Page 1

OUTDOOR LIVING

SPRING 2014

LAKE ACTIVITIES | EVENTS | FESTIVALS | OUTDOOR COOKING | FISHING | CAMPING | SPRING CELEBRATIONS | MUCH MORE


Page 2 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

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Page 4 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

SPRING 2014

inside

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LAVENDER HEAVEN COUPLE SHARES LUSH BLOOMS AND BED AND BREAKFAST

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

Make a splash wherever you are

6

Spring is upon us, and there's no better time to shake off the winter blues and get outside. With the impending warmup comes plenty of rainy days (a small price to pay for bright blooms and green grass), so in the spring issue of Splash, we're giving you ideas on what you can do when the weather is nice and a few suggestions for when it's not so nice.

10

NO NEED FOR NAPA

12

HOMEGROWN VEGGIES

14

LIZ MCGATHEY Splash Editor

TEXAS WINERIES OFFER GREAT WEEKEND VACATION

Publisher

Gina Aldaz | Executive Editor 972-398-4295 galdaz@starlocalmedia.com Liz McGathey | Splash Editor 972-398-4206 lmcgathey@starlocalmedia.com

APRIL SHOWERS RAINY DAY ACTIVITY IDEAS

22

TEA PARTY

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PICNIC TIME

26

WATER POLO

28

CATFISH CRAZY

CONTACT US

|

KITE FLYING

BACKYARD GARDENS BRING GREENS TO THE TABLE

We'll explore the great outdoors from the farm to the water polo pool, and we'll even send you to Texas' Hill Country or the Piney Woods out east if you're looking to get out of town for spring break.

Mike Miller

KITE RUNNER

ELEVATING SUNDAY AFTERNOON BACKYARD GATHERINGS

WHAT TO PACK FOR THE PERFECT PICNIC

UNIQUE SPORT OFFERS YOUTH MORE CHANCES TO GET INVOLVED

DISCOVERING AN EAST TEXAS STAPLE

Leanne Libby | Advertising Manager 972-398-4203 llibby@starlocalmedia.com Cindy Ann Molinari

|

10

Layout Design

Splash Outdoor Living is published quarterly by Star Local Media, 624 Krona Dr Ste 170, Plano, TX 75074-8304. The entire contents of Splash Outdoor Living Copyright 2014 by Star Local Media. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of Star Local Media. Additional copies are available for purchase by contacting customer service at 972-424-9504.

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BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

ARBORETUM CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF DALLAS BLOOMS

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Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

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Page 6 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAKO

Kiteflying isn’t reserved to small diamond kites that waver 20 feet in the air, just ask Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization. Members meet around the area to fly kites in hundreds of sizes, colors and designs. Some anchor them to the ground, others to a buggy they ride around an open field. There is a kite out there for everyone.

flying high andwide

Kites soar in all shapes, sizes & capabilities A steady breeze is blowing, the sun is shining and quad-lines are soaring. No we’re not talking about planes, but their brighter, lighter ancestor, the kite. And despite the common notion that kite flying is for the young, if you look beyond the rainbow diamonds and squiggly tails, they are for anyone. “There are kites 300 to 400 feet long that weigh several hundred pounds,” said Chris Bangma, a member of Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization. “Everyone’s got their own unique taste.” Fun flights, buggies and danger are equally apart of the global hobby. There are single-line, dual-line and quad-line kites, each with its own degree of control. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. All you need is one of them, and open space and some wind. DAKO, which meets around Dallas-Fort Worth for fly

days and festivals, has roughly 130 members. Most have five to 10 kites and pick their fancy for a given flight. Bangma, who’s been actively flying for 15 years, has close to 150 kites. “It’s one of those hobbies that once you own some, it can grow out of control,” said Bangma, who’s helped revive DAKO in recent years. DAKO welcomes any kiteflier to spring and fall sessions at flying favorites like Celebration Park in Allen, Russell Creek in Plano and Breckenridge Park in Richardson. Members attend the annual Trinity River Wind Festival, when thousands of kites take flight near the Trinity River in Dallas. The event returns May 17. Some compete, but most kitefliers congregate for conversation and an entertaining spectacle in the sky. About 98 percent of them buy their kites, Bangma said, though he and a few other DAKO members make their own. Fliers of all skill levels can find their pre-


TED B. LYON &  ASSOCIATES, P.C.

Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

win “If th dan it’l d is e ce a l sta goo wa y up d, ya and –C l HR l I d S KIT DA ay LL BAN EFL IER AS A GMA lon , SO RE A R GA

g.”

NIZ

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ferred types online. In DFW, many visit Big Mike’s Kites in Celina (bigmikeskites.com), a trailer plugged with stunt, power and foil kites; some that run for $30, others for hundreds. Power kites – popular among young fliers – pull fliers atop tricycle-like buggies across open fields.

trol. With dualline, fliers simply pull left to turn it left and pull right to turn right. Seasoned fliers can soar quad-liners straight down before hovering them inches from the ground.

Inflatable kites, stick-less open cells that fill up with air, are anchored to the ground for fliers’ and viewers’ pleasure.

Safety supersedes excitement, though, and not just in avoiding power lines and trees. The line itself can be most treacherous. Bangma burned a half-inch into the sole of his shoe once trying to halt a loose line.

“I’ll launch them about 200 feet in the air,” Bangma said. “If the wind is good, it’ll stay up and dance away all day long.”

“It builds up so much friction so quickly, it’ll start burning through your hand, even sever fingers,” he said.

Watching such wonders is what draws many kite enthusiasts to the line. Even amateur kitefliers can enjoy the flight if they follow a few simple tips: keep their hands together, keep their bodies still and relax. If their kite nosedives toward the ground, move toward it, not away from it.

That shouldn’t scare potential kitefliers from flight. As with most outdoor activities, kiteflying simply requires caution and awareness.

“If you walk forward, it’ll slow it down,” Bangma said, “so if it crashes, it won’t be as bad.” Dual-line and quad-line kites enable more flier con-

With those and a line in hand, you’ll be soaring in no time.

ON THE Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization, dako.us.

“It’s fun to see people come out and enjoy them,” Bangma said. “We fill the sky with color.” ■ CHRIS BEATTIE cbeattie@starlocalmedia.com

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Page 8 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

COUPLE SHARES A LITTLE SLICE OF

lavender heaven Plano native Gwen Snyder met her husband, Mike, on a plot of land several years ago for a real estate deal, never knowing that moment would transform her from a posh suburbanite to a lavender farmer. Today, Savannah’s Meadow (named after their daughter) is a place that attracts visitors for its lush lavender blooms and treehouse bed and breakfast. Situated on 18 acres just west of Greenville off U.S. 380 in Celeste, Savannah’s Meadow is a hidden oasis perfect for a weekend getaway or a leisurely day trip. Features include lavender fields, an herb garden, gift shop, running trails and picturesque outdoor areas for wedding ceremonies, receptions and other events.

Summer er is i meant too be b

While Mike’s personal pride resides in the 14-foot-high treehouse, Gwen’s lies in the soil. Having known nothing about lavender or farming, the experience has been so interesting that she maintains a blog about her country life.

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Gwen Snyder, right, stands with husband, Mike, as they entertain guests at their Lavender & Lights soiree last September. In addition to special events, the public is welcomed to visit the Celeste lavender farm Friday through Monday by appointment.

Lavender fills an early-summer garden with deep purple hues and full foliage. With a heavenly scent (the darker the flower, the more intense the aroma), the plant can be used in many different ways. Dried flowers can be used for seasoning desserts and blends well with mint and lemon in freshly brewed tea.


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

PHOTO COURTESY OF GWEN SNYDER

Guests can purchase Gwen’s wares – which range from sachets and bath salts to room sprays, lotions and soaps – at the gift shop onsite. “The plants will last about 10 years if you’re lucky,” Gwen said. “We bundle them and we hang them up to dry, we have a drying room on the farm, and so we make products from that. It doesn’t take too long. Once the bundles are good and dry, we do a process called de-budding so all the buds fall off. That’s what we use to make our [products].” To celebrate their fresh crop, the Snyders will host their Spring Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 4. Gwen plans to offer hourly discussions with guests about lavender planting and harvesting. After the festival, she and her helpers will cut more than 3,500 plants by hand for their fall blooms. These flowers will be shared with the public at the Snyder’s annual Lavender & Lights event on Sept. 6. “I love to watch people’s faces; that’s the best part. I see a lot of open mouths,” Gwen said. “A lot of people are surprised at what we’ve accomplished, just Mike and I. When you come I want you to feel at home, and they feel very comfortable.” Savannah’s Meadow is at 4473 FM 903 in Celeste and is open to the public by appointment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday through Monday. For information, visit savannahsmeadowllc.com. ■ KELLEY CHAMBERS kchambers@starlocalmedia.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF GWEN SNYDER

Savannah’s Meadow is a dream made reality by Mike and Gwen Snyder. In the past couple of years, the pair has created an outdoor oasis with lavender as its centerpiece.

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Page 10 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIGUEL LECUONA

WINE GRAPES

101 SANGIOVESE

A red wine grape most often seen in wines from Tuscany, Sangiovese is responsible for wines with a full profile and plenty of spice and acidity.

MOURVEDRE

Made famous in wines from the southern Rhone region of France, Mourvedre grapes are known for creating powerful earthy and savory reds with a lot of tannic notes.

MALBEC

Originally from southwest France but now mostly grown in Argentina, Malbec grapes create robust red wines with notes of blackberry, plum and leather.

TEMPRANILLO

This Spanish grape creates full-bodied red wines with spicy red fruit aroma and flavors.

Information courtesy of wineaccess.com

NAPA

NO NEED FOR

TEXAS WINERIES OFFER GREAT WEEKEND VACATION When people think of a trip to wine country, places like Tuscany and Napa Valley often come to mind. While those areas undoubtedly make great wine, North Texans have another option closer to home. Wineries of the Texas Hill Country have been growing in popularity each year and offer a quick weekend getaway for those who want to explore what some of the best winemakers in Texas have to offer. “What has happened over the past five to 10 years is an increase in wineries all along Highway 290 from Fredericksburg to Johnson City,” said Miguel Lecuona of Wine Road 290, an organization focused on promoting Hill Country wine. “This is the heart of the Hill Country wine scene. This area is now one of the most highly visited wine travel destinations in the country.”

Visitors don’t ted with as need to simmany cacti ply take as vines.” Lecuona’s word for it. In Lecuona said February, that as Texas Wine Enthuwinemakers siast magahave gained zine named experience, the Hill they have Country as branched out one of the from the Top 10 travel more popuPHOTO COURTESY OF GRAPE CREEK VINEYARDS destinations lar, tradiworldwide for tional grapes wine lovers, saying, “The explosion of new people associate with American wine. wineries and tasting rooms along scenic Highway 290 west of Austin hasn’t less“They have really picked up on warm-cliened Hill Country’s old-fashioned country mate grapes,” Lecuona said. “People used charm. It’s still a sea of cowboy hats and to define wine by what was sold in Califorpickup trucks, a place where you can sip nia, which is largely Cabernet and award-winning wines in a landscape dotChardonnay. In Texas, our climate is


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

A TRUE TEXAS

original PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAPE CREEK VINEYARDS

warmer and more Mediterraneanlike, so we are seeing a lot of success with Temperanillo, Sangiovese, Malbec and Mourvedre. On the white side, there is a Texas grape called Blanc du Bois that is really good on its own and as a blending grape. The

success of Texas wines is all about blending and finding the right combination.” While wines from some of the larger Hill Country wineries such as Becker Vineyards are available in North

Texas stores, many others are available only at or near the winery. For more information, visit wineroad290.com. ■ BILL CONRAD bconrad@starlocalmedia.com

Blanc du Bois may have been created in a lab in Florida, but it has found a home in Texas. The grape is known for a fruity flavor profile in white wines that may be dry or sweet. The grape is used on its own and in blends with other varietals. Hill County wineries using the grape include Chisholm Trail Winery, which won a grand star and gold medal in the 2012 Lone Star International Competition for its Belle StarrBlanc du Bois, and Woodrose Winery, which describes its 2009 Blanc du Bois as having notes of citrus, honeysuckle and mandarin orange.

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Page 12 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

garden ALTERNATIVE CO-OPS OFFER FRESH VEGGIES FOR THE NOTSO-GREEN THUMBS If gardening just isn’t your thing, Mesquite resident Kim Prewitt and her group of friends have been participating in a co-op for several years. Twice a month, the group pays $30 per person and sends shoppers down to the produce warehouses near the Dallas Farmers Market. Two pairs of shoppers grab enough produce for 12 units then meet with the co-op members to divide the goodies. For $60 a month, those 12 families get several varieties of fruits and veggies in perfect condition. And while there are definitely lasting friendships made, the biggest benefit, Prewitt said, is the money. “It is so much more beautiful produce for your money,” she said. “For $30 you cannot bring home 20 varieties of fruits and veggies in that pristine condition from a regular grocery store. It’s wonderful.” Sound good? Follow Prewitt’s surefire formula to satisfy that craving for fresh veggies with her step-by-step plan to help you start your own co-op.

ONE Select a group of friends that want

to give it a try. “No more than 12 units – families, people, a couple of single moms – it doesn’t have to be one person or one family, it just represents the amount of times the produce bought that day will be split,” Prewitt said. “Twelve units work the best because everyone can get a multitude of fruit and vegetables for the money.”

TWO Do the legwork to find which

warehouses you want to shop from. “Each warehouse gives a price list, so you can narrow it down to which two or three you want to shop from,” she said.

THREE Then, make your shopping

plan. “Decide the day and time you will shop,” Prewitt said. “We shop early and in two pairs so the shopping burden isn’t on one person, and there is more variety in what is purchased. Also, some of our shoppers are more frugal and will squeeze every bit of produce out of every dime we have. Others want what they want without considering the price of each item. Shopping two together tempers both shopping styles.”

FOUR Meet back at your selected lo-

cation and divide and conquer. “We meet immediately after shopping and everyone helps divide up the produce,” she said.

BACKYARD GARDENS BRING

HOMEGROWN

veggies TO THE TABLE

Growing your own vegetable garden can be very beneficial, especially if you have the patience and time to tend your garden. But for beginners, starting the garden can be a daunting task that leaves some in the dirt – literally. Jeremiah Hammer, a McKinney resident and all-around green thumb, has been growing his own garden for years – even teaching classes and sharing the benefits of gardening at a local garden shop near Historic Downtown McKinney. “Nutritionally speaking, veggies from your garden are healthier for you, as they are able to ripen on the plant naturally and derive their nutrients from healthy soil and photosynthesis,” he said. “Growing your own vegetables is environmentally friendly too. The average vegetable in a grocery store has traveled 1,500 miles just to get to the store, whereas a vegetable from your garden only has to travel from your yard to your plate.” You don’t have to be an expert to grow your own veggies, Hammer said, adding the

most important thing to remember is to start small and be patient. “Once you get the itch to start gardening, the tendency of everyone is to go big, right off the bat,” he said. “This inevitably leads to a garden that's too much for one person to manage and usually fails before the first half of the season. Avoid growing too many types of vegetables at once, and instead get good at growing a few things first. Most importantly, be patient.” Determining the size of your garden can be daunting, but Hammer said the size of the garden doesn’t matter. Instead, focus on the amount of time you plan to spend in it and plan accordingly. “A 5-gallon bucket garden can accommodate one tomato plant that will yield 10 to 15 pounds of tomatoes – plenty for one person and small enough to fit on an apartment balcony,” he said. “A 4-foot-by-8-foot (32square-foot) raised bed is very manageable for one person and will produce approximately one and a half pounds per square

foot (48 pounds) of vegetables per season.” There are two types of garden beds that have proven to be the most popular: raised beds or in-ground beds. “There are a lot of advantages to raised-bed gardens, such as pest and weed control or that you don't have to bend over as far to reach your plants. It is easier to overcome poor soil conditions in your yard, you can easily mount cold frames or shade cloth to them, they can be built into any shape or size you like, and they're tidy and uniform,” Hammer said. “On the other hand, raised beds require additional materials (like lumber) to be built and maintained, you usually have to buy soil for them, and because they're raised up, the air moving past them causes water to evaporate from the soil faster than traditional mounds or rows.” The alternative would be to plant an inground garden. This is less expensive, but is harder on your body, since you have to crouch or bend as you tend to it. These gardens do require less start-up work and are easier to replace if you decide to use the


area for something else. Once you decide which bed is best, it’s time to start sowing seeds. But before you head to the local garden center, make a list of veggies that you actually like to eat. Hammer said the best thing for beginners is to keep it simple. “For your first season, instead of trying to grow one each of 10 different types of vegetables,” he said, “try growing two to three plants of two to three different varieties as you should have at least one of each plant that really produces well, and if all three do, that's just awesome. As far as when to plant, the easiest guide to go by is the Farmer's Almanac. The trick is to keep everything from freezing in the event we get a late cold snap like we've had for the last few years.” As you consider which seeds to plant, an-

Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page other option to consider is an heirloom seed. Not only do they thrive in various climates and soils but also evolve to survive disease and drought. “An heirloom seed is one that is maintained and cultivated by a local farmer or gardener. Heirloom seeds also promote genetic diversity in plants (there are hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, whereas there are only three to four varieties you will ever see in a grocery store), which helps them naturally protect against things like disease and drought. Most importantly, heirloom seeds allow for food independence. The vegetables in your local grocery store are engineered to be sterile, meaning that you can't take the seeds out of a fruit and plant them. This forces farmers, and thus, consumers, to be entirely dependent upon seed suppliers to maintain our food supply,” said Hammer.

is a way to guarantee “Nutritionally speaking, In short, gardening the origin of your produce and is a great way to bring your family veggies from your garden together to learn about various are healthier for you, as they plants and how to care for them. since gardening comes in are able to ripen on the plant And all shapes and sizes, it can work for anybody who is dedicated to naturally and derive their tending it. nutrients from healthy soil and photosynthesis.”

■ MARTHE STINTON mstinton@starlocalmedia.com

13

FRISCO BOMBERS WRESTLING CAMP Featuring 2014 USA Olympic Wrestling Team Coach James Johnson & USA Wrestling Legends Rick Dellagatta, Andre Metzger

July 21-25th, 2014 Open to boys and girls ages 7–18 (younger wrestlers can be accepted)*

Camp begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 4:00 PM daily. Camp offers early 8:00 AM drop-off.

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CAMP FACILITY

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Page 14 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014 April showers bring May flowers. While the payoff is pleasing, rainy days in the spring can extend winter’s cabin fever. While outdoor activities might be out of the question, there’s still plenty to do inside.

SHAKE OFF THE DUST First thing’s first. Spring cleaning doesn’t exactly sound like the most entertaining use of your time, but it can be necessary. And if you get all caught up while the weather isn’t cooperating, only the fun stuff awaits when the sun starts shining again. One way to tackle the grime in every room using only a few steps and ingredients is to invest in baking soda and vinegar – lots of it. This is an inexpensive and natural way to get your home to sparkle. According to Arm & Hammer, a solution of 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 liter of warm water can be used for windows and mirrors. When you clean our the closets to make room for warm-weather wear, add 1 cup of baking soda to your next wash to give your detergent a boost. A sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge will clean counters, stainless steel sinks, microwaves, ovens and much more without scratching. For tough grease, mix vinegar and lemon juice to leave your surfaces like new. For more non-toxic cleaning solutions to get your home ready for summer, visit www.armandhammer.com.

RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES

ROLL FILM

A day in could turn into an all-day, veg-out movie marathon with the works. You can transform your living room into a movie theater by dimming the lights and stocking the snacks.

comfort, gather all the pillows and blankets from all over the house for a cozy pile-up on the floor.

Some quick and easy options like queso in the Crock-Pot, an assortment of candy choices and plenty of cold soda can be prepared in advance for a seamless film series session. For an added touch of fun and

Here are some films to get you started: ■ Harry Potter (eight films in the series) ■ Star Wars (six) ■ Lord of the Rings (three, or add The Hobbit for four) ■ Mission Impossible (four)

■ ■ ■ ■

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closet. An entire afternoon could turn into a tournament. A day in advance, print out a bracket on www.printyourbrackets.com. The site allows you to choose your number of teams then generates a printable single or double elimination bracket.

ON A MISSION If you have children, you know how hard it


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

15

can be to entertain them without the option of sending them outside.

GYRO BRAT

■ LIZ MCGATHEY lmcgathey@starlocalmedia.com

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. In a bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving. 3. Grill brats according to package directions. 4. When cool enough to handle, cut into ¼inch bias slices. 5. Slice French bread lengthwise and transfer to a baking sheet. 6. Arrange brat slices on bread bottom. 7. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until bread is lightly browned. 8. Remove from oven. Top with the sauce, onion and tomato. 9. Cut hoagie and serve.

SUMM

ER

S CAingMatP $160

Start

BIRTH

DAY

IES T R A P 0 Kids - $200 1

RD

Host a poker night for the boys. If you don’t already have the supplies you need, all it takes is a set of chips and a couple of decks of cards. Food is essential, of course. Neat and easy-to-make is the way to go.

1 package (19 ounces) Johnsonville Original Bratwurst ■ 1 loaf (1 pound) French bread ■ 1 small onion, thinly sliced ■ 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced ■

2 1 4 3 9 0 3 0 8 8 HydrousWakeParks.com

GUYS ONLY

HOAGIE

10% F F ASH O de: SPL o C o Prom

A WAK EBO

Pinterest is all the rage, and there aren’t many things ladies love more than sharing stories, ideas and photos over a glass of wine. If it’s crafting you love, invite the girls over for a craft-a-thon in which each friend brings her own project and a snack. This is also great opportunity to try out some of those party food recipes you’ve pinned.

Having the guys over for poker night? Try this recipe from Johnsonville. ■ 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream ■ 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped ■ 2 cloves garlic, minced ■ 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped ■ 1/4 tsp salt ■ 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper, optional

ALLEN & LITTLE ELM ON LAKE LEWISVILLE

P OR GROU LDING GRE AT F& TE AM BUI OUTINGS

LADIES ONLY

hoagie

O LE ARN T

One option is to organize a scavenger hunt. With a small amount of prep, the whole family could be entertained for hours hunting for items like toy cars and rubber bands. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, there are plenty of free printables online; search “indoor scavenger hunt list.”

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Page 16 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014


The Book Gallery Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

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Page 18 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

DALLAS ARBORETUM CELEBRATES

DID YOU

know?

TH

30

NOCTURNAL BIRDS

Nocturnal birds are birds that are active and awake at night. Diurnal is the name for birds active during the day and crepuscular is the name for birds active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.

ANNIVERSARY OF DALLAS BLOOMS

Though most nocturnal birds boast very large eyes, the flightless kiwi has very small eyes. The kiwi relies on smells from the nostrils at the tip of its beak and whiskers to find its food.

BIRD NESTS

There are nine different types of bird nests. Four common nests that are found all over the world are the ground nest, the platform nest, the cavity nest and the cupped nest. Many birds will add unique materials to their nest to scare predators. Red-breasted Nuthatches add globs of pine tree sap around the entrance to prevent predators from getting into their nests. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers can take up to two years to build their nests. Bald Eagles often return to the same nest year after year. The nest, typically built by both male and female, is located in a spot chosen by the female.

MIGRATION

The first migration experiment in North America was conducted by John Hames Audubon when he was 18 years old. He captured birds and tied strings to their legs before they flew away for the winter. He found that these same birds returned in the spring. Migrating geese fly in a v-formation to conserve energy. When the lead goose gets tired, it falls back in the formation and lets another goose take a turn in the lead. Bar-tailed Godwits can fly for nine days without stopping. To prepare for migration, they eat enough food to build up a body mass of more than 50 percent fate to sustain them on their journey.

OWLS

Most owls’ ears are asymmetrically placed (one ear is located higher than the other) to better pinpoint the source of sounds. Owls can turn their heads as much as 270 degrees to compensate for the fixed position of their eyes. They have 14 neck vertebrae, not like most other species (including humans). The Snowy Owl has white feathers that help it blend into the snow and ice and protects it from artic predators. Many other owls have dull brown patches to hide among branches and tree bark.

BIRD’SEYE VIEW PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS McGATHEY

The Dallas Arboretum’s Dallas Blooms season is in high gear as of Feb. 22. In celebration of the floral festival’s 30th anniversary, the Arboretum is pulling out all the stops. This year’s theme, “Birds in Paradise,” brings back the popular peacock topiaries, as well as an exciting lineup of activities that run through April 6. “Dallas Blooms is the Southwest’s largest floral festival with both local residents and outof-town visitors who come to enjoy the breathtaking gardens,” said Brian Shivers, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, in a release. “USA Today has named Dallas Blooms one of the ‘top 10 things that make you say

‘ahh,’ and we invite the community to visit this spring.” The newly planted peacock topiaries in the Jonsson Color Garden are the centerpiece for the season, boasting more than 22,000 flowers and 11,000 plants. Dave Forehand, vice president of gardens and visitor services, said the Arboretum featured peacock topiaries about 10 years ago, and they were a hit with the visitors.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DALLAS ARBORETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDENS

“It’s kind of a little different array here in how we put them in,” he said, “but it’s a lot of fun for everybody, and they fit right in with the theme of birds this year.”


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

19

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Pansies, which have been meticulously placed according to nature, make up the tails of the two 13-foot peacocks. The bodies, necks and heads are made up of landscaping grasses.

“The body is planted completely out with a little grass-like plant called liriope and mondo – people know those as the grasses that line their sidewalks and things,” Forehand said. “We just plug them in like hair plugs all over the place, so it gives the affect of feathers. For the neck and head, we used the smaller version of the plant.”

The pansies will be the stars for the first planting; Forehand said two change-outs will take place as the season progresses.

“They’re perfect for now because they can take freeze or frost – they’re our freeze-proof tails right now,” he said. “And then, as we

warm up into April, we’ll change these out for another palette of colored plants, and then, when we get really hot in the summer in mid-June, we’ll have another change that will take us to fall.” Forehand said the freezes North Texas has experience this winter hasn’t created problems for the plantings. “Everything went very dormant, and there was no early sprouting or blooming. A lot of years, we’ve had these warm spells where everything comes out too soon,” he said. “But not this year; everything’s going to be right on time. The cold is healthy for all the plant materials for the most part. With a good, cold dormancy, a lot of folks say it helps get rid of all the insects that, in a warm winter, don’t necessarily die off. So there’s some benefits to it.” Dallas Blooms features tulips, daffodils,

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Page 20 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

GARDEN

etiquette ■ Pets are prohibited in the gardens. Licensed as-

sistance animals being used by disabled individuals are permitted. ■ To protect the plant collections, active sports and games are not permitted. Prohibited games and activities include, but are not limited to: kites, frisbees, egg hunts, roller skating, footballs, baseballs and soccer balls. ■ Do not stand or walk in garden beds or climb trees or shrubs. Do not pick flowers. Do not take or harm any of the wildlife. This includes feeding squirrels. ■ Bicycles are not allowed in the garden. There is a secured, designated bicycle stand in the parking lot. Inquire with the parking or gate attendants for directions. ■ Do not play in the water features. ■ All outdoor flames are prohibited, including candles. ■ Balloons are prohibited. ■ All amplified music or noise-making devices are not permitted, unless pre-approved by the Arboretum. ■ No one is permitted to change clothes in the public restrooms. Brides and Quinceañera must arrive already dressed for photo shoots.

In addition, children are invited to learn and play in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, which first opened in September. It has been closed since midJanuary for winterization and maintenance but will reopen just in time for the Dallas Blooms season.

Dutch Iris and hyacinths, pansies, violas, poppies and thousands of other springblooming annuals and perennials. The finale of this spring celebration is the mass flowering of the garden’s collection of 3,000 azaleas that bloom through the end of April.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DALLAS ARBORETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDENS

As part of Dallas Blooms, the Dallas Arboretum also launches its Bird House Exhibit, lifesize playhouses designed by local architects, which have replaced the Texas Pioneer Exhibit, to complement this year’s theme. Located in the Lakeside Exhibit Area, children can play in the bird houses, while learning about bird predators, bird adaptations, how they find they prey, how they camouflage themselves and survive, how they migrate, how they create nests, lay eggs and more.

The Adventure Garden is an 8-acre interactive garden made up of 17 indoor and outdoor galleries. Each gallery has been designed to address state and national education standards in life, earth and environmental sciences to teach areas of kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum that are best taught outdoors. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road in Dallas. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.

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Page 22 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

a very merry un-birthday

TEA PARTY MARTHE STINTON mstinton@starlocalmedia.com

Sometimes a girl needs an afternoon with her girls, and while most of the time that involves a bottle of wine and some best buds, this toneddown tea party will elevate any Sunday afternoon and is perfect for any backyard.

THE LINENS Haul out any old scuffed up table that’s in need of some love – the less you care about it, the better it will be. Then, cover it with the Boho Boutique Lola tablecloth from Target for $25. The print is so airy and fun that it instantly brings some gypsy fun to your party. Add the Mudhut Azara Table Runner $20 to give some dimension and a solid napkin like the fig buffet napkin set of six from World Market for $10. Pier 1 has some

DINNERWARE

NAPKIN RINGS

great floral napkin rings like the Ranunculus Flower Napkin Ring for $4. Mix and match the colors for a fresh, floral look.

THE DISHES Ikea is the best place to grab a set of replaceable dinnerware in fun colors like the Strosa 12-piece dinnerware set in light green. For only $15, it adds a solid, fresh look to the mix of prints and fabrics already at play. Hit Target for a set of eight Threshold dip bowls for $17. They’re perfect for holding snacks and look great in the meantime. You can’t have a tea party without mugs and a teapot. World Market has a fantastic, Romantic Floral stacking set of six for $15 that are easily

TABLE RUNNER

stored when you’re not using them, and Walmart has an old world-style Old Dutch International Tetsubin Osaka Teapot for $25. It’s cast iron and will keep the water nice and hot without forcing you to rush back into the kitchen. Lastly, the Martha Stewart Crafts doily lace cupcake stand is only $7 at Walmart and will elegantly display muffins or cupcakes.

THE TREATS Tazo Teas has a wide variety of teas that can be found at most grocery stores including an assorted box of 24 from Walmart for $8. While you’re there, grab a box of cinnamon donut holes and drop them into the Threshold dip bowls. The cinnamon will mix well with any spiced tea.

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Page 24 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

packing the

perfect MARTHE STINTON mstinton@starlocalmedia.com

After the winter North Texans have had, you can bet your bottom dollar they will be taking full advantage of the sunshine and warmer temps of spring and summer. But in order to spend the day at play, a proper picnic must be packed. These products will help make a day at the lake, park or playground a little easier.

THE PICNIC BASKET Not all of us can afford the perfectly plaid $350 Picnic Time Windsor picnic basket from Williams-Sonoma, but spending $80 on a Picnic and Beyond Willow picnic basket is a little closer to reality. The Willow has napkins, ceramic plates, forks, knives, spoons and wine

glasses for four. Also packed in the basket are a cheese knife, bottle opener and a wooden cheese board. Check it out at thepicnicworld.com.

THE BLANKET You can’t have a proper picnic without a proper picnic blanket. Since the winter weather has finally said goodbye, say hello to some color – and a cheap sticker price – all thanks to Bed Bath & Beyond. The Tuffo Water Resistant Indoor/Outdoor throw is a perfect addition to any trunk. Its grab-and-go style makes it easy to cart around and it comes a variety of prints and colors for only $40. Take it to the pool for sunbathing or to the park for picnics. Order one at bedbathandbeyond.com.

THE FOOD Don’t fret – this menu is quick and easy.

You can purchase a cheese and meat platter from any supermarket for under $10. Pair that with a box of your favorite crackers and whatever fruit is in season, and you have a snack-sized picnic packed. For the grownups who picnic with wine and are sick of the bottle tipping over, take a cue from an old pro and grab some wine stakes. They hold the bottles and glasses in upright position and the steady stick table and wine holders from redevelope.com feature a small price tag of only $20.

THE BUGS We just kicked the cold and now we’ve got creepy crawlers wrecking our teddy bear picnic. Not anymore. Jason’s Quit Bugging Me natural insect repellent will keep bugs away for less than $10 from Walmart or Whole Foods Market.


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Page 26 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

THE

game WHAT IT IS

A standard (championship) course is 30x20 meters for men and 25x20 meters for women. The depth should be at least 1.8 meters. The field of play is segmented into zones marked by colored markings along the side of the pool: GOAL LINE - WHITE A goal counts only when the ball goes completely across the goal line and into the goal (close does not count); the ball is out of bounds if it goes completely across the goal line and not into the goal 2-meter line - red No offensive player is allowed to swim inside of the 2-meter line unless he/she has possession of the ball 5-METER LINE - YELLOW If a defensive player commits a foul inside of the 5-meter line, which prevents a “probable goal,” the defensive player is charged with a penalty foul, and the opposing team is awarded a penalty throw, a “5-meter.” If an offensive player is fouled outside of the 5meter line, the offensive player may pick up the ball and take an immediate shot at the opponent’s goal.

marco polo

UNIQUE SPORT OFFERS YOUTH MORE CHANCES TO GET INVOLVED

CENTER LINE - WHITE Mid-pool: After each goal is scored, play is re-started at mid-pool; the goalkeepers are not permitted to go across the mid-pool line.

What started as the Dallas Water Polo Club has now morphed into a sporting option for youths across the Metroplex.

PLAYERS

Thunder Water Polo Club exists for patrons on the west side of the Metroplex and incorporates cities such as Southlake, Lewisville, The Colony, Flower Mound and Irving into its ranks.

Each team must have seven players – six field players and one goalkeeper – in the water when the game starts. Normally, the home team wears light-colored caps, starts the game to the left of the scoring table. The visiting team wears dark colored caps, starts the game to the right of the scoring table. The goalkeepers wear red caps with earguards and numbers to match those of their teammates. Either team may substitute players freely after a goal is scored, during a time-out, or between periods. During actual play, substitutions must occur through the team’s re-entry area (the corner of the pool in front of the team’s bench). Field players are not allowed to walk on or push off the bottom of the pool.

FOULS

The referees whistle two different kinds of fouls: minor (ordinary) fouls and major (personal) fouls. There is no limit to the number of minor fouls a player may commit. In contrast, once a player has committed three major fouls, that player must leave the game and may not return.

Before Thunder became independent, it existed along with Lightning Water Polo Club as part of two clubs under the Dallas umbrella. Growth has allowed Thunder to become its own 501-c3 organization, and Lightning has broken up into three different groups: St. Marks, Rockwall and North Dallas Water Polo clubs. This eliminates early issues with distance between practice facilities and homes. “Although we are all separate groups now, we all work together because we want to continue to grow and thrive,” said Joe Linehan, club administrator for the Thunder. St. Marks students feed the club bearing its name, while Rockwall helps provide a close location for those on the east side of Lake Ray Hubbard and beyond. North Dallas includes suburbs

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THUNDER WATER POLO CLUB

such as Plano, Garland, Frisco and McKinney. Seasonal leagues and traveling teams exist in each of the four locations, according to Linehan, who has been an ambassador for the sport in Texas since his days as Brown University head coach. “Between all the different groups, there’s probably 350 youth water polo kids that play in the summer,” he said.


Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

27

rise in local popularity is just beginning.

Children as young as 5 can get their feet wet in water polo with Splashball. This sport designed for newbies allows children to use floaties, touch the bottom of the pool and become comfortable in the water before moving on to the more competitive teams. “As soon as they’re comfortable, they can move up and do our local North Texas leagues. We’ve had kids as young as third and fourth grade play with our 12-and-unders,” Linehan said. Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and other mainstream sports have dominated the youth ranks in North Texas – and arguably the country – for quite some time, but there is evidence to suggest water polo’s

“Right now, there are over 30-plus high schools playing water polo in the North Texas area, so hopefully that continues to grow,” Linehan said. “There’s a lot of people that do swimming that also want to do a team sport. This is kind of the best of both worlds.”

Bubba Sully’s Pocket Change

Each youth water polo club has information online, complete with natatorium and practice locations and ways to get involved. The Dallas club still helps support the youth groups; visit dallaswaterpoloclub.com for more information. ■ ETHAN GRANT egrant@starlocalmedia.com

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Page 28 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

C

C

* a tfish

Head south on Highway 271 from Mount Pleasant, and soon, the city limits will read Pittsburg, Texas – an East Texas town nestled just to the east of Lake Bob Sandlin and roughly 1,119 miles south of the Pennsylvania city.

RA Y Z

The Texas version of Pittsburg is a small, go-at-your-own-pace city, and the nearby catfish eatery, Vaughan’s, embodies the spirit of the town. Situated on the lake, Vaughan’s is a local delicacy serving allyou-can-eat catfish or golden shrimp – or both, for those with a bigger appetite. If catfish or shrimp doesn’t satisfy, visitors can always count on an assortment of quail, fried oysters,

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Spring 2014 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page Boles said the kitchen slow-cooks the signature homemade pinto beans the night before, and the restaurant also makes its own coleslaw and hush puppies. When visitors first come in, they are immediately treated to a plate of beans, coleslaw and onion rel ish.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FACEBOOK.COM/VAUGHANS

chicken fried steak, scallops, crawfish tails and a huge spread of fresh vegetables to appear on the menu. But make no mistake – the catfish makes Vaughan’s legendary. “The food is always going to be good here,” said owner Tammy Boles. “That’s really simple, but it’s true. Our food is always delicious. And our regular customers have been coming here for years, and the wait staff knows the regulars. Our regulars and our employees are like our family.”

Adding the aura of Vaughan’s is the lake, which itself is a popular fishing destination. Visitors to the restaurant have marveled at the beautiful sunsets that set right over the lake, perfectly in view of the diners.

For road-trippers planning a spring break excursion east or fishing enthusiasts looking to munch after a day on the lake, eating at Vaughan’s a must-do. An East Texas staple, Vaughan’s place in the heart of Lake Bob Sandlin country is secure – as is the famous all-you-can-eat catfish.

And while the catfish is the famous dish, Boles said the oysters are also delicious. “I’ve had regulars that travel to the East Coast and the [Louisiana] bay area, and they tell me that they would put our fried oysters up against any oysters in America,” she said.

va

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Page 32 — Splash Outdoor Living — Spring 2014

Splash Spring 2014  

A quarterly publication that highlights the outdoor scene in North Texas.

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