Monday, March 13, 2017
It must seem like the only thing in Texas is the birds! Well, that has certainly been an exciting aspect to the winter months here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and even though it has been my main focus, it is certainly not the only one. I am fascinated with the history of the area; and the farming of onions, sugar cane, celery, cotton and sesame seeds; and the amazing ingenuity of the irrigation system that keeps the water flowing from the Rio Grande into canals and eventually through the fields, always to the east by gravity feed.
It is important to add a personal reflection from my recent thoughts. I try not to take the privilege of this life of travel for granted. I am filled with a grateful heart for the freedom and joy that I experience. I am aware that we have been given so much in life...our health, the opportunity to explore and learn from nature, adequate resources to meet our needs each day, and (for me) the companionship of a loving and supportive partner. In the midst of all of this, we continue to pray for our country and all the suffering in this world. The birds keep me looking up!
We often find fun things to do as we go from one birding spot to another. Look what appeared under the Great Blue Heron at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands!
And this Green Flycatcher (below) appeared in the bush near one of the ponds. The Flycatchers have been the object of a great search for me. There are three species and all reside here. So far I have seen two of the three, the Belted and the Green. The third, the Banded will be a life bird for me.
Another day, we ventured to the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse and learned some facts about the irrigation system of this area. It is also one of the recognized nine sites of the World Birding Centers.
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in a nearby pond
As we left the historic site, we were directed to a side street to see the parakeets and their nest!
These are the Monk Parakeets. It was exciting to see them flying in and out of the nest built around a telephone pole. House sparrows were also using the bottom section of the nest for themselves.
Last Saturday, we had another fun-filled experience. A Rodeo. There was a lot to see and when we got to the town of Mercedes (where the rodeo was being held ) we were in time to catch the end of the parade. You know you are in Mercedes when you see the cowboy boots on every corner.
The horses were spectaculR and mNy of the. "danced" to the band music. I believe they are of the Andulasian breed, the true Spanish horse.
Most of the horses are ridden by the cowboys and cowgirls who will participate later in the rodeo events.
We had a nice wave from many in the parade. We have found this a very welcoming place to winter.
The entrance to the rodeo was through this gate.
One of the Border Patrol at the rodeo.
We loved the animals.
It was fun to watch some of the judging classes. These were the heifers being judged by weight grouping.
Some items you might expect to be for sale.
A mechanical bull ride for the kids.
And a chance to try a hand at roping.
And here we are! Two grateful "kids" having a good time out playing, and enjoying the privilege of living the dream! Sending love and hugs...as always.