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There’s nothing more natural in the summertime than crawling into a hammock slung between two shade trees for a little R and R. Take a good book with you and a thermos of something cold and plan on staying awhile. Like until the first chill near the end of October. If it’s too hot to go out and buy a hammock, make a phone call, and it’ll come to you. The Twin Oaks Hammocks folks in Virginia will be happy to oblige. Call them at (703) 894-5125.

NATURE’S WAY

TRENDS The wonders of nature-stunning and enchanting. Spectacular designs of light, shape, color, and sounds that soothe the senses and invite intimacy and solitude. But, sometimes we’re so busy these days we fail to notice the simple miracle of fresh morning dew or the sweet intoxication that the smell of honeysuckle brings. While more and more people are making a concerted effort to preserve our threatened planet, we often overlook the beauty of our own back yards. Maybe these big environmental concerns will help restore our appreciationof nature on a more personal level. One thingis for sure, merchandizes are capitalizing onthe country’s new awareness of all thingsorganic. The symbols of Mother Nature areshowing up as design elements in a whole newbreed of products. -Layne Morgan

BOOKS



ON THE ROAD

The open road beckons in summer like in no other season. But heading where? Three top-notch guidebooks (all available at area Taylors bookstores) offer expert advice.

If “anywhere” is your choice, here’s a great road atlas that’ll back again. The Roads of Texas does State what MAPSCO does for Dallas, and It’s a real tribute to the Texas A&M University Cartographics Laboratory that put it together. Featuring all driveable surfaces, back roads, the maps are rendered in such a large scale that you can almost see yourself crossing them. Detail like this invites adventuring and brings the discovery that state highways and FM (farm to market) roads make for delightful motoring.

If you’re still not sure where you are going, but want to stop for a swim or a picnic on the way,Camper’s Guide to Texas Parks, Lakes, and Forests will point you in the right direction. Complete charts of lakes, lists of facilities and woodland trails, and a map of canoeable rivers make Texas’s outdoor treasures easily accessible.

Ray Miller’s Eyes of Texas Travel Guide– Dallas, East Texas offers county-by-county snapshots of the history and sights of the region. More than a few surprises are found herein, even In our own back yard: For instance, Collin McKinney, for whom the county and town are named, served three terms In the state Legislature before it was even determined that his Red River residence was in Texas.

So when the sun hits the prairie, grab a book, the kids, a camera, and hit the road. There’s a lot of Texasyou’d better get started. -David Alex Schulz

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