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Rodeo information can be emailed to Debi DeSilver at sports@ hillcom.net.

JULY

Thursday, July 29 – Saturday, July 31:

Pawnee Bill Memorial Rodeo; Pawnee, OK, Lakeside Arena. IPRA sanctioned.

REELING IN THE BASS: I occasionally use my kayak to fish and snagged this large-mouth bass on a nice fall September day on a favorite lake. Most of the time I like to row out to a peaceful spot, kick my feet up, drift and relax.

A great way to beat the summer heat is to head out to any lake, river or stream. Take along a kayak for additional fun and relaxation and adventure.

My son, right, and our friend, Richard, hike toward a mountain peak at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in 2008.

I have many fond memories of my first visit to the Wichita Mountains, along with a couple that I'd like to forget.

And, although I've since hiked all over the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, on the first trip there, I didn't make it out unscathed.

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You know how one thing leads to another. I was mulling over topics for this column when a question popped in my mind.

A pale green assassin bug consumes the insides of a fly. Note the beak which it uses like a straw.

This week's featured creature is fairly common around the outside of homes, and in gardens.

The pale green assassin bug (zelus luridus) is an efficient, deadly hunter of insects that many people consider pests.

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JULY

Sunday, July 11 – Friday, July 16: International Finals Youth Rodeo; Shawnee, OK, Heart of Oklahoma Expo Conference Center.

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Hey Rodeo Fans! There’s still time to catch some exciting action at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee.

Two performances are scheduled for Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.

This series of photos shows the action when a tan jumping spider recently captured its prey, a wood cockroach. you’ll see the spider, at right, preparing to pounce on the unsuspecting roach.

This week, rather than focus on a single species, I thought it would be nice to write about a few things that I’ve observed lately. And, I know, not everyone is a fan of spiders and bugs, but they are a part of nature.

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With all the rain we’ve received over the last few weeks, it made me wonder if June rainfall was one for the record books. My guess is the size and quantity of mosquitos that have followed the rain could be for the record books – at least they appear to be!

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