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The Leader • Saturday, May 18, 2019 • Page 1B

Wine 101: Pour, swish, smell and sip Zarah Parker

2.87 gallons per resident, 772 million gallons consumed

Managing Editor

Wine can be intimidating, especially for the novice, but all it takes is a little knowledge to realize it’s not. “There is a lot of mystique regarding wine and there shouldn’t be,� said Scott Spencer, founder and owner of Houston Wine Merchant, 2646 S. Shepherd Dr. A good wine also isn’t all about the price tag. Many wines that are inexpensive are enjoyable. When looking for a wine, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in the bottle. “Characteristics to look for in a wine are the fruit flavor, the alcohol, the acidity, the complexity and the tannins (astringents),� Spencer said. The more in-balance these characteristics are, the better the wine will be, which will also cause it to be smooth and flavorful. “Like fine food there should be a lot going on, complexity, in the taste, but no one characteristic that is dominating,� Spencer said. Wine drinkers use more than their sense of taste. If possible, watch the wine while it’s being poured. In general, Spencer said wine should be clear and bright. If it’s cloudy or has a lot of particles, that’s a hint the wine might not be optimal. Then swish the wine around in the glass, because this allows more of the aroma to be released. The aroma should be

2.01 gallons per resident, 507 million gallons consumed

2.43 gallons per resident, 478 million gallons consumed 1.31 gallons per resident, 133 million gallons consumed

United States

0.88 gallons per resident, 43 million gallons consumed

0.68 gallons per resident, 27 million gallons consumed Year

CONSUMPTION Source: The Wine Institute

1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2010 2015 Graphic by Martha Buhler

The above graphic illustrates wine consumption in the United States between 1940 and 2015.

fresh and appealing. “Taste the wine, swish it around to cover your entire mouth before swallowing,� said Matt Romans, wine buyer and sommelier for The Classic, 5922 Washington Ave. “Then take a moment to think about what you’ve just tasted. What flavors and textures and feelings stood out to you.� Experiment with different

wines. Pay attention to which wines you like and which ones you don’t. Sometimes a wine will give you a taste you weren’t expecting but is intriguing. To help develop a taste for wine, it helps to taste different ones. The best way to do this is at wine tastings. Some places offer them for free, including Houston Wine Merchant,

which has them every Friday from 5:30–7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Whether at a bar, a store or a wine tasting, it’s important to remember to ask questions. If you’re curious about why the wine you’re drinking tastes the way it does, don’t be afraid to ask. “Wine is very subjective. People taste and like different

things about different wines,� Romans said. “Everyone has their own unique palate. Something I consider to be an amazing wine may not appeal to everyone.� Wine is a lot like food in the respect that there are thousands of different types. But basically, there’s red, white, sparkling, dessert and fortified wine.

“Most wines have little to no sugar, but some of the greatest in the world are sweet dessert wines,� Spencer said. “Fortified wines are dessert wines that are fortified with a little extra alcohol.� Port, Sherry and Madeira are examples of those types of wine. With so many different types of wine, it can get confusing on what kind of wine pairs well with certain foods. Spencer provides a cheat sheet of sorts to follow. Fresh seafood is usually going to pair with white wine, but heavier fish such as salmon and sea bass will go nicely with a lighter red, such as Pinot Noir. Grilled meats will typically pair well with red wine, with the exception of grilled chicken, which goes well with a heavier white, like Chardonnay. Spicy foods, including Cajun or Szechuan Chinese, will pair with something a little sweet, like a Riesling or something a bit spicy, like Gewurztraminer (which means “spicy grape� in German). “Picking a bottle at a store can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark,� Romans said. However, you can still ask someone in the store what they would recommend. There’s also different apps and websites that have rating systems that can help you choose a wine. A tip that Spencer gives when picking a bottle of wine is to smell the cork, if there is one. If it smells musty or like wet cardboard, that is another hint that the wine is not up to par.

Review: Sonoma Wine Bar offers sophistication without stuffiness By Adam Zuvanich azuvanich@theleadernews.com

The lights are dim, the mood is subdued and the jazz music makes for an air of sophistication at Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant, which can cater to the finest of tastes while offering worldly flavors. Bubbly from Champagne, France, is available at the Heights location at 801 Studewood St. So are cured meats and exotic cheeses from all over Europe, salmon from the North Atlantic, filet mignon from a Central Texas ranch and a $350 bottle of wine from Italy. But you don’t have to be part of high society to enjoy Sonoma, which won’t break your bank account if you can’t afford the aforementioned offerings. And there’s no pretentiousness in the place, which welcomed a regular guy who walked in wearing blue jeans, boots and a ballcap at about 9 p.m. on a recent Friday night. I’m no wine connoisseur. Never met a bottle I didn’t like, in fact, although I’ve come across several that didn’t fit

Photo by Adam Zuvanich The Bold & Beautiful Reds wine-tasting flight, along with Melkbus cheese and Bresaola, at Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant.

within my budget. Luckily for me, and for wine drinkers in the area, Sonoma has something good for everyone and at decent prices, to boot. The restaurant has ambiance and is aesthetically pleasing, with a fireplace in

the dining room, big couches for lounging and modern art decorating the walls. Even the menu, made out of cork, was a nice touch. From that menu I chose one of Sonoma’s wine-tasting flights, which include a trio of 3-ounce pours for $20 or $25. I

Enhance cooking with wine By Zarah Parker zarah@theleadernews.com Adding wine to cooking recipes will enhance the flavor and aroma of food, but getting it right can require some experimentation. “Always remember to burn the alcohol off,� said Dominick Lee, the executive chef at Poitin. “If you don’t you’ll end up with a boozy dish, and you don’t want that unless that’s what you’re going for.� When the alcohol evaporates, only the flavor of the wine remains. Lee said the purpose of cooking with wine isn’t about the alcohol content; it’s about the flavor of the wine elevating your dish. It’s also not meant to completely change the flavor of what you’re cooking; rather it fortifies it. Wine can be compared with any cooking seasoning. Add too little and it’s insignificant. Add too much and it’s overwhelming.

went with the “Bold & Beautiful Reds� because, well, I like my wine red and the bolder, the better. My server said his favorite of the three was a blend from Napa Valley, the NV14 Cain Cuvee. It was my least favorite but still plenty good and mostly smooth, greeting me with peppery spice and leaving me with a slight smokiness. I also enjoyed the 2016 Day El Diablo Vineyard, a Zinfandel from California’s Russian River Valley. It was dry, in a good way, and had balanced flavors with a touch of tartness. The best of my bunch was the 2017 Felino, a Malbec from Argentina that had a soft taste and gave me a sense of warmth from the moment it touched my lips. Berry flavors poked through, and some pepperiness at the end made for a perfect finish. Good wine is best enjoyed with good food, so I felt compelled to see how Sonoma stacked up in that department as well. The kitchen was out of

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3410 Ella Blvd. at 34th St. • (713) 682-4343 Stock photo A variety of wines can be used to cook an array of dishes.

When cooking you should let the wine simmer with the food, or sauce, to let the wine integrate with the food. When picking a wine for cooking, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s usually a good idea to pick out a wine you enjoy. If you don’t like a wine by

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Page 2B • Saturday, May 18, 2019 • The Leader

Art Valet: Works of students, teachers at HISD event Mitch Cohen Art Columnist

The Houston ISD Visual Arts Spring Showcase at the Hattie Mae White Educational Center this year features more than 600 works of art representing students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Works have been derived from a multitude of art media, including photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture, literary works, digital art and art cars. The show, which began April 26 and concludes Friday, features various works from the first-ever HISD Teacher Art Exhibition, works presented on CW39 and awardwinning works from the Houston Livestock Show &

Rodeo, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, HISD Special Education Art Show and many other local and state contest’s participants. An art reception is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, with special selections from the Heights High School Choir under the direction of Stephen Becker. HISD Visual Arts views every student as an emerging artist. “I believe you can learn anything given the right tools, motivation and guidance. I also believe every person has a gift to share and something within that makes him or her unique,� Yates High School art instructor Gina Messick Farquharson, curator of the HISD Teacher Art Exhibition that debuted in March, said in a statement. “There is a talent in all of us waiting to be recognized and nurtured. I also recognize for some, talents can be buried deep and take more patience to develop. When creating art, I see students shine with pride,

heal through expression, take risks with experimentation and strengthen abstract thought. Creating with imagination can spill over into everyday tasks, making lives just a little more interesting and colorful.� HISD Fine Arts strives to encourage the leader and artist in every child to help them grasp, comprehend and appreciate the importance of creativity in our global society. Artwork will be available for purchase from participating teachers, whose information is located on the back of every work so they can be contacted for buying information. The Hattie Mae White Educational Center is located at 4400 W. 18th St. Find out more about HISD Fine Arts programs at www.houstonisd. org/finearts. Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and The Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.

Teacher artists setup for their exhibition in March.

Contributed photo

Empty Bowls event blends artwork with worthy cause By Betsy Denson betsy@theleadernews.com

A unique fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank is also the chance for some Heights artists to showcase their work. The 15th Annual Empty Bowls lunch will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. At the event, more than 1,500plus handmade bowls donated by Houston-area artists will be offered for a $25 donation, 100 percent of which goes to the food bank. Attendees eat a simple lunch in the provided bowl, which will be a lasting reminder of all who go hungry in Houston and beyond. Ceramic artist Mary Aldrich, who took up the craft in 2010, said she was introduced to the cause by fellow artist and former Empty Bowls chair Renee LeBlanc. As a student at the Glassell School, Aldrich start-

Contributed photos Two of the handmade bowls that will be donated for the Empty Bowls event on Saturday.

ed making bowls for the event. This year, she was asked to do a special bowl, one of about 50 pieces available through a silent auction through the end of May at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy St. Available art includes 2D and 3D creations including paintings, sculptures and bowls made of ceramic, wood, glass and fiber.

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“This is the first year I’ve been asked,� said Aldrich, who shares studio space in the Heights with 10 other artists. “I was really flattered.� Aldrich said she came to ceramics two years before she retired from a career in marketing and advertising and is grateful to have found something that resonates so strong-

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ly with her. “I’ve always had a strong visual sense and was always doing things with my hands,� she said. In Aldrich’s online artist statement, she said most of her work has been full, rounded, closed abstract pieces. The shape has been what was most important to her, so her pieces

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have rarely been glazed. Her rustic-looking bowl for the Empty Bowls auction is filled with delicate fruits. “It’s a reminder to share what you have,� Aldrich said. Sculptor Damon Thomas, Aldrich’s former studio mate at The Silos at Sawyer Yards, also has a decorative bowl in the silent auction. Now working from his home studio in the Heights, Thomas will have a show opening at The Jung Center in Montrose in September. He also has a sculpture on Heights Boulevard as part of the True North project, entitled “Homefire,� at 10th Street and Heights Boulevard. A writer with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Thomas got his start as an artist about 10 years ago after seeing an installation in Kentucky. Thomas is known for pit-firing his pieces, which means they are exposed to combustible materials such as

sawdust and hay to give color and a more unique patina. Thomas said he had never before made a bowl for the event but had always loved what Empty Bowls represented. He was going to do a bowl with wings, but the 15inch limit sent him in another direction. His bowl features a crow on a branch over a nest of eggs. “To me crows are symbols of the spirit,� Thomas said. “I had decided not to do any more crows unless it was for something special.� Since its inception, Empty Bowls Houston has raised $875,000 for the Houston Food Bank, which is the equivalent of 2.63 million meals to the hungry. For more information about the event or to buy tickets to the Friday night preview party, visit www.EmptyBowlsHouston.org. To browse the bowls up for auction, visit http://www.archwaygallery. com.

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The Leader • Saturday, May 18, 2019 • Page 3B

Upcoming Heights brewery bridges generations Zuvie’s Brews

of land that will provide ample parking and patio space on both sides of the under-construction By Adam taproom, will add Zuvanich to an exploding craft beer scene in the area. There are 10 other Shayn Robinson was trybreweries in the ing to make a good impres- Heights, Garden Oaks and sion on the man who eventu- Oak Forest area, with Astral ally became his father-in-law. Brewing and Walking Stick He never imagined the Brewing Co. having opened Christmas gift he gave John within the last six months. Ferguson in 2002 would lead The newest addition pays to them eventually becoming homage to Houston’s beerbusiness partners. making roots. Robinson said Robinson, who for about the New Magnolia name is a a year had been dating Fer- tribute to the original Magguson’s daughter, Elizabeth, nolia Brewery, which Hugh knew her dad was a chemical Hamilton operated in the engineer and knew he liked city from the late 1800s until beer. So Robinson got Fer- shortly before Prohibition in guson a home-brewing kit, 1920. which allowed him to comRobinson said Magnolia bine the two passions into Brewery once was awarded one activity. a grand prize at an internaSeventeen years later, the tional beer competition in two men are brewing their Belgium. own beer-making business. “Once we dug into it, we They plan to open New Mag- said, ‘We just can’t pick a nolia Brewing Co. in the late name off the street. We just summer or early fall at 1616 can’t come up with some Bevis St. in Shady Acres. whimsical, carefree name. “We’ve had a good time We need something that’s with it,� Ferguson said. Houston strong, Houston The upcoming brewery, deep,’ � Robinson said. “We which sits on a 1-acre plot did the research, and nobody

stouts, hefeweizens, pilsners and Belgian styles. He and his wife lived in Switzerland from 1998-2000, when Ferguson branched out from drinking American light beers and discovered a sea of locally made suds. Two years later, he received his home-brewing kit from Robinson and immediately started making his own. Now brewing beer is a

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MEMORIAL DAY Photo by Adam Zuvanich John Ferguson, left, and his son-in-law, Shayn Robinson are the coowners of New Magnolia Brewing Co., which plans to open in late summer or early fall in Shady Acres.

had trademarked or kept the Magnolia brewing (name). They abandoned it in 1973.� New Magnolia hopes to stand out in Houston’s modern beer scene by making a variety of styles and frequently rotating them. Robinson said he and Ferguson have a four-vessel, 15-barrel system that will allow them to brew several different beers in a relatively short period of time. Their plan is

Pop & Pan closes restaurant, remains in catering business By Zarah Parker zarah@theleadernews.com Pop & Pan, 1710 W. 18th St., announced the closure of its brick-and-mortar operation May 10 on Facebook. The restaurant was a reimagined concept of Panini & Provisions by brothers Alex and David Colby that had opened in its new space last August. Alex Colby said the business will continue to cater and fill bulk popcorn orders out of a temporary kitchen. “That location required lots of foot traffic and us being on that inside corner, tucked behind the cleaners, of an already older shopping center with poor lighting and dated exterior was hard to maintain,� Alex said in an email. The Pop & Pan team renovated and did its best to attract new customers. Alex said he appreciated the neighborhood for spreading the word, but in the end the operating cost of a full-service restaurant was too much. “The thing was that about half our income came from outside catering, box lunch delivery, farmers markets and bulk popcorn orders,� Alex said. “We are continuing our catering and popcorn orders operating out of a temporary kitchen one of our good friends was kind enough to let us use.�

Cooking, from P. 1B tannins and acids, and each wine has a different composition of these elements. If you pick out a wine with more acids, take a look at your recipe and reduce other acids that may be included, such as lemon juice. And if you’re cooking vegetables, like onions or carrots, it’s a safer bet to stay away from sweeter wines. “If I was making an Italian dish, like ragu, I would use a red wine because it would enhance the flavor of the tomatoes,� Lee said. “Red wine and tomatoes typically go well together.� But the type of wine Lee uses to cook with also depends of the type of protein. On that same dish, if he was serving it with chicken or rabbit, he would use white wine. Beef and pork normally pair well with red wine. White wine also pairs well with melon, citrus, olives, mushrooms and asparagus, while red wine pairs well with peaches, pears, plums, cherries, chocolate and berries. Using wine while you cook is more than splashing it into a pan. You can make a marinade, use it to baste food, make a pan sauce and add it to stews. It can also be used as a partial substitute for the liquid in a baking recipe. So, if your recipe is falling flat, adding wine just might be what lifts it up.

Pop & Pan has existing orders that will be fulfilled and is still taking catering and bulk popcorn orders through the email address eat@popandpan.com. So while W. 18th location has reached its end, Pop & Pan continues. “My brother and I and our team are strong and we are

family affair, and they plan to share their love for it with the Heights community and all of Houston. “One of the neat things about craft brewing is that you’ve got people from all over the world,� Ferguson said. “It’s a very open culture, a very welcoming culture that just invites people to join in.�

moving forward,� Alex said. “We need to go back and restructure our business model. We love our customers and cannot wait to start serving again. The memories and bonds that we built with the neighborhood will energize us as we pursue the next phase for Pop & Pan.�

to offer at least 10 varieties from the start. Ferguson, New Magnolia’s head brewer, said he especially likes making beers that are popular in Northern Europe, such as Irish red ales, English brown ales, porters,

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Page 4B • Saturday, May 18, 2019 • The Leader

Plenty to sample at Great Taste of the Heights By Zarah Parker zarah@theleadernews.com How often do you get to try 20 restaurants in one day? That’s exactly what festival goers get to experience at the Great Taste of the Heights this Saturday at the All Saints Catholic Community campus, 215 E. 10th St, from 5 - 10 p.m. Fourteen years ago, the All Saints Catholic Community decided to add flavor to its family fun bazaar to generate fundraising dollars to achieve financial goals it had in place. All Saints invited restaurants to sample their best signature dishes to the community and to compete for one of three awards, which are The

Best Bite, The Best Decorations and The Most Fun (best personality). Almost a decade-and-a-half later, the event is now hosting 20 area restaurants. According to event director and co-

founder Kerry Mooney, Great Taste of the Heights expects more than 1,000 guests. In addition to the snacks, Checkered Past and the 2019 Heights High School Bulldog Jazz Band will perform. There

will also be a silent auction and a “Kid’s Korner.” This year the servings will include BB’s Café’s homemade chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures’ roast-

ed street corn, Bellagreen’s white chocolate bread pudding, Bernie’s burger bus’s Preschool and Kindergartener sliders, Calle Onze’s taquitos chicken, Dish Society’s pork belly bites, Juice Girl and Over The Moon’s dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream and green apple ade, La Fresca Pizza’s hand-tossed assorted pizzas, Mary’z Cuisine’s Kafta Kabob with rice and tahini, Mastrantos’ carrots over carrots, Max’s Wine Dive’s rabbit tacos, Neo Baguette’s Moroccan meatballs and chicken grilled portobello, Postino’s brie & apple, prosciutto & fig and spicy pepper jam with goat cheese bruschetta, Sing’s wide rice noodle with Chinese sausage and BBQ pork, Snooze’s Gocha-

jang braised pork belly with poblano grit cake, Sonoma Wine Bar’s baked artichoke & spinach dip with ciabatta, The Barking Pig’s pimento cheese sliders, The Tasting Room’s tuna tartar and a surprise dish from The Classic. Presale tickets are available for $25 at greattasteoftheheights.com, Eclectic Home at 345 W. 19th St. or C&D Hardware, 314 E. 11th St. Tickets will be $35 at the door, if available. Kids 10 and under can enter with their parents and share their samples. All proceeds from ticket sales and bar sales will go toward the All Saints Catholic Community and the ministries that support All Saint’s endeavors.

Fish Off, Hot Dog Day promotes environmental awareness By Zarah Parker zarah@theleadernews.com This Saturday, the White Oak Bayou Association is holding its White Oak Bayou Fish Off Contest in partnership with Friends of Woodland Park’s Happy Trails and Hot Dog Day. The contest is “tongue in cheek,” which Teresa Matlock, the association’s treasurer, said simply meant that the competition isn’t serious. All the anglers need to do is fish in the White Oak Bayou, or one of its tributaries, for the biggest, ugliest or most unusual fish caught that day. The Fish-Off first began in 1990. “It was established to drum up awareness of the White Oak Bayou, its environment, to build membership for the organization and most of all to have some fun,” Matlock said. The competition went dormant for most of the 2000s until 2017 when it was regenerated with the partnership of the Friends of Woodland Park’s Happy Trails and Hot

Sonoma, from P. 1B the Baked Artichoke Dip I initially ordered, which was a bit disappointing, but it ended up working out well for my wallet and my waistline. Instead I opted for the “Build Your Own Board,” in which customers can make one ($7), two ($13) or three ($19) choices from a list of 13 cheeses and seven meats. I picked the Melkbus, a Dutch Gouda laced with black truffles, and the Bresaola, an Italian-style, drycured beef tenderloin. The cheese, which resembled Swiss in color, felt almost spongy and smelled a little funky. But I mean that as a compliment. I’m a fan of strong flavors, and the slight sweetness of the truffle worked well with the Gouda. The beef, sliced so thin you could see through it, might have been even better. It had a simple savory flavor, and a single slice just about melted in my mouth. The meat and cheese was served with water crackers, Texas honey and house-made pickle slices that were sweet with a slight spice. My favorite way to enjoy it all was all together, with a little bit of everything piled onto one cracker. Is that allowed at a fancy wine bar like Sonoma? I don’t know, but the people there didn’t seem to mind. The place, which has a dogfriendly patio and a daily happy hour, provided a fine dining experience without being finicky. And my server made knowledgeable recommendations without being pushy or presumptuous. It all made for a pleasant experience, and so did the result of the baseball game that was on the TV at the bar and viewable from my table. So I left Sonoma feeling satisfied and relaxed, and not just because I had three glasses of good wine.

Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant

Address: 801 Studewood St. Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.–midnight Thursday-Saturday, 3-10 p.m. Sunday Pricing: $7-$16 per wine glass, $35-$350 per wine bottle, $7-$35 for food Kid-friendly: No Alcohol: Yes Healthy options: No Star of the show: Bold & Beautiful Reds wine-tasting flight

Contributed photo A participant in a previous White Oak Bayou Fish Off Contest.

Contributed photo A participant in a previous White Oak Bayou Fish Off Contest.

Dogs event. Wacky, recycled trophies will be awarded to “Little Anglers” (children 12 or under) and “Big Anglers” (anyone 13 and over) in each of the cat-

begins at 8 a.m. at Woodland Park, 212 Parkview St. Fish can be brought back to the park any time before 11:30 a.m. The fish are measured, identified and released back

egories. “We also have contests for the best fish lips, best one that got away story and best rescued trash,” Matlock said. The fishing tournament

to the bayou by the park. The judging announcements start around noon. All fishing participants must abide by the Texas Fish and Wildlife rules and provide

their own fishing gear and bait. There will be silly games like the Bayou Fish Toss and a rubber ducky fishing pond. Interactive environmental games will include a matching board game to identify the fish caught in the bayou and a birding bingo game in which players identify the birds found along the bayou on the cards in any bingo line. Prizes include fish bubbles, gummy fish and other small treasures. The Happy Trails and Hot Dogs event starts at 11 a.m., with free hot dogs, chips and root beer floats. “The mission of the Friends of Woodland Park is dedicated to preserving the park’s natural habitat along with its unique historical significance to the City of Houston, and to providing for the enjoyment education of all who visit,” Matlock said. Activities included by the Happy Trails event are the Bayou City Play’s pop-up playground and guided nature tours in the woods by a Texas Master Naturalist.

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