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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Under rapidly changing circumstances, and with the health and wellbeing of the Valley community in mind, the Valley Symphony Orchestra has made the difficult decision to postpone its March 27 season finale concert, Designed by Dabrowski.
Excitement buzzed throughout the bleachers, in the dugouts and on the field as the U.S. loaded the bases with one out and were down by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
It was the first of two games in the annual U.S. versus Canada Senior All-Star Softball Game at Westside Park in McAllen. The U.S. had taken a commanding lead during the first half of the game, but Canada worked its way back. Doug Scoville put the Canadians in the lead in the top half of the eighth with a double and now the Americans were trying to win a thriller of the game.
By Herb Moering
About 90 local Winter Texans were treated to an evening of food, information and entertainment, with many winning prizes in a series of drawings at the Monaco Event Center in Alamo on Thursday, March 27.
The occasion was the Alamo Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s Winter Texan Appreciation Night, which is a popular event for Jim and Jean Zion to attend. This was about the fifth or sixth time the Zions had come to the event. This is their fifth year at Alamo Rec-Veh Park, but they have been coming to the Valley for 15 years from their home in Missouri.
A big draw to Deep South Texas is the nature sites and its many birds and butterflies. South Texas is home to numerous species of birds and butterflies that aren’t found anywhere else. South Texas also exists on a huge migratory corridor that attracts visitors from all over the world. Because of this, there are nature parks throughout the Rio Grande Valley and there are different types of festivals held throughout the year to celebrate the nature, birds and butterflies that call the RGV home, even if temporarily.
By Herb Moering
An easy way to view attractions at Estero Llano Grande State Park is to climb aboard a tram and enjoy a two-hour trip narrated by a park interpreter.
For the March 4 tram trip, eight Winter Texans from Siesta Retirement Village, just down the road from the state park, learned a lot from volunteer guides Tom and Connie Unsicker. They noted that the 280-acre Estero Llano Grande on Weslaco’s south side, is among the youngest and smallest by state park standards. But the park features some of the most diverse habitat in the Valley with its different vegetation areas, animal and bird life.
Hollywood has nothing on red carpet events compared to what Winter Texans receive as they return to the Valley with open arms awaiting them.
Special dances, potlucks and Winter Texan welcome back parties are just some of the things that await the part-time residents, who mean so much to the Valley, it's economy and everything from tourism to volunteering. While they are here for just a portion of the year, they have built relationships inside and outside of their parks and all throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
The Senior Texan Softball League is hosting the 21st annual Canada versus USA senior softball games on the fields at McAllen Westside Park next week on Thursday, March 12. The park is located at 1000 Ware Road (on the West side of Ware Road, ¼ mile North of Expressway 83).
Opening ceremonies start at 9:20 a.m. The “A” Division Game will start at 9:30 with a “B” Division Game starting at approx. 10:30 a.m.
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