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
Wow! What a season. Carina and I have had such a great time in our first season as the new publisher and editor of the Winter Texan Times. Having grown up with this paper, my feelings for our Winter Texan community have grown from appreciation to admiration to love over the years, and we are so humbly grateful for the opportunity to continue what my Dad and Grandmother built for all or you. But, I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Read more: From The Publisher Stay Healthy, Safe Travels and Thank You
By Pete Luna
When anyone reaches a retirement age, we all have a choice to enter a sedentary or an active lifestyle. While relaxing and going out to eat in all the wonderful restaurants the Rio Grande Valley has to offer is a great way to enjoy leisure time during the winter months, cycling and other outdoor physical activities are a fantastic way to create a wellness balance for Winter Texans. Regular physical activity helps to improve physical, cognitive and psychological health as we obtain a well-earned departure from the working life. Therefore, hobbies and exercise should be introduced into your routine. While arts and crafts, fishing, shooting are no doubt fun activities to do; cycling is something that creates an influence on all aspects of your life.
Read more: Bicycling – A sport good for your soul
Pedro De La Fuente is passionate about night sky photography and will be sharing his skill at Nights at the Mansion speaker series. Visit Quinta Mazatlán Thursday, March 26, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for his informative presentation.
Read more: Night sky photography
Palm Resaca Mobile Home Park in Brownsville recently unveiled a plaque recognizing the oldest known anacahuita (Mexican Olive Tree) in the United States. Seven hundred years. The plaque reads that the tree was a seedling before the turn of the 15th century and, therefore, mature and reproductive before the arrival of Spanish explorers.
“It’s incredible as we mere mortals gaze on a majestic Mexican olive tree, to fathom life that has flourished for 700 years,” said Dianne Miller, park resident.
Read more: Honoring 700 years of growth
Ed Martens stood behind home plate and waited for the ceremonial first pitch that would announce the beginning of the annual U.S. versus Canada softball games at West Side Park in McAllen.
The pitch was delivered high but Martens, who may have been born with a glove on his hand, reached up and snagged the pitch, something he probably could’ve done with his eyes closed.
Read more: Ed Martens recognized at annual softball game
On March 10 Ron and Terri Vargas (team leaders) of the Resaca City Car Club, San Benito, presented a check to the San Benito food pantry in the amount of $2,000. A check for $500 was also presented to Mr. Gerald Gathright of the Harlingen Boys and Girls Club. A car show was held at the Fun N Sun RV Resort in San Benito on February 29th, there were about 70 entries, with 15 categories, all the members of the Resaca Car Club helped to make this event possible.
Celebrate monarch migration season by learning how to create a flourishing butterfly garden. Allen Williams, Landscape Habitat Specialist, will be sharing his expertise in creating butterfly friendly landscapes at Quinta Mazatlán’s Nights at the Mansion speaker series. Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m. Williams presents, “Best Butterfly Garden Kit.”
Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Southwest Texas State University; his land stewardship career spans 20 years. In 2002, after the arrival of a blue mockingbird, he opened his backyard oasis to tourists. Soon after, the first U.S. documented black-headed nightingale-thrush sought refuge in his backyard habitat. He then launched Williams Wildscapes, Inc., a native landscape company specializing in creating diverse native habitats for birds, butterflies and people.
Read more: Best butterfly garden how to
With the situation changing daily around the country, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the number of event and activity cancellations and postponements. Unfortunately, this has brought the Winter Texan season to an early close for some, and for others simply means a few quiet weeks in the park while we wait for the latest updates.
Several parks in the Rio Grande Valley have cancelled events or have closed park events to the public. Some of the parks that we know have cancelled events include Ranchero Village, Snow to Sun, Casa del Valle, Tropic Winds, Aladdin Villas, and Tropical Valley Acres.
Read more: Event cancellations amid Covid-19 concerns