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      Nature Report: Places to Go

      Okay, the bad news is that the Rio Grande Valley's National Wildlife Refuges are closed due to the government shutdown, but the good news is that there are plenty of other places to go to enjoy the South Texas outdoors. It is a perfect time of year for a drive down the beach.

      And what better place to share a pristine sunrise, than with a flock of pelicans skimming the surf at dawn.

      The 20 plus mile drive down the beach to the jetties beckons with plenty of opportunity for beach combing, fishing, bird watching or just kicking back. And if you want to see whitetail deer, you don't need to own a ranch, as there are plenty of deer roaming around the town of Port Mansfield.

      The bucks are sporting their newly hardened antlers, and you just might see one worthy of a few photographs. If you choose to visit the Audubon Sabal Palm Grove south of Brownsville, be sure and take your binoculars, as there are plenty of birds to see such as the great kiskadee. And of course there are the Valley's state parks and nine world birding centers stretching from Brownsville's Resaca de la Palma state park to Falcon state park in western Starr County. And if it is butterflies you are interested in then head to the National Butterfly Center south of Mission.

      The native plants are blooming and the butterflies are abundant.

      October is a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy the South Texas outdoors, and while we miss our national wildlife refuges don't let their temporary closure hold you back as there are plenty of other places to explore. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore