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JV ICE CREAM! Blue Bell recall has fans looking for other brands - Page 1D HaysFreePress.com June 17, 2015 Page 1C PHOTOS BY ALANA ZAMORA Campers from Hays Hill Baptist Church's Heroes Camp spent part of their morning volunteering at Hope & Love 4 Kids in Kyle. The nonprofit helps children in need by sponsoring projects such as school supply drives and holiday gifts. The organization also offers annual scholar- ships. The campers made Truth Cards for victims of the Memo- rial Day weekend flood and helped put in some beautiful plants donated by a local nursery. IIN The last few years have been a trying time for gardeners in the central and southern parts of our state. Typically, Texas droughts are busted one of two ways: either through a tropical system or systems from the Gulf or eastern Pacific Ocean, or climatic changes resulting from E1 Nifio. This year's E1 Nifio de- veloped during the spring and has helped bring much needed rainfall over our area. In the simplest terms, E1 Nifio occurs when eastern trade winds subside over the central and western Pacific Ocean, causing sea surface temperatures to rise in the eastern Pacific, near the coast of South America. This rise in temperature creates global changes in atmospheric circulation (including the jet stream that affects our own weather). Local weather changes in- clude above normal rainfall, Ask Amanda by Amanda Moon and fewer tropical systems in the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. The stronger the El Nifio, the more pronounced the effects, and this one is ex- pected to strengthen early this fall and may result in a colder/wetter winter. We should at the very least be in for some cooler summer months? What should we do with this information? This is a good time to evaluate your grass and plant choices. The last 5 years will tell you a lot about the hardiness of a certain plant. If it was able to withstand extreme cold and heat and then years of drought fol- lowed by way too much rain this spring, then it's definite- ly a keeper. We live in a geographic region wrought with wide swings in our weather pat- terns, and although the last few years have been extreme, they are not unusual for cen- tral Texas. Since this is a great year to plant, while examining your yard, look at where you have been watering during dry periods, either with a hose or irrigation system. Are there spots that you missed that were hard to reach? Maybe on a quick drying slope or in a super-hot spot? Any of the areas would be good candidates to install su- per drought-tolerant plants now that it is safe to plant again. Esperanza (yellow bells) and pride of Barbados, salvias (S. namaensis and big red are two of my favor- ites), agave, prickly pear, skeleton-leaf golden eye, and Knock-Out roses, rosemary, mountain laurel and native lantanas are good candidates for super dry, sunny spots (as long as you water them to get them established). And don't forget about your shady spots. This is the right time to determine where the low, wetter spots are and install plants that can take a wide range of water conditions. Dwarf nan- dinas, katie ruellia, vibur- num, liriope (both big blue and giant) and several native perennials including Turk's cap, Texas columbine, wood violets and inland sea oats are all good choices. Take advantage of our feast that usually follows famine here in Texas. Use this year to get a jump on our next dry spell (there will always be one!) and establish your new beds now. Stay dry and happy planting? If you have a question for Chris or Amanda, send it via email to iathyme@yahoo. com.Or mail a postcard to It's About Thyme: 11726 Man- chaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www.itsaboutthyme.com. Wb've talked about ooks about movies r about actors and actresses, but this week, I'm excited about a book that's been made into an upcom- ing movie? Yes, there are many, but the one I'm excited about is "The Martian" which comes out in October. "The Martian"by Andy Weir was riveting. In the near future, astronaut Mark Watney has been stranded on Mars after his crew had Check it Out by Melinda Hodges to evacuate, thinking he was dead. Watney has to figure out how to make water, grow food, stay sane, and simply survive on Mars until the next Mars mission, which is scheduled to arrive in four years. I was completely hooked by this book. I didn't intend to read it in two sittings, but it was so engrossing that I knew I wasn't going to sleep if I put it down. Watney is a fascinating character. He is realistic about his chances of survival but isn't going down without a fight. Watney rolls with the punches (or explo- sions or disasters) and comes out thinking about how to stay alive. And somehow, he is still funny, self-deprecating and wise- cracking. Weir did a lot of research before writing this book; it shows. There's no magical de- vice that suddenly makes the situation easier for Watney. All the technology presented seems to be a logical progres- sion from devices already in use and research that's currently being conducted. It feels like it could be real. Connect with surviving Mars at the Buda Public Library! Mr. City Montage by Pauline Tom Our houseguest, Priscilla, posted on FaceBook a photo that illustrates a glimpse of Mountain City nature, exactly what Montage fre- quently chats. "Where I am I can see baby deer drinking at foun- tain while I'm sitting at table. That's so cool. That same little fat bird comes every morning and sits there all day. Always flying into the window. 1o1" Yes, Mr. Cowbird stays on and on here at our place in this little city still barely out in the country.., but, it still has that "rural feel" that Mountain Cityians treasure. Overwhelmingly, that's what we told our city government we value. That's what the survey said loud and clear. MONTAGE, 4C J This Week in Texas History by Bartee Halle Tcohae only dau ,ghter of ne of Texas wealthiest ttle kings married a blueblood from Philadelphia on June 17, 1902 in the family mansion at Decatur. Starting with a small herd of Longhorns in the 1850s, Dan and son Tom Waggoner turned parts of six North Texas counties into a 750 square-mile cattle empire. At the end of the nineteenth century, the colossal Three D Ranch covered more than a million acres. ElectraWaggoner was born in 1882 on the family property east of Decatur and named af- ter her maternal grandfather Electius. She'and younger brothers Paul and Guy were the three surviving children of Tom and his wife Ella. The girl grew up spoiled rotten in E1 Castile, the for- tress-like mansion her doting dad and equally adoring pa- ternal grandfather built in the Wise County seat so the clan could live in town. Gigantic carved doors, two-foot thick walls, ceilings 18 feet high and other impressive architectural touches gave the dwelling the look of a medieval castle. Ranch hands called Electra the "Princess of the Pan- handle," but her strong-willed mother had other plans for the tomboy. She talked her husband into sending the rough-around-the-edges teen to an exclusive finishing school in Nashville in 1897. Electra came home three years later a refined young lad~ but within a matter of months the Waggoners sent her on a trip around the world to cool a hot romance with a local beau. She returned in November 1901 with a but- terfly tattoo and a new fianc6, Albert B. Wharton, a Philadel- TEXAS HISTORY, 2C