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      Nature Report: Change of Seasons

      From the brush country to the bay, fall is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the South Texas outdoors.

      Whether it's hooking up with a bull red or glimpsing a majestic bucks newly hardened antlers, deep South Texas is a magical place in the fall.

      The annual schooling of big redfish in the Lower Laguna Madre as they prepare to head into the Gulf to spawn makes for some of the year's most exciting angling.

      With falls arrival in the brush country, whitetail deer are in the final stage of their annual antler development.

      While a handful of bucks still have not shed their velvet, most like this majestic 18-point are sporting newly hardened racks.

      Decreasing daylight triggers hormonal changes, which restricts blood flow to whitetail bucks growing antlers, and with falls arrival they begin scraping off the velvet like sheath encasing their antlers.

      The annual fall migration of waterfowl is underway with the vanguard of teal arriving well ahead of other ducks.

      Soon, thousands of redheads and other ducks will journey southward, and many will spend the winter in the Rio Grande Valley.

      Another sure sign of the changing of the seasons is the haunting call of wild geese, winging their way from arctic breeding grounds to southernmost Texas.

      And you may have noticed a variety of colorful songbirds flitting thru your backyard.

      While most will continue their journey south of the Rio Grande, some will linger and brighten the Valley landscape throughout the winter months.

      It is a great time of year to get outdoors, and often you don't have to journey much farther than your own backyard to enjoy the changing of the seasons.