Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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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.

I will be doing this in several different ways. For example, in each column I will be focusing on a different type or species of wildlife found here in the Rio Grande Valley and I will be sharing interesting facts about each of them. I will also include a photo I have taken of that particular species of wildlife and I will include a photographic tip intended to help those of you that enjoy photographing nature take better photos.

I will also be using this column to share information on nature-related activities and events that will be taking place across the Rio Grande Valley, but especially at nature centers, state parks and national wildlife refuges. These include events such as the National Butterfly Center’s Texas Butterfly Festival and the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. Activities will include nature walks, outdoor yoga classes and other nature activities, many of which are offered for a minimal entry fee or for free.

In addition, I will use this column to share locations across the Valley where seldom seen or even rare species of wildlife have been observed. By doing so, it is my hope that those of you interested in seeing a rare or unusual species of bird, butterfly or other form of wildlife will have a better chance of observing one firsthand. And for those of you that keep a birding life list, this will increase your chances of adding one or more lifers to your list.

So, whether you’re like me and you have a passion for all things wild, or you are simply looking for a nature-related activity to do each weekend, I hope that you will make it a habit to read this column weekly. I will strive to make it interesting, informative and entertaining enough for you to want to do just that. And if I can help you to appreciate the unique and amazing diversity of wildlife that inhabits deep South Texas just a little bit more, I will have succeeded in helping to keep the Rio Grande Valley wild by nature.

Upcoming Nature Events

Nature related events and activities coming up this month include:

• Estero Llano Grande State Park 11th Annual Spooky Science Fest, Butterfly Walk, Fri., Oct. 19, 1:30 pm and Sat., Oct. 20, 6-10 pm. Located at 3301 S. International Blvd. (FM 1015), Weslaco, 956-565-3919.
• National Butterfly Center Haunted Trails (on Military Rd between Inspiration and Bentsen Palm Rd., Mission) Fri. and Sat., Oct. 26-27, 8 pm-12 am., 956-583-5400.
• Resaca de la Palma State Park Haunted Trails (1000 New Carmen Ave., Brownsville), Sat., Oct. 27, 6-11 pm, Bike and Bird, Thurs., Oct. 25, 8:30 am, Scat Attack, Sun., Oct. 21, 2:30 pm, and Intro to Birding, Thurs., Oct. 18, 10 am., 956-350-2920.
• South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center Winged Gala, Fri., Oct. 26, 6:30-9 pm. Located at 6801 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island., 956-761-6801
• McAllen Nature Center Native Plant Tour, Mon., Oct. 22 and 29, 6 pm, Sunset Yoga in the Park, every Mon., Wed. and Fri., 6-7 pm, and Bird and Nature Walk, Wed., Oct. 24 and 31, 8:30-9:30 am. Located at 4101 W. Business 83, McAllen, 956-681-3333.
• Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center’s Spectacular Saturdays, Sat., Oct. 27, 8 am. Located at 714 Raul Longoria Rd., Edinburg, 956-381-9922.

For more information on these and other events and activities taking place this month, contact the nature center hosting them.

Top News

  • Red Hats taking reservations for 2020 Red Hat cruise

    A Caribbean cruise for members of the Rio Grande Red Hat Society has been planned for March 1, 2020. The cruise will go to Roatan, Honduras, Puerto Costa Mayo and Cozumel, Mexico. Go with Jo is the agency planning the cruise that will leave from Galveston. Linda Howard the agent. Phone number for Go with Jo is 1-800-999-1446. Howard has recommended a final cut-off date of Feb. 25,… Read More +

  • Mexican Artesano Market Days

    The Artesano Market Days, featuring artesans from Mexico, as well as local vendors, will again be part of this year’s Winter Texan Fiesta in Mission. The market, hosted by Mission Historical Museum, will take place, Friday, Feb. 15 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mission Event Center, located at 200 N. Shary Road, Mission.

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  • Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day returns Feb. 16

    Families can enjoy a day of historical demonstrations, live performances

    20190213 MOSTH Pioneer Days Photo PR IMG 8585EDINBURG–The Museum of South Texas History (MOSTHistory), a museum chronicling the heritage of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, invites the community to celebrate Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10… Read More +

  • 2019 Encore Tribute Concert Series continues

    Special to Winter Texan Times

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    20190213 WTF TG Sheppard 20190213Country music legend TG Sheppard will perform at the Riverside Club in Mission on Saturday, Feb. 23. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are now on sale only at the Riverside Club. Tickets are $45 per person; reserved seating is available for tables of eight. Advance barbecue plates… Read More +

  • RGV Quilt Guild Show is Feb.15-16 at SPI

    20190213 RGV Quilt Guild BestOfShow Ben004The Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild has several new additions planned for this weekend’s 37th annual Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild Show. The show will be held at the South Padre Island Convention Center Friday and Saturday, February 15-16.

    This year’s theme is “This Land is Your Land.”… Read More +

  • Valley Star Awards Show is Feb. 20

    2019 Williamson Branch 1The 2019 Valley Star Awards Show will feature a lineup of six of the top entertainers who are performing this season in the Rio Grande Valley parks and resorts. This year’s show features performances by Rusty Rierson, Helen Russell & Company, Tavie Spivey & Shake Rattle & Roll, Kai, Gene Turner (aka Mr. Pickpocket) and the… Read More +

  • Ballet Folklorico Alegría performance is remarkable

    20190213 UTRGV 08.55The experience of attending a performance of the UTRGV Ballet Folklorico Alegría is nothing less than spectacular. The beautiful costumes, the stage scenery and the professional sounds of the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlan provide the perfect setting for this highly talented cast of dancers to perform their magic on stage at the university’s Performing Arts Complex. This is… Read More +

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