While social distancing is still being practiced in many activities, several of our local festivals have had to change the way they do things this year. Some have been cancelled and have next years dates on their website – so please look for those and prepare for next year.
Operation Christmas, Samaritan’s Purse, is in full swing for this upcoming Christmas season. Boxes were delivered recently to several locations so participants could get started on building boxes for those less fortunate in other countries. This year, because of social distancing, there are additional ways to participate and there will be a no touch collection at Baptist Temple in McAllen.
By Quinta Mazatlán World Birding Center
Learning about the vast world of birds is like a treasure hunt. There are many paths that we can take to help us find these beautiful gems in nature. Books are a great way to start learning about birds. Bird field guides help us grasp the physical attributes of different birds’ appearances, as well as providing us with a feel of where the birds can be found, and what their vocalizations can sound like.
The Rio Grande Valley Transportation Museum recently reopened with a big event that featured a live presentation by the pilots, including flyovers in that museum’s vintage Ryan PT-22 aircraft. The Ryan PT-22 is just one of the several World War II era planes that museum has to view – and they are all in working condition. The museum is located within the historically significant Port Isabel Cameron County Airport, on Veterans Drive, two miles north of FM 510, and off of Buena Vista Blvd.
The museum houses World War II exhibits and artifacts that have been donated by local families. Display cabinets have been arranged to display significant events leading to and experienced during the war. Among the exhibits is a display of Flying Tiger artifacts, an enlarged photo of the first bomb dropped on Pearl Harbor, a display of the Women of the Army Air Force who flew every aircraft in the US military arsenal, as well as a Home Front display.
We are ready for you here in the Valley. Our parks are ready. And our Wintertainers™ are ready to entertain.
The general feeling is we will see a great season this year. I don’t want to say, ‘despite the circumstances,’ but, we have to be upfront here and say that we know what the situation is, and we know you have a decision to make.
Activity Directors, Wintertainers™, and Stakeholders have had two meetings that Teresa Stoffel, creator of Winter Texan Times Activities Group on Facebook, has organized. In both meetings, everyone has had a positive attitude that we will see smiling faces soon – or we will assume you are smiling behind your mask.
South Padre Island is beautiful this time of year – and the temperatures just keep getting nicer as we get closer to December. I had the chance to take a short trip to the island recently and I did not want to leave. The temperatures were in the 80s and there was a pretty good breeze the day I went. I, unfortunately, had to get back to the office, and home, to tend to other things and could not stay as long as I wanted to.
This short trip was to see a perfect outdoor activity for this type of weather – the Sea Turtle Trail. The Winter Texan Times had received a news release from SPI’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau about a recent installment to the trail and decided it was something we needed to go out and see for ourselves. This is a trail that you can walk or cycle if you have the time. The locations are spread out on the island – furthest point south is Beach Park at Isla Blanca, and northern point is SPI Convention Center. They are nearly five miles apart from each other. I was able to visit all but two turtles while there and was quite impressed with the beauty of them.
So, what are these turtles I speak of?
By Carina A. Brunson
Hello and welcome back to south Texas! We are so happy to see your smiling … eyes. We are so excited about what this year will bring, even if it will be a bit different. The Rio Grande Valley is such a great place to be. Great weather, great people, and great friends. I am with y’all, I would much rather be in Texas than shoveling snow up north.
The Winter Texan Times has been preparing for the 2020-2021 season and we are excited to see our Winter Texans returning. Our first issue will be published on October 21, and the deadline to submit items for this issue is Wednesday, October 14.
South Texas Reads! presented by the McAllen Public Library, is a region-wide literary event encouraging the Rio Grande Valley community to read and discuss the same book. This is a South Texas Book Festival special event series that will include two virtual discussion groups on Tuesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 22 and a special free online presentation by the author on Friday, October 30.
The featured book is Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness that Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone by Good Morning America correspondent and anchor Adrienne Bankert. It explores the hidden power of kindness as a game-changer in business, the door-opener to opportunity, and the key to authenticity and confidence.
The Humane Society of Harlingen is reaching capacity and is in need of urgent adoptive or foster parents to make space for emergency intakes. Lifesaving is only made possible through collaborative efforts with the community.
Here is how you can help:
1. Adopt or Foster. All adoption fees for all animals will be completely waived and completed on a donation basis until further notice. There is never a fee to foster and, for a limited time, all animals are available for foster! We will even give you everything you need to get started with your new furry friend.
What a surprise! Say hello to the Gladys Porter Zoo’s new miracle baby…a baby gorilla! Penney, a 33-year-old female gorilla, to everyone's surprise, gave birth to a healthy baby on Thursday, August 20.
Night keepers at the Zoo were astonished to find Penney cradling a newborn in her arms as they were making their usual rounds on Thursday evening. Not only were the night keepers shocked but so was the entire Zoo staff, especially the Zoo’s medical team. This was totally unexpected.
“Years ago, when evaluating Penney for her lack of reproductive success, it was discovered that she had a tumor on her pituitary gland that, in turn, raised her prolactin levels, making it difficult for her to conceive. Thanks to a 45-day, targeted treatment, she was able to reproduce once after the tumor diagnosis was made,” said Gladys Porter Zoo Director, Dr. Patrick Burchfield.
Written by Susan Himes, Susan.Himes@ag.tamu.edu
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service announced registration is open for the 2021 Birding the Border event.
The event will take place April 29 -May 2, starting with a kickoff social the evening of April 29 at Val Verde Winery.
Del Rio will host the event, which will feature birding trips to a mix of private, restricted-access and public lands in Kinney and Val Verde counties.
The cost of registration is $50 and includes seminars, which will be held April 30-May 1 at the Del Rio Civic Center and feature AgriLife Extension experts. There are also spouse-of-birder passes available to allow participants to bring a plus one to the seminars and social events. If you prefer to register by phone, call Teri Gaston at 830-278-9151 ext. 283.
by Melinda Myers
As summer transitions into fall, it is time to help lawns recover from summer stress. Let the weather and the condition of your lawn help you develop a plan suited to your landscape.
Continue mowing actively growing lawns. Mow high, leaving cool season grasses like bluegrass and fescues at least 2 ½ preferably 3 ½ inches tall after cutting. Warm season grasses like bermudagrass, carpetgrass, centipedegrass and zoysia should be grown at 1 to 2 inches tall, while St. Augustine should a bit higher at 2 to 3 inches for best results. Taller grass is better able to compete with weeds, is more drought tolerant and less susceptible to insects and disease.
Check out what’s making a splash at the Gladys Porter Zoo these days . . . North American river otters! Tallulah and Imnaha will be making their public debut in their brand new exhibit on August 28th. Construction of their new habitat is expected to be completed this week and the Zoo’s staff can’t wait to see how much they love their new hangout.
Three year-olds Imnaha and Tallulah are sisters from the same litter. They were born at the Oakland Zoo in California. Just like humans, they have their own unique personalities – one is shy and one is a bit of a troublemaker. But together, they manage to get into all kinds of fun and mischief.
North American river otters are semi-aquatic mammals that spend most of their time in the water. They have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. They have short legs, webbed feet, and long, streamlined bodies for fast swimming. A powerful tail acts as a rudder and facilitates fast, agile turns.
Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director, Quinta Mazatlán
We’ve all heard of the mesquite tree in Texas –either sitting around a mesquite fire cooking fajitas or enjoying the shade of the beautiful tree. It has been dubbed the “Tree of Life” because of its ability to offer life-giving sustenance in harsh environments. The tree has an amazing history and provides native people, past and present, with the Big Five; food, fuel, fertilizer, furniture, and fence posts. Literally, every part of the tree is useful.
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