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Wild by Nature - October 24, 2018

20181024 WILD Chachalaca LEG4439 003As a life-long Valley resident, and as a wildlife photographer for nearly as long, I have visited, and photographed wildlife in, nearly all the nature centers across the Rio Grande Valley. My familiarity with these sites, and my appreciation for what each one has to offer, is why I will be featuring some of the top nature centers in the Valley here in the weeks to come.

With more nature centers across the Valley than there are tail feathers on a Chachalaca, I will let the numbers speak for themselves by sharing some statistics about each of the Valley’s top birding hot spots.

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Celebrations, Festivals and Voting

FromthepublisherThis week we will see a big lineup of community festivals and activities all throughout the Rio Grande Valley – from Mission to Brownsville – including fall festivals, Halloween parties, and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Of course, we’re all familiar with Halloween dances and parties, fall festivals and haunted houses. But I’d venture to say that many of us aren’t too familiar with the Mexican traditions behind the Day of the Dead celebration. Except, of course, those who have attended some of the Dia de los Muertos events that can shed a little light on the subject for the unacquainted. As the Hispanics living in the Rio Grande Valley have taken a more active role in trying to preserve their Mexican heritage and pass it down to younger generations, we have seen these celebrations and altar displays become more popular. Some of the museums report that their Dia de los Muertos events are better attended than any other they host throughout the year.

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Day of the Dead festivals and events planned

20181024 CityofMission STA by Charlie IMG 0778Halloween is traditionally known as a night of mischief, horror and costumes.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead”, isn't a Mexican version of Halloween, even though it does deal with the dead, calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls), and there are plenty of sweets to be shared – usually decorated as calacas and calaveras.
However, Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating life; specifically the lives of loved ones who have deceased.

Originated in Mexico thousands of years ago with the Aztecs and others, but now celebrated all over Latin America, Dia De Los Muertos is recognized Nov. 1-2 (another similarity to Halloween's Oct. 31 tradition and during the Catholic faith's All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2). The traditions portray the belief that during this celebration those who have gone on to their eternal sleep awaken to celebrate with loved ones.

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Winter Texans feel ‘safe’ in Mexican border town

20181024 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6654Concern about border troubles don’t seem evident in at least one popular Mexican border town on the Rio Grande River. Nuevo Progreso, which is just a short walk or drive across the international bridge, has been a popular spot for tourists from the U.S. for decades.

While the perception of trouble on the border may make news headlines in some border locations, the Winter Texans who come to the McAllen metro area and many full-time Texas residents still find Mexico’s Progreso to be a charming place to go shopping, enjoy a meal, get a manicure/pedicure and buy cheaper prescription drugs and liquor.

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STC Theatre opens 2018-2019 season with Miss Holmes

South Texas College (STC) Theatre kicks off its 2018-2019 season this month with Christopher M. Walsh’s play, “Miss Holmes”, inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The production will run from Oct. 18-20 at 8 p.m. and will include a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21. Performances will take place at STC’s Cooper Center for Communication Arts Black Box Studio Theatre located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., in McAllen.

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Wild by Nature

Welcome to Wild by Nature. My name is Luciano Guerra and this is my weekly nature and wildlife column. As a photographer and a life-long Valley resident, I have been observing and photographing the Rio Grande Valley’s amazing diversity of wildlife for as long as I can remember. From the tiniest and most delicate of the Valley’s butterflies to alligators large enough to kill a man, I have seen most and photographed many of the different species of wildlife that we here in deep south Texas are so fortunate to have all around us.

Over the years I have developed a passion for observing and photographing the unique, and all too often elusive, wildlife that inhabits the Rio Grande Valley. In the weeks and months to come, I will be using this column to share this passion with those interested in learning more about the birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the South Texas thorn scrub as well as nature centers, backyards, parks, and other places in the Rio Grande Valley.

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Top News

  • November 14, 2018 - Wild by Nature

    Of the 400-plus species of birds that have been reported to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird across the Rio Grande Valley, most are year-round residents. Others are either winter or summer residents, some are migratory visitors and a few are vagrant, or accidental, species. While the birds that fall into the first three categories make up the vast majority of bird species you’ll see here in the Valley,… Read More +

  • Weslaco Museum showcases history and culture of city

    20181114 WeslacoMuseum 7987According to Sara Walker, executive director of the Weslaco Museum, located at 500 S. Texas Blvd., the museum is dedicated to showcasing the history and culture of Weslaco. Divided into two sections, one half is dedicated to the history of the city while the other showcases the culture.

    The… Read More +

  • Veterans Honored at Veterans War Memorial of Texas

    While the cold drizzle and windy conditions on Saturday, Nov. 10, led to moving McAllen’s Veteran’s Day program inside for the first time, featured speaker State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa would not have minded being at the memorial site, recalling the often-wet climate of Vietnam, where he served and where he lost three buddies. The annual Veterans Day remembrance is normally held at the Veterans War Memorial of… Read More +

  • MOSTHistory unveils new Then and Now exhibit Saturday

    20181114 MOSTH Southern Pacific ThenEDINBURG, Texas – As the Museum of South Texas History’s 1910 Jail renovations come to an end, the new Hidalgo County Courthouse will begin construction. It’s a sign of life’s progress. But, how much has changed in the city of Edinburg? You can find out by visiting at the new temporary exhibit, “Edinburg:… Read More +

  • Sweetwater brings sweet music, dancing to WT resorts

    20181110 Sweetwater band at Trophy Gardens Miller 2272It didn’t take long for the dancing to kick into high gear. In fact, the dance floor was a popular place as soon as long-time band Sweetwater played its first song on Saturday at Trophy Gardens RV Resort in Alamo.

    The dancing really didn’t… Read More +

  • Kicking off the season with a jam

    20181114 Country Jam Bit O Heaven HM 1823Mick Warborg distinctly remembers his wife being out and about, garage/yard sale hopping. She came home one day with “a bunch of stuff,” he said. “All kinds of things in boxes.”

    What’s that saying? One person’s junk is another person’s treasure? In this case, it… Read More +

  • Bridge of Hope Children’s Choir to perform

    20181114 BOHAM DSC 0373The Bridge of Hope Africa Ministries Children’s Choir will perform in concert at Restful Valley Ranch at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, reports Restful Valley Activities Director Karla McNelly.

    The Bridge of Hope Choir is an ambassador outreach to spread the word about the work of Bridge of… Read More +

  • Texas Wheels: Popular band in the Winter Texan park scene

    20181107 Texas Wheels 02Mike and Irma Wimsett started making their way to their seats, ready to take a break after dancing to a couple songs by one of their favorite bands, Texas Wheels. It was a Saturday night at Mission Bell and just like every Saturday, Texas Wheels is a regular, performing from 7 to 10 p.m.

    Read More +

  • Chris Carney: Veteran, helicopter pilot, Canyon Lake resident

    20181107 Helicopter Pilot Chris Carney ChopperChris Carney looked out and around the local coffee shop, his eyes seemingly never reaching a destination as his face showed he was contemplating what to say.

    A glaze – maybe a little bit of a mist – seemed to cover those eyes, even ever so… Read More +

  • Caring & Sharing

    FromthepublisherAs we approach the holiday season, our hearts are drawn to those less fortunate – especially the children who, without the generosity of others, would have a very sad and bleak Christmas. Winter Texans have a remarkable reputation for their generous hearts and are known to plan food and clothing drives, make quilts and gather toy donations for many needy… Read More +

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