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Outdoors & Recreation
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I’ve always wanted my own garden, but since moving out on my own, I’ve always lived in an apartment.

My vision of a lush and elaborate garden full of healthy foods became a more acute aspiration after I committed to eating more organic fruits and vegetables, which - in case you didn’t know - are more expensive than their nonorganic counterparts.

Earlier this year, I saw a tutorial for a small garden made out of an upcycled dresser drawer. The guide suggested a complicated method (involving tools I didn’t have) of attaching legs to what was essentially a wooden box deep enough to give plants space to grow. Dressers tend to be cheap at thrift stores, especially if you only need the drawers themselves to be in good condition.
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Mother and son were minding their own business. They strolled together along a thoroughfare popular with their kind. Except for them, the streets were empty. Or so we thought.

Their pace said they were not going anywhere in particular. Its steady rhythm, first calming and then hypnotic, matched the breathing of someone who was falling asleep. Indeed, local lady FM and her strapping 6-year-old son Fennel were falling into a nice doze. Being dolphins, they kept swimming, but went slower and slower as they succumbed to the luxury of a nap.
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Currently, as we hang on the verge of summer doldrums and potentially fantastic fall fishing, we see the signs of change. Bait fish stocks are on the rise. Bait fish of all types and sizes are blanketing our coastal waters attracting the attention of all kinds of predatory fish. It won’t take much of a weather change for the fishing to really catch fire.

Inshore fishing is picking up. Redfish are showing up at typical fall spots. Look for those flats that are directly adjacent to deeper water to be the most reliable. They don’t call them channel bass for no reason. Redfish, especially fall reds, seem to school in deeper water and can often be found by the mud they create as they scour the bottom. Look for muds, tern activity and the presence of jack crevalle to give away the location of the redfish.
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The recreational harvest season for Florida’s premier game fish, snook, opens Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.

While the fishery is already more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home.

Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether to harvest one.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - Badminton isn’t a leisurely game for garden parties.

The sport attracts a diversely aged and often international crowd at Highland Recreation Complex when the gym is set up with two 5-foot nets for pickup games three times a week.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Andy Fov, who drives to Largo from Odessa on Saturdays to play.

The game is a great, fast-paced workout, he explained in between games Aug. 23.
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TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Boat Sale will be presented Friday through Sunday, Oct. 10-12, in the Main Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa.

Hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will showcase area boat dealers and manufacturers, the latest in boating and fishing supplies and accessories. This three-day sales event offers a great way to see and compare all available makes and models in one location. The Florida State Fairgrounds will be filled with new boats, trailers, docking and safety equipment and lots of related exhibits.
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TARPON SPRINGS - Observing Nature through Drawing - a six-week course - will kick off Thursday, Sept. 4, at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road.

The course will run Sept. 4 through Oct. 9 and will meet Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is designed to enhance the student’s skill in observation with the goal of strengthening understanding of natural subject matter. Emphasis will be given to developing drawing skills as well as composition. Students will investigate the natural environment and experiment with various drawing techniques. Learn how to simplify the natural landscape into essential shape, tone, texture and line, creating a personal visual drawing vocabulary.

Cost is $100 for members of Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve; and $125 for nonmembers. Cost does not include materials. Registration is required.
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LARGO - The city of Largo is offering several new athletic programs to its fall youth programming at Highland Recreation Center, 400 Highland Ave.

The Instructional Basketball program and league is designed for two age groups: children ages 9 to 11 and 12 to 14. The program will include 45 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of game time on Saturdays, Sept. 13 to Nov. 15. The cost is $45.

The Instructional Soccer program and league is designed for two age groups: children ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 11. The program will include 45 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of game time on Saturdays, Sept. 6 to Nov. 1. The cost is $45.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, August 14
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CLEARWATER - Some played from wheelchairs. Some teamed up and engaged in active volleys. Some just watched. And some started out just watching, then slowly got more and more comfortable and then began playing themselves. No matter the ability, the verdict was clear: The UPARC adaptive tennis program was a hit.

UPARC is a nonprofit organization based in Clearwater that for over 30 years has served people with disabilities through day programs, residential programs and other services. In April, it launched its first adaptive tennis program for its consumers, using grant money to provide lighter racquets and balls, lower nets, and a professional trainer who is specialized in working with people with disabilities.
 ... Read More 
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Onshore winds and continuous storms had our near-shore waters pretty dirtied up last week. But east winds have returned and water is clearing up nicely.

Calm seas and clean water will have the bait pushed up right against the beach, attracting schools of mackerel, bluefish, cobia and a few other less glamorous, but great rod-bending species. This is not the time of year to be real picky about target species. It’s hot and downright uncomfortable much past 10 a.m. Beach fishing can provide good action as well as often being slightly cooler than the inshore more protected waters.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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