Friday, November 28, 2008

QUICK DRIP: HOLIDAY LIGHTING CONTEST DEADLINE

Tomorrow (Saturday, November 29th) is the entry form deadline for the City of Dripping Springs Holiday Lighting Contest. The form is simple (download the PDF here), just get to City Hall (511 Mercer). Judging will take place December 1st through 3rd.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Today we're the Dripping Springs Gobble, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DRIPPING TRUFFLES: PART DEUX

In September, we posted about Francois Picart, a Frenchman who ventured to Dripping Springs in the 1980s and dared to try and cultivate the elusive truffle here in our limestone hills. Picart dreamed of making Dripping the truffle capital of the world, planting truffle spore-innoculated oak seedlings on property off of Prochnow Road and Bell Springs Road. Picart's "Agri-Truffle Inc", the American affiliate of the still-existing French concern "Agri-Truffe", eventually dissolved, but evidence of his grand experiment remains. While the trees planted on Prochnow are now gone, on Bell Springs Road, just barely visible behind a tree, is a sign identifying "Texas First Truffle Orchard" and past that, now a bit unruly and overgrown, sits a small orchard of those trees.

In our original post we asked if anyone knew more of Picart and his truffles. We were recently contacted by the wonderful Jim Swift of KXAN who let us know he did a report on Picart in the late 1980s. Jim came to Dripping last week to do a follow-up story which, as we understand it, should air on KXAN tonight during the 10:00PM broadcast.

UPDATE:
Jim Swift's report just aired. We learned much more about Picart's efforts and experience here and the Babble even got a "shout out"! -- Thanks Jim and KXAN! If you missed the report tonight, visit KXAN.com for more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DRIPPING CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAY LIGHTING CONTEST

And speaking of art, or at least artistic expression, as you drift off for a turkey and carbs-inspired nap on Thursday (just a few winks before the UT-A&M game starts), let visions of strategically placed white twinkle lights dance in your head because November 29th (Saturday) is the deadline to submit your entry form for the City of Dripping Springs' Holiday Lighting Contest.

The city is encouraging residents and businesses to let their holiday spirit shine in three contest categories: residential, business, and public service/non-profit. Entry to the contest is free and everyone is welcome to participate. All entries will be due to City Hall by November 29th. Judging is scheduled to take place December 1st through 3rd.

Lighting contest entry forms are located on the Christmas on Mercer Street webpage on the City of Dripping Springs website at cityofdrippingsprings.com, or stop by City Hall, located at 511 Mercer Street, to pick one up.

An awards presentation for the lighting contest winners will be held at the Christmas on Mercer Street Lighting of the Tree Ceremony at 6:30PM on Saturday, December 6th. Winners will receive a special award and recognition their business/organization.

DRIPPING ARTISTS: TEXAS ORIGINALS


There is some serious art in these Dripping hills and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) agrees. The TCA's Texas Original (TxO) program was created to help preserve the unique arts and crafts heritage of Texas and provide Texas artists with an outlet for marketing their products. Artists included in the TxO program have been through a review process overseen by the TCA. When you see the TxO brand, above, often displayed on an artist's website, that means they have been through the TxO process and selected by the commission. A scroll through the commision's website of artists from across the entire state, here, reveals quite the Dripping inclination. Indeed, few towns are as well-represented. Look for Dripping's own Bridget Hauser of Sunset Canyon Pottery, Melodie Greider of Stickhorse Studios, Wayne Rossi of DS Iron Works, and Gary Thompson of Lone Sage Ranch.

And for even more Dripping art, be sure and take a scroll through the Artist's of Dripping Springs directory, here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

QUICK DRIP: CELEBRITY HUMMER

The rare hummingbird we reported on last week made the Statesman.

JIM MATTOX TO LIE IN STATE AT CAPITOL

Former Texas Attorney General and Dripping Springs resident Jim Mattox, who died in his home last week of an apparent heart attack, will lie in state in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol from 3:00PM to 7:00 PM today (Monday). Family members will be present from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. Mr. Mattox is survived by his wife, Marta, his two children, Jim Mattox and Sissi Mattox, both of Dripping Springs, his sister, Janice Mattox of Dallas, and brother, Jerry Mattox of Dallas. Governor Rick Perry ordered flags on state buildings to be lowered to half-staff. The last dignitary to lie in state in the Texas Capitol was former Governor Ann Richards. Funeral services will be at 11:00AM on Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Austin. Burial will be in the State Cemetery.

Friday, November 21, 2008

DRIPPING WEEKEND: EVENTS

The Dripping Springs United Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar continues today (Friday) and tomorrow. Friday will feature booths and a silent auction. Saturday will have booths, silent auction, and an added bake sale and BBQ sale. Start the Christmas shopping season early and support the church's Children's Weekday Ministries.

Tonight, Star of Texas Liquor & Wine continues their Beaujolais Nouveau free wine tasting, but quantities are limited, so when it's gone, it's gone! Tasting starts at 6:00PM.

On Saturday, at 1:30PM, the Dripping Springs Community Library presents a fascinating multi-media event, "Riders on the Orphan Train". Between 1854 and 1929 over 25,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America. The last train came to Sulphur Springs, Texas in 1929. Discover this largely unknown part of our nation's history through literature, music, archival photographs and film interviews.

Get all the details on these events and more in "Events" on DrippingThings.com and be sure and sign up for the weekly email update while you're there!

DRIPPING FOOTBALL: PLAYOFF GAME TONIGHT

Dripping Springs' historic football season heads to San Antonio tonight where the Tigers take on Kerrville-Spivy. The Statesman has a breakdown of the match-up here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BREAKING: DRIPPING RESIDENT AND FORMER TEXAS A.G. JIM MATTOX HAS DIED

Former Texas Attorney General and Dripping Springs resident, Jim Mattox, has passed away. Mattox, 65, reportedly died here in his sleep last night. Mattox was an undeniable Texas political institution and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with the Mattox family.

DRIPPING EVENTS: CHRISTMAS AFFAIR AT HILL COUNTRY SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER TONIGHT

Tonight, starting at 5:30PM, the Hill Country Senior Citizens Center here in Dripping Springs holds its annual Christmas event. The evening breaks down thusly:

5:30PM: Bake sale begins.
5:30PM - 7:00PM: Silent antique auction.
7:00PM - ?: Live antique auction.

Call 512-858-4663 for more information.

DRIPPING EVENTS: DSUMC CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

Happening right now until 3:30PM this afternoon, plus tomorrow and Saturday, it's the Dripping Springs United Methodist Church annual Christmas Bazaar! Get the details in "Events" at DrippingThings.com. And while you're there be sure and sign up for our weekly email update for all things Dripping Springs!

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIRSTY THURSDAY (TONIGHT)

While Beaujolais Nouveau is welcomed the third Thursday of every November, the third Thursday of every month (save December), Thirsty Thursday, at New Life Lutheran Church (120 Frog Pond Lane) in Dripping Springs, welcomes poets, storytellers, songwriters, and musicians. Admission is free, and donations to the Helping Hands Food Pantry are encouraged. The doors open tonight at 7:00PM and light refreshments are provided.

DRIPPING WINE: BONJOUR BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU!

It's the Thursday before Thanksgiving and what does that mean? It's time for the great brown gravy versus giblet gravy debate to begin raging in our family and it means the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the young red wine made from the Gamay grape and aged less than a year before it's time to pull the cork! According to French law, and adhered to by retailers worldwide, no Beaujolais Nouveau can be legally sold or released until the third Thursday in November. Star of Texas Liquor & Wine right here in Dripping Springs has secured a few cases of the 2008 vintage that will be flown in from Lyon, France and they're having a tasting party to celebrate from 6:00PM - 8:00PM tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow night, but as this is strictly a limited production wine, when it's gone, it's gone! No reservations necessary, just drop in and join the party. Star of Texas Liquor & Wine is located in the Spring Bluff Center at 400 Hwy 290 West. For more information, call Kathy Duck, owner of Star of Texas Liquor at 512-858-7007.

Note: Quite fortuitously, Beaujolais Nouveau is a perfect wine for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: TOUR OF HOMES

The Friends of the Library Christmas in the Hills Tour of Homes has announced its holiday home line-up for this year and it looks festive, indeed. With a theme of "The Sounds of Christmas", each decor takes on a famous holiday carol from It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas to Auld Lang Syne. This year's tour takes place Saturday, December 6th, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM. Tickets can be preordered through November 22nd for $12 each at the library circulation desk. After that date, the price is $15 each. On December 6th, they will also be sold at the Friends' booth set up as part of "Christmas on Mercer Street," and at participating homes on the tour.

And speaking of the library's booth at "Christmas on Mercer Street", the Friends of the Library are continuing their traditional holiday bake sale. This year, the goodies will be sold at the booth. If you would like to bake something tasty for the library's bake sale, please bring it to the library on Friday afternoon, December 5th. For any questions, or if would like to volunteer to work at the booth, contact Bonnie Eissler, bake sale coordinator, at 512-858-7843 or 512-608-1963.

Finally, the Friends are also in need of docents on the Tour of Homes. Each docent works a 2 1/2 hour shift at one home on the tour, and receives a ticket to visit the other homes. If interested, contact Joan Mihal at 512-829-4537 to choose a shift and location.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BREAKING: RARE HUMMINGBIRD SPOTTED IN DRIPPING

A rare hummingbird was spotted in a Babble reader's yard yesterday. The bird is a Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae) and, according to hummingbird expert Nancy Newfield, the only other known record of this bird in Central Texas was in San Marcos in the early 1980s. Quite fortuitously, an immature male of the species alit right here in Dripping Springs in the yard of local photographer and bird fan Howard Williams. Williams reports he knew the bird was unique when first observed late yesterday afternoon and, although the light was poor, he was able to get a few photographs of the unique visitor, all of which can be seen here.

Note: To see gorgeous bird photographs and bird baths created by Williams, be sure and visit his website at learnedbird.com.

Monday, November 17, 2008

QUICK DRIP: ARTISTS OF DRIPPING SPRINGS

Tonight (Monday) is the annual planning meeting for the Artists of Dripping Springs when they decide what events they will sponsor and create in 2009. If you are curious about the group, they say this is the "perfect meeting to attend" and learn more about this "eclectic" group of artists from around the Dripping Springs area. For more information, visit their website at artistsofdrippingsprings.org. The meeting tonight is at 7:00PM at Wesley Gallery on RR 12.

QUICK DRIP: THE OLD DS HARDWARE BUILDING

We've received a few queries about what's going into the former Dripping Springs Hardware building on RR 12. Earler this year the hardware store was purchased by Whit Hanks who, as we understand it, plans to use for an antique business similar to his current location in Austin. Initially, the building may be used to house overflow from the Austin location. Ultimately, the vision is said to be a retail space with his home furnishings store and complementary businesses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DRIPPING FOOTBALL: TIGERS ADVANCE IN STATE PLAY-OFFS

Dripping Springs HS Football has our attention once again as the team advanced to the second round of the state play-offs with a win on Friday night over Travis. The Tigers play Kerrville-Tivy next.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS WEEKEND

The weatherfolk are promising a cold front for this weekend, which should make all events feel a bit more holidayesque. Events on tap include Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise book signing tonight (Friday) at Clifford's Original Wine Bar . The gorgeous book by Terry Thompson-Anderson features several Dripping Springs locals including Rolling in Thyme & Dough, Onion Creek Farm, and Pure Luck Dairy. On Saturday, Main Street Market & Deli has local band, Garrett Endres & Friends, performing live on their outdoor pavilion. On both Saturday and Sunday, Cowgirls & Lace is having a holiday open house with live music (Saturday) and photos with Santa (Sunday). Get all the details on all these events (and more) in "Events" on DrippingThings.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: DSUMC CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

The Dripping Springs United Methodist Church is still accepting vendor applications for its annual Christmas Bazaar (November 20-22, 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM). All vendors pay a one-time registration fee of $40 and get to keep 100% of profits (sounds like a deal).Thursday and Friday will feature booths and a silent auction. Saturday will have booths, the silent auction, and an added bake sale and BBQ sale. Proceeds from the event help support their Children's Weekday Ministries. Vendor registration form is online here or call 858-7541 for more information.

DRIPPING EVENTS: POTLUCK @ SOL'STICE

Sol'stice is having a community potluck tonight with free live music in the garden. Share a dish, meet neighbors, and listen to some great tunes. Starts at 6:00PM. If you plan on attending, let Chris know at 512-569-0175.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LOCAL DRIP: DRIPPINGTHINGS.COM

As the pre-fab concrete walls of the new Walgreens loom large, we want to remind everyone of our "go local" project, DrippingThings.com, for all things Dripping Springs. If you haven't visited yet, please do and make sure we haven't missed one of your favorite local products, places to shop, stay or eat. Also, if you know of any upcoming Dripping events we've missed, please drop us a line with the details (contact link is on the site).

QUICK DRIP: OAK CREEK CAFE

If you're one of the wandering coffee mob, you already know this, but we love this story. Apparently a group of old-school coffee drinkers traditionally met early every morning at Rosie's Tamale House, but after Rosie's closed they were left adrift and coffee-less. After word reached Oak Creek Cafe, it started opening earlier, at 6:30AM, just so our displaced and desperately decaffeinated java joes would have a place to meet and drink coffee.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DRIPPING DOGS: AFTER THE "PAWTY"

Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday for Stay-N-Play's 10th Anniversary and benefit for PAWS. Two of the Babblers were there to volunteer as proud PAWS dogs adopters. Thanks to all the sponsors and a special shout out to Bubby Biscuits, Dripping's own organic dog treat makers, and the wonderful Tammy at The Big Drip.

If you're thinking of adding a dog to your family, please consider adopting a shelter dog. The PAWS shelter is just down FM 150 in Kyle. Visit the PAWS website to see some of their adoptable dogs and cats online.

DRIPPING EVENTS: VETERANS TRIBUTE TONIGHT

The annual Veterans Tribute will be held tonight in the Dripping Springs HS cafeteria. The event begins at 5:30PM and will include recognition of local veterans, fajitas, entertainment, and a silent auction. Visit this link for more information.

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. The date stems from November 11, 1918, when fighting ceased between Allied nations and Germany and an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. While the purpose of the day and its significance has experienced several permutations over the years since President Wilson, in November 1919, proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of "Armistice Day", the nation's observance today on November 11, now called Veterans Day, not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. To learn the complete history of Veterans Day, click here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

BREAKING: SWAT STAND-OFF AT TERRY'S MOBILE HOME PARK

A swarm of Hays Country SWAT members were spotted at Terry's Mobile Home Park on RR12 this morning. For the complete story on what transpired over the course of today, visit KXAN.

DRIPPING HOLIDAYS: CHRISTMAS LIGHTING CONTEST

The Macy's in Chicago has unveiled it's 2008 Christmas window, essentially telling New York to "bring it", but perhaps Chicago should look a bit more southwesterly to see where it will be brought as the City of Dripping Springs is bringing back the town Christmas lighting contest. Dripping will have three contest categoies: residential, business, and public service/non-profit. There is no entry fee and the winners will receive a special award at the Christmas Tree Lighting at Christmas on Mercer Street, and recognition for your business/organization on the Triangle along with city publicity. All entries will be due to City Hall by November 29, 2008.

You may still be cranking the A/C in your truck, but November 29th is just 19 days away! The entry form is online here. For more information or questions please contact Ashley Seay, Michelle Fischer or Ginger Faught at 512-858-4725.

DRIPPING RAIN? TODAY COULD BE THE DAY

Rainwater collectors, today could be our day. Weather predictions in the area are ranging from a 50% - 70% chance of rain.

DRIPPING COMMUNITY: VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS - TRAINING TONIGHT!

The North Hays County Volunteer Fire Department is looking for firefighter candidates. Trainings are held the second, third, and fourth Monday of every month at 7:00PM at the Central Station at 400 Sportsplex (the road, Hanks Way, that runs between Oak Creek Cafe and Main Street Market turns into Sportsplex). Volunteers help protect us and our homes. For more on training and contact information, visit NHCVF.org.

Friday, November 7, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS WEEKEND

We've appreciated all the comments and update emails regarding the distillery. As soon as we know more, we'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we did want to let everyone know about this weekend's Dripping events.

On Saturday, the Dripping Springs Library is presenting what sounds to be a fascinating program on the history of our town. Next, our friend Tammy, "The Ice Cream Lady", is having a "Double Drip Twins Party" at the Big Drip. Apparently this town is also dripping twins! Lots of fun contests and activities for everyone.

Finally, on Sunday, Stay-N-Play Pet Ranch is throwing a PAWTY! This event will be packed with loads of free activities, agility course, ask the vet and ask the trainer sessions, plus seriously discounted doggie pedicures, photos with our without Santa, pet psychic, and great fundraising opportunities (silent auction with really cool stuff), and just loads more all to benefit PAWS Animal Shelter. PAWS will also have some great dogs on site for adoption (just as charming as PAWS adoptee, the foxy Jane Austin, below).

Get all the times and details on all of these events on the "EVENTS" page on DrippingThings.com.

UPDATE: EXPLOSION AT SAN LUIS SPIRITS

The explosion this morning at San Luis Spirits on Bell Springs Road happened between 6 and 7AM. According to the spokesperson for the Hays County sheriff’s office, a worker was welding in a shed where the Dripping Springs Vodka stills were kept, and a spark ignited a chemical, causing an explosion. The man was taken to Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio with burns on his face, hands and legs. The shed is considered a total loss, along with everything inside. (Via the Statesman).

BREAKING: EXPLOSION AT SAN LUIS SPIRITS

It appears that there was an explosion this morning on Bell Springs Road at San Luis Spirits, the Dripping Springs Vodka distillery. Hays County sheriff's Deputy Pam Robinson says one person was airlifted to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with burns to his hands, legs and face. No identity nor condition was available, but Robinson says the man was conscious at the scene. (Via KVUE).

We will update as soon as we learn more. Our thoughts are with the folks at San Luis Spirits.

DRIPPING EVENTS: WINES, SUNSETS, & STARS POST-MORTEM

The City of Dripping Springs' wine tasting last night, its first foray into Harrison Ranch Park events, was, from all appearances, a success. This recently acquired property should prove to be a real boon for Dripping community and culture. The 64 acre park is located directly across from Dripping Springs Elementary School off of RR 12 and features a wonderful farmhouse, where the tasting was held. This Babbler's mom, who recently moved back to the area from Dallas, even got a high-five from our mayor. She can confirm she was never high-fived by the mayor of Dallas. We're definitely looking forward to more Dripping events at Harrison Ranch Park.

Special thanks to Ashley for her hosting skills.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: IS THURSDAY EVER!

The party stars have certainly aligned for this evening. Tonight (Thursday) is jam-packed with activities! "Girl's Night Out" at Sophie's Garden Salon, "Wines, Sunsets, and Stars" at Harrison Ranch Park (pre-registration required), and "Hill Country Top Chef" at Wilson Appliance. Get all the details at DrippingThings.com and, while you're there, be sure and sign up for the DrippingThings.com email update.

QUICK DRIP: HEB UPDATE

Rumors abound about the HEB and whether and when it's coming, so we went to the source for all things Dripping development. According to Jon Thompson, Development Coordinator for the City of Dripping Springs, the HEB people have paid the City for their wastewater (sewer) impact fees. There is also buzz that they are working on their engineering for the site plan, but no confirmed date as to when the site plan submittal could occur. In light of the payment of the wastewater impact fees, however, Thompson personally suspects that the submittal could be any day, but stresses that there is nothing official yet.

QUICK DRIP: BEST WESTERN UPDATE

As we reported end of August, a site plan was approved for a Best Western (58 rooms) east of the Domino's Pizza. But we're now getting word that the hotel is still waiting on funding. It's believed the project is not dead, just delayed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: THE DAY AFTER

Hays County has posted election results here.

In a nutshell:

Patrick Rose won his fourth term as our State Representative.

John Cornyn returns to the U.S. Senate and Lloyd Doggett to the U.S. House.

Allen Bridges is still our Sheriff while Ron Hood defeated incumbent Debbie Brown to be our Constable.

Luanne Caraway will keep assessing and collecting our taxes which will be raised thanks to the road bond which was approved.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: UPDATED LOCAL RESULTS

The Texas Secretary of State is updating Texas election returns every 5 minutes. Fellow obsessive/compulsive political junkies, visit the site here.

DRIPPING HISTORY (AND A BREAK FROM THE SUSPENSE)

Anyone needing a break from watching or surfing the election coverage can take a step back in time today at the Dr. Pound Pioneer Farmstead Historical Museum from noon to 3:00PM. The museum is located on five acres cleared 150 years ago to make way for a log cabin for one of Dripping's founders, Dr. Pound and his family. This same log cabin remains there today and is now the heart of the home that eventually sprawled into a six-room house. Docents are on hand to describe early events and activities and answer your questions. The museum is open every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday except in December when it is closed.

DRIPPING POLITICS: TODAY'S THE DAY

It's election day! If you're unsure as to your polling place, the Texas Secretary of State has a nifty search function to find out exactly where you vote based on your precinct. To do a polling place search on the site, you can search by voter ID (found on your voter registration certificate), OR your Texas driver's license number (if you provided it when you applied for voter registration), OR your first and last name. Click here to launch the polling place search page. Hays County polls are open from 7AM - 7PM.

As a reminder, the Babble conducted Q&As with 2 of our state rep candidates. You can read Republican candidate Matt Young's answers here, Libertarian candidate Tom Gleinser's answers here. Our incumbent Patrick Rose (D) had his office call to let us know he would not be answering the questions.

Monday, November 3, 2008

DRIPPING BANKS: ARE WE EVER

Framing started last week on the new Broadway Bank, located just across the Home Depot driveway from the soon to be completed Chase Bank (and both located just across 290 from Cattleman's National Bank). Cross RR 12 and the new Pioneer Bank is also now open (about 3 blocks from the Wells Fargo).

DRIPPING FOOD: FLORES OPENS

As we reported on October 22nd, the new Flores Mexican Restaurant on 290 did indeed open for business at the end of October. If the packed parking lot at almost any given moment over the weekend is any indication, Dripping Springs has been in desperate need of an enchilada.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOUR DE DRIP: LANCE TAKES GRUENE

Babble founders are Tour de France nuts. One Babbler, in particular, has watched the Tour religiously for more than 20 years. Now that Tour megachampion and homeboy Lance Armstrong is on the comeback trail and bringing back the Dripping Springs connection to the Tour in 2009, we'll be doing regular updates on his progress. On Saturday and Sunday Lance raced in the Tour de Gruene (yes, dance hall Gruene) and won.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

QUICK DRIP: HUNTING SEASON STARTS TODAY

Open season on deer and turkey starts today, November 1st. For complete hunting season information for Hays County, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department here. If you're reading this, that means you've already slept too late! Hunting season is about sleepily stumbling around in the dark a minimum of 2 hours before sunrise with truck-jostled coffee spilled down the front of your camouflage and crumbling biscuits stuffed in your pockets. Or at least that's how my grandfather taught me.

Note to squirrels: There is no closed season and no bag limit. Watch your tails!