Columnists
  • This summer, I left Texas and traveled to Wyoming to take my wife and children to America’s first national monument. Deemed a place worthy of protection in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt declared Devil's Tower and surrounding 1,347 acres a monument. photo by Russell A. Graves
  • Although we're infrequent movie-goers, Lanny and I picked a good one last week---Jersey Boys. I wiped the dribble from my chin and fell in love with Lanny all over again.
  • Country living continued... photo by Russell A. Graves
  • The recent and dramatic rise in illegal migration across our border, from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, presents a major challenge to the United States. Particularly because so many of those crossing our border are children, there is also a humanitarian dimension to this problem, which the U.S. Government is bound and determined to respect.
  • One of the joys of crawdads is reconnecting with your past and going crawfishing with kids. photo by Russell A. Graves
  • My brother Tim has lived near some of the prettiest ski resorts in Colorado. Years ago, he said, "Cindy, I want you to come skiing with me."
  • When working with trees, it does not take long before one comes across a pest problem that can be handled in only one way -- with chemicals. While some people prefer organics in hope that the more natural chemicals will have less of an impact to the surrounding environment, others prefer chemical-based sprays and injections because of chemicals' greater strength. And with so many arguments for either chemical or organic compounds, a good knowledge of the difference between the two is always the key to choosing which is right for you.
  • In Texas, crawdads are a commercially viable crop as they are raised for food consumption and bait. While Louisiana grows most all of the crawfish sold for food consumption, Texas is in second place with some 147,000 pounds produced annually according to the last agriculture census: a document released in 2007 by the United States Department of Agriculture. At the time of the last census, eight Texas farms were raising crawfish for the table. photo by Russell A. Graves
  • Pulling into the gates, I mention to my wife that this year marks the eleventh year we’ve come to Balmorhea State Park. In my mind it seems like yesterday but looking in the rearview mirror to the backseat, the three-year-old that we had in tow our first year is now a teenager and her little brother sitting opposite of her was still a year away from being born into our family. I have literally watched them grow up swimming in the spring fed waters of this out-of-the-way park in the unlikeliest of places. photo by Russell A. Graves
  • As a boy I rode in my grandfather’s steel-tired wagon a few times, and on a gravel road it was so noisy that you couldn’t carry on a conversation. In that era the term “rattletrap” was commonly used in describing the older cars and pickups that many people drove. Even when you bought a new pickup, driving it on gravel roads and across pastures would soon give it plenty of rattles.
  • An open letter to the parents of children crossing our Southwest border.