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Planting Bulbs in the Fall for Spring Surprises

Outdoors

Winter still had an icy grip on the garden after a brief thaw, when through the snow emerged the spectacular blue flowers of snow crocus, unaffected by the frigid temperatures. Even though I know where the flowers are planted, they are always a surprise. All it takes is a day or two in February as […]

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Sleeping well outdoors, in a tent, is really possible

Outdoors

It was never hard to tell who the rookies were. When my sons first joined Boy Scouts, it was common practice for their troop to take the newest recruits – and usually their fathers — camping right away. That meant tenting in March. It’s an unforgiving month by nature. Still, enthusiasm was always high. This […]

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Outdoor Extras, including an alfredo channel catfish recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Lucky 7 Company: Tri-State Bait Co. (https://www.everybodyshops.com/lucky7-dough-ball-fishing-carp-catfish-bait.html) Gear type: Dough ball bait Product description: When it comes to catching catfish, namely channel cats and bullheads, and carp, scented dough baits are a proven, effective tool. Each flavor of these comes in […]

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National Public Lands Day a celebration of riches

Outdoors

Before Jurassic World, before Jurassic Park, before even the actual dinosaurs that spawned them, there was Brandywine Falls. Or at least the makings of it. Between 300 and 400 million years ago, Brandywine Creek began cutting its way through the Cuyahoga Valley. In nature’s slow but unrelenting way, the Brandywine gouged and scoured and burnished […]

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Calling whitetails successfully a matter of properly timed aggression

Outdoors

You want to do it. Oh, man, do you want to do it. For months you’ve dreamt of archery season, always envisioning an edgy, big-racked, thick-bodied whitetail buck walking under your tree stand or up to your ground blind. In your mind’s eye, the deer came in on a string, responding to your calling. Now, […]

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25 Fun facts you never knew about apples

Food

Crisp, sweet, and delicious, bushels of apples are a true symbol that autumn has arrived. Whether you stroll through the apple orchard and pick some yourself, or scoop a few pecks up from the store, Americans just can’t get enough. By volume, we eat more apples than any other fruit. But for all the love […]

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The Monarch Whisperer

Garden

Fat green, white and black caterpillars climbed all over the milkweed plants along the driveway of Karrie Klug’s Slickville home. She was thrilled, gently removing just three of them and some milkweed for nourishment to display in a container at the Mr. Tire store in Latrobe that she manages. She was determined to raise them […]

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PA Game Commission may change rules for wearing of orange

Outdoors

It is, by just about everyone’s admission, time to make a decision one way or the other. There’s less agreement on what that decision should be. For many months now, Pennsylvania Game Commissioners have debated whether to simplify the rules specifying how much fluorescent orange hunters have to wear and when. As things are, agency […]

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Hawk watching a season unto itself

Outdoors

The trail we walked was ancient, or at least much older than the intentions of those traveling it this day. Times, attitudes, change. We started with a gentle climb. Leaving the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association visitor center near Kempton, Pa., at our back, we crossed the road and passed through a gate, manned by a […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a campfire hot dog recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: SonicSubSpin UnderSpin Company: Panther Martin (www.panthermartin.com) Lure type: Spinner Sizes and colors: Available in five colors – black blue flake, silver, white black back, white and chartreuses holographic – in three sizes, ¼-, 3/8- and ½-ounce. Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth […]

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Autumn Gardening – Planting Trees & Shrubs

Garden

Cool mornings and low light greet gardeners in September, making it the perfect recipe for planting. Fall is such an important time for gardening; bulbs, trees, shrubs, perennials and cool-weather vegetables are all things that enjoy going into the garden this time of the year. Many people want to kick back now, but it’s a […]

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Wet weather camping can be fun with the right preparation

Outdoors

The weather around much of the country lately has been absolutely wonderful. If you’re an ark salesman, that is. But for the rest of us? Not so much. We’ve endured tremendous amounts of rain in a short period of time. And things figure to stay wet for a while, too. Now, rain in and of […]

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3 slow cooker chicken recipes ready for fall

Food

Before we know it, colder temperatures will descend upon us. First chilly, windy fall. Then snow, ice, and slush. You can hardly wait, right? Well, if there is one thing to look forward to as the weather cools, it’s warm, delicious slow cooker recipes — the kind that give you the perfect excuse to cozy […]

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UPMC Therapeutic Garden for Kids

Garden

In Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood, there’s a garden of raised wooden beds enclosed by a tall, chain link fence. Three 16-year-old girls struggling with anxiety, depression and other issues are just a few of the patients who use this space at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC as a therapeutic tool. Dr. Rameshwari […]

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First-time campers and lessons learned and shared

Outdoors

Ever been hit square between the eyes with a blacksmith’s hammer? Me neither, fortunately. But I imagine it feels something like the breath-stealing punch to the face that is the heat baking much of the country lately. Really, c’mon. Do so much as open your front door and walk to the car and you’re dripping […]

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September Garden Calendar

Garden

September continues the planting of cool-weather crops in the vegetable garden. Things like spinach, lettuce, corn mache, tatsoi, pak choi, arugula, radishes, turnips, beets and others can be started now. Look locally for plants, as gardeners have learned about extending the season, and garden centers have started carrying fresh plants for fall planting. Plant perennials […]

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Duck numbers, grizzly bears and more outdoor news

Outdoors

A roundup of outdoor news from around the country… Duck numbers Waterfowl hunters should expect a few less ducks this fall than last, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But that’s not to say things are bad. The Service’s 2018 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey Report – an annual estimate of duck […]

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Owls add excitement and mystery to evening hikes

Outdoors

It was the pellets that first gave them away. We were hiking a trail through the woods of a local park. It’s not rugged by any means, yet the terrain had slowed our gait a bit. It was downhill, but steep, and on this day wet. At one point, moving slowly beneath some pines to […]

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Talking about moving the deer season opener

Outdoors

It is, it seems, a case of trying to live in two worlds. Pennsylvania Game Commissioners – like their counterparts all over the nation – are trying to recruit new hunters and reactivate lapsed ones. Declining license sales that are eroding conservation funding make that a necessity. Yet they’re simultaneously trying to hold onto the […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a look at a fire starter

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Blastmatch Company: Ultimate Survival technologies (https://www.everybodyshops.com/ultimate-survival-technologies-blastmatch-firestarter-orange.html) Gear type: Fire starter Product description: Fire is a critical element of any survival scenario. It provides, heat, warmth for boiling water or cooking and, as much as anything else, hope. And the Blastmatch is […]

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This is why a baker’s dozen is 13

Food

Ask for a dozen roses from a florist or a dozen eggs from a farmer, and you’ll expect to receive an even 12 items. But if you ask a baker for a dozen doughnuts, you could go home with 13, or a baker’s dozen. Not that we’re complaining, but why do bakers have their own […]

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Roses are a Family Heirloom

Garden

Marsha Kennedy is warming up to her hydrangea after she’s finally coaxed it to bloom in hues of purple. It’s her favorite color, which is evident by her hummingbird print T-shirt and the purple tint in the 68-year-old’s hair. Her garden is filled with pollinator plants like milkweed, coneflower, phlox, monarda, borage and many more, […]

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PA elk seasons could see changes

Outdoors

The looming threat of chronic wasting disease, among other factors, may change Pennsylvania elk hunting. And differences could come as soon as 2019. Currently, the state hosts a six-day, Monday through Saturday elk hunt each year during the first full week of November. Hunters – 26 with bull tags, 99 with cow tags this fall […]

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Summertime bluegills a feisty and fun foe

Outdoors

Pugnacious and accommodating, that’s what bluegills are. How many angling careers have they – and their cousin sunfish, the pumpkinseed — launched over the years? Millions, no doubt. They are, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surveys, “one of the most popular sport fish in the United States.” And yet, if anything, they suffer […]

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12 Iconic All-American foods invented right here at home

Food

American cuisine takes a lot of flack for borrowing heavily from other cultures. Even the beloved hot dog and apple pie are imports (thanks Germany and England!). Over the decades, so many nationalities have influenced the food scene in the United States, it might be hard to point to any original inventions in your daily […]

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September Bulb Planting

Garden

I’ve been planting bulbs every fall for just about as long as I can remember. September is when the work begins, but I will continue into November if weather permits. When I’m on my hands and knees, bulb auger in hand, I’m fantasizing about spring blooms, especially my beloved double daffodils. We all have things […]

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