Sunday, March 21, 2021

Spring has sprung!

The yucca faxoniana is native to Texas.  We have them blooming in our RV park too.

We really took it easy this week.  I realize temperature is relative, but for here it was chilly several nights this week. It got down in the low 50's and upper 40's.  It is on it's way up now.  Mid 70's today and by Weds. back up in the 90's.  Fluctuates a lot, just in a different range then what we grew up with.

I still haven't read my camera manual, but I really need to.  In case you couldn't tell it's not something I yearn to do.  Today we went back to the Hugh Ramsey Nature Park here in Harlingen.  It is built on the old part of the city dump.  I was so disappointed the first time we went.  Nothing was blooming and not ONE SINGLE BIRD.  Today spring was evident.  We saw several different birds, some other creatures and even a few butterflies.  None of the butterflies landed for a photo, but I did get to practice taking pictures of the birds and a few spring flowers.  The camera certainly allows me to get close-ups and hopefully I am getting better, but I would be even better if I read that manual I suppose.  This is a beautiful nature center.

flower of the yucca

A night-blooming cereus that looks like it didn't fair too well during the cold weather a few weeks ago.

A better looking night-blooming cereus.  It blooms in the summer and it's fruit is eaten by a variety of birds and mammals, including the javelinas.

The sierra madre torchwood was historically used in torch-lit processions.

The sabal palm is native to Texas and the Rio Grande.  It is very slow growing.

They have a variety of specialty gardens and gardens sponsored by various groups.  Itzzy's garden is a butterfly garden that was done as an Eagle Scout project in 2003.

The brown thrasher is the only thrasher to live primarily east of the Rockies and central Texas.  It is the state bird of Georgia.

The sweet stem vara dulce, from the Verbena family, was blooming.  It provides excellent butterfly nectar.

This was the "sensory garden."  Shrubs and trees in this area were selected  for fragrance or leaf texture.  You were encouraged to feel, rub and smell them.

The park contains four wetland ponds.

I thought this was just a cat but Pat thinks it may be something else, he just doesn't know what.  What do you think?

The prickly pear did not have an blooms yet.  The pads and fruit are eaten by wildlife and humans.

Another specialty area, the citrus garden.

Krikkit wanted to get out and walk a little.

golden-fronted woodpecker

buff-bellied hummingbird

The javelina (pronounced ha-vuh-lee-nuhz), or peccary, has a strong sense of smell but can't see well.  While we were viewing the hummingbird area it ran through, fortunately not right next to us.  We didn't know what it was or how dangerous they can be.  He seemed to run pretty fast, too. Dogs and coyotes are natural predators, and of course we had Krikkit (tucked in her buggy) with us!  


The golden-fronted woodpecker enjoying some lunch.

The black-crested titmouse is a small songbird found in central and southern Texas.


The altamira oriole first came to Texas from Mexico in 1939.  Just as we arrived today people were filling bird feeders, including putting what looked like peanut butter in the trees.

After extensive bird-banding they found that warblers pass thru "warbler's corner" during migrations.

An extremely rare tree, runyon's esenbeckia, limoncillo.

I'm thinking someone lives in here.

Pat and I have been playing board games in the evening. This week we played Careers.  It was mine when I was young, and it became a favorite of my kids.  They have newer versions but we think this one is the best.  Various rules and "career paths" have changed as they revised it.  You can see that it is a "little" weathered!  The box had totally disintegrated, AGAIN!  When Pat was taping the box back together he found a false bottom.  In it were the instructions we thought we lost years ago (we  had printed out a replacement one), as well as a couple of used score cards.  The score cards were pretty old because one had my name, our middle son Eric, and "mom," whom I'm guessing was my Mom.  Eric guessed that the card was 25 or 30 years old.  The instructions for this revision were printed in 1965.  Pat did some research and found that the first Parkers Brothers "Careers" game was made in 1955 and sold for $2.95. Our 1965 revision can be purchased, used, on Amazon complete for $70.  I wonder if it's as worn as ours?  Several revisions were made, and I think another company produced it at one time, before it ceased to be made.


Our treasure, 25-30 year old score cards.

A well loved and worn game.  Even the dice have yellowed.  It remained at my parents house until my kids were grown, and we played it when we went there.

Inside the box are the pencils that have been stored in the same place since I was little, and the green eraser my Dad used to erase the scorecards so we could reuse them.  

Krikkit's leg braces are helping her with her arthritis.  She can stand better and walk easier, although not any faster!  The guy down the street says he's going to put in stakes just to make sure we're actually moving when we go past!

Time to wash the RV before we leave.  The top gets the dirtiest.  

Pat smoked the best rump roast this week!  Even I liked the leftovers.

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