Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlán
There is a saying, “Life is like a cactus, prickly but beautiful” and the Strawberry Cactus is like Life. They flower in April with purple-pink-red flowers with whitish centers. They are synchronous bloomers in that they bloom at the same time to attract pollinators.
Read more: Life is Like a Cactus-Prickly but Beautiful
In 2017, a new architectural gem named the North Academic Building, also known as Building P, was built on the South Texas College Pecan Campus. With its modern design, impressive three stories, and welcoming atmosphere, it became a popular hub of campus activity. However, its substantial iridescent plate-glass windows and impressive height began to attract an unexpected type of attention.
Seemingly without explanation, birds, sometimes more than a dozen a day, were striking the tall windows and dying upon impact. This phenomenon was alarming, to say the least, and especially concerning for those who worked and studied in the building on a daily basis.
Read more: Students, faculty and staff at STC team up to study and find solutions to deadly bird to glass...
Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlán
Seen throughout South Texas, the Retama is truly a stunning tree. At Quinta Mazatlán we describe it as a “Tree of Life” providing food and shelter to many a wild creature. In addition, the Retama can live on 12 inches of rain a year, a true native survivor in the Rio Grande Valley.
In the spring, the tree is covered in yellow flowers, and will bloom into the summer months. The flowers are unique in that they have five petals each, four yellow and one orange. The orange petal is known as the honey petal, providing nectar for bees and butterflies.
Read more: The Retama Tree is full of life in the Spring
MCALLEN, TX- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adaption to our “new” reality, the Sunset Live Music Series has joined a number of concerts and artist who have taken the approach of the show must go on-line.
Sunset Live Music Series main objective for this season is to support the local music community who are among those affected by the spread of COVID-19 and continue to spread the happiness of music and health through livestreaming services in the comfort of your own home.
Read more: McAllen's Sunset Live outdoor music series - Must go on
Written by Colleen Hook, Quinta Mazatlán
Flowers bring joy—and your backyard can deliver flowers to you daily when you plant a Wild Olive tree, also known as the Anacahuita (pronounced ANA-COW-EAT-A). The citizens of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, honor this beautiful tree as their state flower.
Read more: Spring Bouquet of Flowers in the Valley
Editor's Note: For when you are able to get out and about, there might still be some wildflowers to take pictures of. We wanted to share this with hope that our shelter-in-place orders don't last too long that we still get to enjoy Spring and what Mother Nature has given us to enjoy. These are guildelines to follow when taking pictures of wildflowers. Always remember to respect nature and, if you are out and about, social distancing.
By Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M Agrilife Communications
With wildflowers sprouting up all over roadsides throughout Texas during springtime there are ample opportunities to take photos. But shutterbugs should be careful, as well as respect private property and nature, when trying to find the right spot for that perfect shot, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.
Read more: Respect nature, property, others when taking wildflower photos
The kennels at Mission Animal Shelter are nearly full, and with more animals coming in daily, adoption fees are being waived until further notice. More than 40 cats and dogs are available for adoption now.
“We are reaching out to our community to help us find homes for the many deserving animals waiting to be adopted because our shelter is at capacity,” Ernie Zapata, Health Department Supervisor said. “Right now with so many people home during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it’s a great time to add a pet to their family. We have more dogs and cats coming in every day and need the support of animal lovers and all citizens.”
Read more: Mission Animal Shelter waives adoption fees
Next year you can enjoy Celtic, 50’s, Patsy Cline and more music during Harlingen Concert Association’s 2020-2021 season. The season is packed with talent and enjoyment for all audiences.
Their first concert will be on November 19. The concert will feature Vinyl Radio. Vinyl Radio is a vocal power with a righteous regard for the great Rock-n-Roll music classics. They perform music from The Eagles, America, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Doobie Brothers and more. Vinyl Radio delivers the harmonies and melodies of classic 70s radio.
Read more: HCA looking forward to 2020-2021 season
By John Brush, Center for Urban Ecology at Quinta Mazatlan
Many of us are facing restricted movement and changes in our routines due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, yet there are still ways we can explore and enjoy nature from around our homes. One way is with the City Nature Challenge and iNaturalist.
The City Nature Challenge, started by the California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, invites people around the world to make observations of nature in urban areas. The event has two phases: (1) making observations from April 24 – April 27, and (2) identifying other people’s observations from April 28 – May 4.
Read more: Exploring nature around our homes
Palm Valley Animal Society (PVAS) is asking for foster families to help get animals out of their shelter now. PVAS is taking serious measures to reduce the number of animals that are in the shelter, as they prepare for potential closure.
“We want to reduce our shelter population by 50%. That means that we need to get 200 animals, dogs and cats alike, into temporary foster homes by Wednesday, March 25th. We’ve had higher-than-usual intake for the past three weeks and want to get ahead of any worsening in the trend. It is my primary goal to get our community to step up and help us save these animals. We don’t want to be forced to euthanize for space. We need our community support now, more than ever,” says PVAS Executive Director, Mike Bricker.
Read more: PVAS needs foster families