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November 11, 2018 - Wild by Nature

20181107 Wild Column orange bird LEG9567The last two weeks I featured the top birding hot spots in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties here. This week I will be featuring other Hidalgo County birding hot spots that in many ways are just as good as the big three I wrote about previously but are not as well known.

Edinburg Scenic Wetlands ranks fourth in Hidalgo County with 196 bird species reported to eBird this year, making it one of the top birding hot spots. ESW is situated on 40 acres within a city park, near the heart of the City of Edinburg. Built on reclaimed farm fields and next to the city's effluent and floodwater ponds, the center is a showcase for wildlife and a native habitat site set amidst an urban setting. Since this nature center is a wetlands, it attracts a wide variety of bird species including wading birds, ducks, kingfishers, hawks, warblers, hummingbirds and many others.

Read more: November 11, 2018 - Wild by Nature

San Juan Gardens keeps residents active

2018401 Shorts San Juan Gardens Ladies LuncheonSan Juan Gardens had many activities to celebrate the Winter Texan season, including a new event called Tape Measure Racing where races are held in double-elimination heats, and everyone is eligible to participate. The park also holds 30-minute low-impact exercise time every weekday for all ages, including a 90-year-old who gets just a little help from her walker. There's also a Ladies Luncheon each month from December to March and so much more.

2018401 Shorts San Juan Gardens Tape Measure Racing

 

20180401 Shorts San Juan Gardens Exercise

Paradise Resort Estates raises money for charities

20180401 Shorts Paradise Estates1Paradise Resort Estates in Pharr, held its annual Spaghetti Supper and Charity Auction on Friday, Feb. 16th.

The resort’s Community Outreach Committee sponsored the event and proceeds are donated to local charities. This year’s proceeds totaled $7,000. Some of the items for auction included wood carvings and a three-layer coconut cake.

20180401 Shorts Pharr Resort2This year's recipients, Manos Extendidas and Mujeres Unidas., each collected a check for $3,500

Split Rail Party

20180401 Shorts Split Rail Party1At the end of each season, the Split Rail Association at Split Rail RV Park in Mission throws a thank you party for its residents, filled with good food and entertainment. In mid-March, residents enjoyed a delicious catered lunch of grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and all the fixins and dessert. Following lunch, Country Roland fired up his entertainment and the party was in full gear. The crowd was clapping, singing, dancing and just having a great time.

Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

20180401 Shorts Southern Comfort Bocce JPGSouthern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco has been running bocce ball tournaments for the past couple of years. What started as one bocce tournament in the park is now up to three and signs are that the growth is going to continue.

“Participation and excitement from Winter Texans is overwhelming,” Terry Hause wrote in an email. “It has become one of the most popular past times for the Winter Texans.”

Canadian residents Ugo and Linda Cesario have worked continuously around the bocce courts, maintaining and upgrading the park's four courts. There is open bocce every Friday for Southern Comfort residents from November until the beginning of March. Ugo also has his “famous” hotdogs and beverages available.

Winter Texans volunteer at Lutheran church

20180322 El Buen Pastor IMG 5095For nearly a decade, Stan Kirschbaum and Bill White of Hidden Valley Ranch, and Ralph Freudenberg of Mission West RV Park have spearheaded projects at El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church.

The congregation from Westminster Lutheran Fellowship at Pleasant Valley Ranch have collected money and, most recently, built and put up a new cross on the front of the church. It's three-toned blue hues have replaced the denomination's old purple theme and the cross has replaced the old, run down one that stood on the front of the church for about 12 years.

Read more: Winter Texans volunteer at Lutheran church

La Floresta holds tournament championship golf event

20180315 LaFloresta Golf GAIL CATRON MENS CHAMPIONGail Catron, Men’s Champion

La Floresta Park and Golf Course held its version of the PGA Championship March 5-8 with 32 men and 24 ladies competing in the annual event. La Floresta is located at 4140 La Floresta Road in Mercedes.

Gail Catron won the men's tournament championship while Kim Huminski captured the women's tournament title.

The park also held a handicapped tournament in February. A handicapped tournament is one where players of different abilities play against each other on somewhat equal terms. For example, if your handicap is 5 and par is 72, that means on average you are shooting around 77. It is more complicated than that, taking into account courses slope/rating and other variables, but that is the basic definition.

Read more: La Floresta holds tournament championship golf event

The Power of One

20180308 Palm Resaca Single Ladiesbest2The vitality of any Winter Texan Park is the result of the positive efforts and friendly interactions of its residents. A small core of single women in Palm Resaca Park have made a tremendous effect on helping to make the park run smoothly.

Single women account for more than 10 percent of park residents. These women have involved themselves in leadership roles and behind the scenes actions to help create an enjoyable park atmosphere. They have acted as office managers, board presidents, board and committee members and performed a whole host of other duties that have allowed our residents to enjoy many wonderful activities .

Read more: The Power of One

Mexican Whistling Ducks enjoy Palm Resaca Park

20180301 Whistling Ducks mexicanducks2Marching single file, seemingly with purpose. They are not soldiers mustering on the parade grounds or cows heading home at feeding time. They are black-bellied whistling ducks.

As a Winter Texan from Canada, I find the birds of Southern Texas fascinating. Dozens of Whistlers dwell along the Resaca de la Guerra that flows past our mobile home at Palm Resaca Park in Brownsville, Texas. Resacas are former channels of the meandering Rio Grande River formed after flooding. The city now maintains these canal-type waterways for flood control, irrigation, and natural habitat.

Read more: Mexican Whistling Ducks enjoy Palm Resaca Park

Canada Day celebrated at Riverside Club

20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1889Hundreds of Canadians showed up at the Riverside Club in Mission on Tuesday, March 6 to join in the fun of the annual Canada Day celebration. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the music provided by the Riverside Club Band led by Randy Dupuis and enjoying drinks and food. They were a number of couples on the floor at all times and when the line dances started, two lines of dancers filled the room from one end to the other.

A group of ladies from Ontario were enjoying a Perita, a 32-ounce margarita with two Peronas dumped upside down in the glass. Each had a straw and were drinking their share. Others were enjoying nachos, barbecue sandwiches and other items from the club’s menu.

Read more: Canada Day celebrated at Riverside Club

UTRGV WT Survey prize winners announced

As promised, two lucky Winter Texans who participated in this year’s Winter Texan Survey conducted by the Business and Tourism Research Center at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley have been selected as the prize winners for this year’s drawing.

The winner of the Kindle Fire, provided courtesy of UTRGV, is Helen Willis of Tip-O-Texas RV Resort in Pharr. Dennis Bloomingdale, of Illinois, who winters at Tropic Winds Resort in Harlingen, is the winner of the $150 cash prize provided by the Winter Texan Times.

Read more: UTRGV WT Survey prize winners announced

Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

20180315 Southern Comfort Bocce JPGWESLACO—The sport of bocce ball isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, the trend that's happening at the Encore RV resorts across the Rio Grande Valley might lay claim to the opposite.

Southern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco, has been running bocce ball tournaments for the past couple of years. What started as one bocce tournament in the park is now up to three and signs are that the growth is going to continue.

Read more: Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

Nature photos displayed at Port Isabel Library

Laguna Art League member Pat McGrath Avery will be displaying her photography at the Port Isabel Library throughout the month of March.

Avery, an author and photographer, focuses on nature photography, especially the beautiful birds that live in or visit the Rio Grande Valley. In the 1970s, she brought her parents down for the winter and fell in love with the Texas coast.

Now she is living her dream and spending her days with her fingers on her keyboard or with her camera in hand.

Read more: Nature photos displayed at Port Isabel Library

Monarch Festival is March 17 at Quinta Mazatlan

20180308 Butterfly Costume Quinta Mazatlan 1McAllen, TX – It’s time to celebrate and educate once again. Quinta Mazatlan will host the second annual McAllen Monarch Festival on Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival will focus on educating the public about monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) through family friendly activities such as arts and crafts, music and dancing, face painting, garden walks, informative speakers and scout activities. The festival will also have food and native plant vendors. Children and adults will learn about the life cycle of these amazing and iconic insects.

Read more: Monarch Festival is March 17 at Quinta Mazatlan

Chili cookoff a hot event at Llano Grande Resort

20180308 Llano Grande Chili Cookoff MILLER IMG 4557What determines a great-tasting chili? Heat, flavor, color or a combination of some, all or none of these?

“You have to have hatch chiles,” Linda Sanders said.

“I like meat in my chili,” Kim Hawkins said. “If it's beans, then it's a soup.”

“Loaded with flavor and creamy, gooey, yummy with just about anything,” added Paula Lake. “And with fresh green chile peppers on top.”

Read more: Chili cookoff a hot event at Llano Grande Resort

Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

20180308 Southern Comfort Bocce JPGWESLACO—The sport of bocce ball isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, the trend that's happening at the Encore RV resorts across the Rio Grande Valley might lay claim to the opposite.

Southern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco, has been running bocce ball tournaments for the past couple of years. What started as one bocce tournament in the park is now up to three and signs are that the growth is going to continue.

Read more: Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

Victoria Palms Style show features variety of fun outfits

20180308 Victoria Palms Style Show GU IMG 6381

Becky Malcik, owner of Bec’s Fashions welcomes ladies to the luncheon.

A wide array of fun to wear outfits for many different occasions were modeled at the 21st annual Victoria Palms Style Show on Thursday, Feb. 8. Outfits ranged from casual to formal and included cruise wear, western wear, wedding wear and a variety of other styles for both men and women.

During the first half of the show, the women chose casual wear for the hot summer months ahead, including casual shirts – many with three-quarter length bell sleeves that are popular this season. Others chose clothing made of gauze with loose skirts and matching tops or tops over sensation pants in different lengths from crops to Capris and long slacks with ladder back trim. Others sported leggings with colorful blouses and belts covered with bling. And of course, there was western wear for the upcoming rodeo with a variety of western style shirts with diamond snap buttons, stylish boots, hats, jeans and western style hats. The men modeled the latest in western shirts, slacks, sport coats, jeans, and Stetson hats.

Read more: Victoria Palms Style show features variety of fun outfits

La Floresta Valentine’s Day Activities

20180308 LaFloresta 02Residents at La Floresta Park and Golf Course had a full day of activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day. To kick off the 26th annual Valentine’s Day Golf Tournament, donuts were available on Hole No. 1. Random partners were chosen for the tournament on the previous night and the 9 a.m. shotgun start kicked off the event as a wave of red-wearing golfers made their way to their designated holes.

Fog slowly made its way to the golf course – but of course fog is no competition for golfers. At the end of the day, Dickie Hlady and Kim Huminski came out victorious. There was a four-way tie for second place.

Entertainment followed that evening, provided by Lynn Dvorak from Nebraska, who has been providing entertainment in the Valley for many years.

Flags fly for Veterans at Eastgate Park

20180308 Eastgate Presidents Day Flags JPGVeterans at Eastgate RV and Mobile Home Park sponsored 15 flags – 14 U.S. and one Canadian flag – in honor of Presidents Day last month.

The flags came from the North Harlingen Rotary Club’s Flag Leasing Program, honoring veterans. A person or business can sponsor a flag for $50 per year and the flags will be flown during five holidays throughout the year.

Read more: Flags fly for Veterans at Eastgate Park

Santa Maria Bullring prepares for Grand Finale Bullfight

Manuel Martinez

Manolo Martinez

La Gloria, Texas – Santa Maria Bullring will host the grand finale bullfight of the season on Sunday, March 11. Each winter season, Fred Renk, the owner of the bullring in La Gloria, brings in some of the most skillful matadors to perform the bloodless bullfights for Winter Texan fans.

This season’s grand finale is no exception; Renk has not only arranged to have Michelito Lagravere and Manolo Martinez, two of Mexico’s premier matadors to perform, but he has also challenged them to fight the huge bulls from El Colminar Viejo, a breeding ranch ranked among the best of the best in the world.

Read more: Santa Maria Bullring prepares for Grand Finale Bullfight

Top News

  • IMAS holds Winter Texan Workshop series

    20191113 IMAS Milagros hoop art 1Develop new art skills and socialize with other Winter Texans. The International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) introduces a series of four Winter Texan Workshops this December through March featuring Mexican Embroidery, Landscapes, Milagros Hoop Art, and Floral Painting.

    Read More +

  • MFD Hosts ‘Stop the Bleed’

    20191113 Stop the Bleed 1Mission Fire Department is hosting another “Stop the Bleed,” training course. Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action. The program teaches bystanders how to assist in an emergency before help arrives. The course will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Central Station in Mission.
    Read More +

  • Cultural Storytelling held at Quinta Mazatlan

    20191113 Quinta MTexas historian and premiere chronicler of Texas lore to present a cultural storytelling masterwork. On Thursday, November 14th at 6 p.m., Quinta Mazatlán will host Dr. W.F. Strong as guest speaker for Nights at the Mansion speaker series. He will discuss and share excerpts from his book “Stories from Texas.”
    Read More +

  • Free guided nature walks offered

    20191113 Snake Eyes Photo by Anita WesterveltHarlingen’s Hugh Ramsey Nature Park boasts 250 some species of Rio Grande Valley native plants, shrubs, trees, cactus and the untold numbers of birds, butterflies and critters that use this native habitat.

    Rio Grande Valley Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist… Read More +

  • Museums, Museums, Museums

    WEB On The Road HeaderMuseums abound in South Texas. If you or your child or grandchild are interested in history, then you have come to the right place. Museums and history can be so much fun! There are so many museums from Edinburg all the way down to Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Museum after museum after museum… Read More +

  • Veterans celebrate with free golf

    20191113 VeteransGolf 1Jim Bartelt was out golfing for the first time in five years.

    The Minnesota resident and Navy veteran, now a Winter Texan for 13 years, couldn’t golf because of a surgery, “and falling down the stairs didn’t help,” he said.
    Read More +

  • Shoeboxes that bring smiles

    20191113 Shoebox 1A simple shoebox can bring such toy to a child’s heart. This is just one purpose of Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. Organizers are building a local team this year to help get the Valley more involved with bringing those smiles to kids faces all over the world.

    Read More +

  • RGV Quilt Guild honors Vets

    20191113 RGVQuilt 2Eyes and faces were wet Monday afternoon as the colors were presented by the PSJA Early College High School JROTC during a Veterans event at Brookridge Retirement Community. Quilts in red, white and blue made by the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild hung along the stairway and banisters that circled the dining hall.

    Read More +

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