actually really bad news if you camo-up. Why? Well most camo gear is produced using UV dyes, and turns out that the UV in camo prints reflects light in the blue frequency spectrum so to quote this article directly, when you’re in camo “you’re glowing like a blue Popsicle” to a deer.

That said, here’s a few more interesting things you probably don’t know about whitetail deer… Did you know that every buck has a shot at mating during rut, including the young fellas? Yep. Click here to read up on a study published in the Journal of Mammology on the topic. And, did you that if you see a buck still in velvet late in the season you don’t have to set up an appointment with your ophthalmologist because it’s actually quite possible and there’s a logical explanation for it? Or how about that whitetail deer “sleep” in 30 second increments alternating with states of high alertness? You can read more about all three of these interesting whitetail deer facts and a three others equally interesting here.

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Happy New Year!!

From our family to yours, Happy New Year!

And, just a friendly reminder: Don’t forget that the last day to hunt whitetail deer here in south Texas is Sunday January 15th… That means only 15 days left to get that buck you’ve been dreaming about since November 5th and filling up your freezer with the healthiest, organic meat ever. Happy hunting everyone! And may your New Year be prosperous and bright!

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Stumped for gift ideas? Here’s a few fun ideas…

It’s official: Only 10 days left until Christmas… Hopefully you’ve already done all your shopping, but if you’re still stumped about what to get your favorite outdoors man or outdoors gal, here’s a few fun gift ideas we came across:

Whitetail Antler Ring
Every huntress is sure to fall in love with this sophisticated and beautifully crafted whitetail antler ring. You can check out more photos and order it here.



Chocolate Amo!!
Who knew?! These are so neat every outdoors man is sure to get a kick out of them. And, of course you can never go wrong with chocolate… They’ve got bullets, shotgun shells, and they even have a DYI kit you can order too. You can check out all the options and order here.

Hot Caliber Jewelry & Accessories 
Talk about unexpected and really cool! Your outdoors man or gal is sure to love any of Hot Caliber items crafted from flattened bullets. Since the they are “shot by hand” here in the USA, every single piece is unique. Check out all the options and place your order here.

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