Celebrating 75 Years of TPW Magazine

January 10th, 2017
Orville Rice’s iconic artwork graced covers of Texas Game and Fish for a decade (1945-1955). Scanned from Family Archives, Dinah Chancellor

Orville Rice’s iconic artwork graced covers of Texas Game and Fish for a decade (1945-1955). Scanned from Family Archives, Dinah Chancellor

This is Passport to Texas

All year long Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine plans to make room in its issues to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

The biggest celebrations will be in January and December [2017]. The issue we’re just putting to bed for January/February will contain a history of the magazine and a feature on Orville Rice. And both of those are written by longtime staffers who have now retired.

I spoke with Magazine Editor Louie Bond in November of last year about this year’s issues.

Throughout the year, we’re going to do some scrapbooks of different decades and some of the funny things. We’ve picked out our special favorites, and we’re going to be sharing those with readers every month.

But you’ll have to keep tabs on the magazine to find out just what those funny things might be.

And then December is kind of a secret. We’re going to do something we’ve never done in 75 years. And, we’re going to really save it as a surprise. But we’ll be doing the entire issue in a different way that we’ve never done before. So, I’m just going to hang that out there, and you y’all need to hang around ‘til December to see what kind of special fun we have for the actual month of the anniversary.

With as fast as these years are going, December will be here before you know it. The January/February issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is on newsstands now.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Celebrating 75 Years of Stories of the Outdoors

January 9th, 2017
Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Celebrates 75 Years if Bringing the Texas Outdoors to you.

TPW Magazine celebrates 75 years if bringing the Texas outdoors to you.

This is Passport to Texas

When it went to press 75 years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine had a different name.

It started out as Texas Game and Fish, and then when the agency changed, the name of the magazine changed as well to reflect the addition of more state park content.

For the past 10 years, Louie Bond has been the editor of this outdoor magazine of Texas.

We’re so lucky to be at the helm of this magazine. Here we just walk in, and we’re just the current custodians. But it feels great to be part of such a longstanding, excellent tradition.

Originally, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine was more of a hook and bullet publication.

We were more traditionally hunting and fishing at the beginning, and now have added in through the years: hiking and biking and visiting state parks…bird watching and photography, and all those wonderful pursuits that our readers have.

Louie says the magazine experienced “pop culture” shifts over the years as well, such as not publishing recipes for certain critters.

Um, perhaps large rats, and things like that. Back in the day, people cooked whatever game was in their yard. You can think of those folks as locavores as we have locavores today.

The magazine celebrates its 75th anniversary all year long, and we tell you how they plan to do that tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Barrington Living History Farm Goes Whole Hog

January 6th, 2017
Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

They’re going whole hog at Barrington Living History Farm January 14 & 15. That’s when they’ll present a hog butchering and curing program to the public.

Butchering is just one part of many things that we do seasonally throughout the year.

Barb King is a park interpreter at the farm, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. The program takes place outdoors in January just as would have happened in 1850s rural Texas.

So, all the meat that will be produced, and the sausage and the fat that we will save for soap or cooking all needs to be at a constant temperature, which is cold—like your fridge. So that we can start the curing process without worrying about it spoiling.

Staff will dispatch a heritage breed hog before visitors arrive. Barb says the rest of the process is for public view, which is mostly a demonstration…

People are able to do a tiny bit if they choose—like helping us scrape the hogs. But cutting up the carcass into specific portions of meat is only done by staff. A lot of people come right at 10, and we normally have a big group waiting. And then on Sunday, we focus on more of the preservation aspect.

Visitors who return Sunday will observe how staff cures the meat for storage. The butchering and curing program at Barrington Living History Farm is January 14 & 15, from 10am – 4pm both days. Admission fees apply. Find complete details at texasstateparks.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Spending Time Outdoors is a Smart Move

January 5th, 2017
That's right, just spending time outdoors like this can make you smarter.

That’s right, just spending time outdoors like this can make you smarter.

This is Passport to Texas

Did you know time spent outdoors can make you smarter? Outreach & Education Director Nancy Herron says when we say “smarter”, we don’t necessarily mean increasing one’s IQ.

Being outdoors helps you with focus, and concentration – it clears your mind in a little different way. So when you come back inside, you’re actually more ready to work. And they have neuroscientists who talk about the importance of before an important meeting … a job interview …something you anticipate is going to be stressful: take a walk around the block. Get outside. It clears your mind a little bit. I don’t think you can find a more fertile ground for creativity than nature and outdoors. So, if you want to spark wonder – and that’s the key to learning – that’s getting outside in nature. Put these things on your calendar. Make a commitment to that in those resolutions sop, once a day you’re getting outside to be a little healthier. Once a week you’re going to do something that will help reduce that stress. And once a month get out there – put it on the calendar – you can do this. And they’re fun. They’re really fun resolutions to have.

Here’s to your best New Year ever!

We record our series at the Block House studio in Austin, and our healthy, happy and smart engineer is Joel Block.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

A Healthier New Year–and You

January 4th, 2017
Getting outdoors to explore builds strong minds and bodies.

Getting outdoors to explore builds strong minds and bodies.

This is Passport to Texas

Healthier…happier…smarter: that’s what you will be this new year when you commit to spending time outdoors.

There’s a whole bevy of benefits from being outdoors.

Nancy Herron, Outreach & Education Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife, says to make spending time outdoors one of your resolutions.

One of the most fun resolutions is to get a little dose of “vitamin N” every day – and that’s vitamin Nature. Being outdoors in nature, even 30 minutes a day, will make a big difference. If you get outside and take a nice walk, a stroll in the park. If you break it up even in three ten minute chunks, it just helps in a lot of ways physically. It reduces your stress. I have seen you taking a little stroll around the building before. I do try and take a little break. And you know we actually know that little walk around the block – wherever it is – there’s nature everywhere. There’s nearby nature in a city block. Just getting outdoors, just getting a little fresh air – even if you’re checking out the sky and making some shapes out of the clouds: it’s a good break for you and gets you physically moving. And that’s the biggest problem we have is we’re just not moving around. So, let’s get outside and move. And it’s as simple as thirty minutes a day, three ten minute breaks. Give yourself some recess and have fun.

Getting smarter with nature. That’s tomorrow.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.