Monday, January 15, 2018

BENTSEN STATE PARK—WORLD BIRDING CENTER

Monday, January 15 - With a cold front predicted to blow into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the next several days, we took advantage of today's beautiful weather to ride our bikes and do a little bird watching in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center. With our Texas State Senior Passes we received 50% of admission to all Texas State Parks. It only amounted to $2 but every little bit helps.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a perfect park for biking. This is our forth time visiting the park. In the past, we hiked the roads throughout the park. This year, we decided to take our bikes and join the numerous bikers in the park. They do have a tram that travels through the park on an hourly route, but it seems most visitors ride bikes between the various birding areas.

Bentson State Park

As we entered the park, the gate house is located at perhaps the busiest or most bird visited feeding location in the park. We always linger here to see the many birds that visit the feeders. This year was a special treat because not only were many birds in the area but a bobcat stopped to snatch breakfast of an unsuspecting dove. He was too fast to get a picture, but Paul did see him as he headed back into the nearby brush to consume his meal. Of course the other birds in the area high-tailed it out of there for awhile. They soon returned but so did the bobcat. The birds were a little more careful this time, and the cat returned to the brush for a little nap.

We talked for sometime with the ranger working the gate house. He said the bobcat is a frequent visitor to the feeding area and at times even climbs the tree to nap. He showed us a picture that a visitor gave the ranger of the bobcat heading to the brush with breakfast in his mouth. What an amazing animal.

We watch many Orioles, Jays, Chachalaca, Cardinals, Sparrows, and other birds feeding in the area. Many of these birds travel out of Mexico no further North than the Birding Center. There are four other birding centers in the area that visitors can take advantage of to view birds in this region.

Great Kiskadee.
Great Kiskadee

The famous Green Jay.
The famous Green Jay.

The entertaining Plain Chachalaca.
Chachalaca

Chachalaca

Northern Cardinal.
Northern Cardinal

Golden-fronted Woodpecker.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Altamira Oriole.
Altamira Oriole

We also visited several bird blinds setup in different areas of the park but didn't find any as busy as this first station. We also visited the two-story high hawk tower near the back of the park. On one of our previous visits, hawks were migrating through the area and a count was taking place at the tower. We didn't see any hawks on today's visit.

hawk tower

We rode and checked-out areas throughout the park and completed our circular tour of the park in about two hours. It sure is significantly easier riding our bikes than walking as he did in the past. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely visit again if in the area.

bike riding

Lots of beauty along the bike path.
bike trail

Right across the river is a Mexican park.
Mexico park

survey marker

Marsha loves how the wind turns the trees into works of art.
trees

Marsha and trees

By the way, if you stay in the RV section of Bentsen-Rio State Park located next door, admission to all five Birding Centers in the Rio Grande Valley is free. We've driven through the campground and often thought it would be a nice place to stay.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

RIO GRANDE VALLEY FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY

Friday, January 5  – We've been here in Mission, TX, since Wednesday and finally enjoying some warmer weather. We are actually in a small town west of Mission called Penitas. We are in Leisure Valley Ranch, a 55+ community where we are renting a lot from our friends, Amy and Steve. We have stayed here many times and are enjoying time with good friends.

LVR

LVR

Looking right.
LVR

Looking left.
LVR

Oranges, grapefruit and lemons are in season here in the Valley. Many people have several trees in their yard and plenty of fruit to share. We just walk around with a couple of bags and gather whatever we need to make delicious fresh juice.

making juice

The lemons are JUMONGOUS! A little comparison for you.
making juice

making juice

On Friday,  we drove a few miles south to cross the USA – Mexico border into Progresso, MX. We are visiting a dentist to have some old crowns replaced and our teeth cleaned. Progresso is a typical border town filled with tourists seeking inexpensive dental, optical, and prescription drug deals. We have always been very happy with the dental work we've received here and weren't disappointed today.

We arrived early, 8:15,  at Mustre Dental Clinic and by the looks of things when we walked out of the examination area that was a good move. Patients had filled the waiting room and were even sitting outside the office waiting for treatment. Marsha and I both had old crowns removed and were fitted for replacements. Each crown is $200 and cleaning is $25. Compared that to what we would pay in the USA, this is really, really inexpensive. These clinics are every bit as modern as those at home and most of the dentists are trained in the US and many even live there.

Mustre Dental Clinic

Mustre Dental Clinic

Mustre Dental Clinic

After our dental visit we strolled down the street visiting several of the touristy shops and eventually stopped for a couple tacos and margaritas. Again a bargain at $5 for five tacos and $4 for the BIG margaritas. There was even a fellow playing music for listening or dancing!

Mexico even likes our Astros.
Mexico

I bet that huge dog is going to make a great piƱata.
Mexico

By early afternoon we were ready to head back across the border. A quick check of our passports and by dropping a twenty-five cent toll into the turnstile for crossing the bridge over the Rio Grande, we were back home. We'll be returning in a couple weeks to be fitted for our finished crowns. In the mean time, we have plenty of adventures and “mucho” exploring to do, so stop back and enjoy the Rio Grande Valley along with us.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

READY TO MOVE ON…HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 31 - After an extended stay at the Houston Elks Lodge, we are ready to head South on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. We will be staying in Mission, Texas, to enjoy visits with many long-time friends, trips to Mexico to get some dental work done, and hopefully enjoying some tropical weather.

We arrived in Houston in mid-October in time to jump aboard the Houston Astro's baseball run for the World Series Championship. We enjoyed cheering them on and attending the celebration parade with our daughter, Carrie.

Astros parade

We've been trying to keep-up with Carrie and her friends cheering on their favorite NCAA football teams. We've also enjoyed spending as much time as possible with Carrie.

Marsha flew back to Canton, Ohio, in early November to celebrate her dad's surprise 90th birthday with family. Rather than return to Houston for a few weeks then turn around and fly back to Ohio for the Christmas Holidays, she decided to remain in Ohio and spend time with her dad, family, and friends. Paul and Bella held down the fort in Houston.

Doesn’t he look super for 90
dad photo 

Paul stayed busy doing some maintenance on the 5th wheel. He replaced the dining room light, blocked access to Bella's hideout under our bed (She likes to sneak under there when she senses we are about to travel.), installed fantastic fan vent covers on the RV roof, replaced the dome over the shower, replaced the back-up camera in the truck, waxed the RV, and replaced the RV toilet. Busy hands stay out of trouble.....LOL.

As Christmas drew near, Paul and Carrie flew back to Ohio to join Marsha and family for the holidays. We suffered through a little bit of snow at our oldest daughter, Kelly and Dave’s, house. Just enough to remind us why we head south in the winter. She has a beautiful place in Ohio's snow belt, but we'll enjoy it through pictures, not in person.

Kelly and Dave’s house.
Kelly houses

We had a wonderful Christmas with family at our Ohio home. Of course, Marsha prepared a magnificent dinner. We exchanged gifts, drank a few adult beverages, and enjoyed being with family for the holidays.

Weaver family

Dave and Paul playing a little poker.
Dave and Paul

The family minus a few. Dad wasn’t feeling well…dang.
family photo

Everyone enjoying a good meal.
Christmas 2017

Ever year Marsha makes a homemade gift for all the gals. She was in a bit of a panic this year. She was unable to get the materials for the special gift she had in mind this year. Once she arrived in Ohio, she had to go to work fast to come up with a new idea. She scanned Pinterest until she found the perfect gift…a ribbon tree. She made about 24 trees to give to family and friends. No two were alike. She was very happy with the results. Every one that received one gave her wonderful compliments.

ribbon trees

ribbon trees

ribbon trees

We made our way back to Houston soon after Christmas to prepare for our trip to the Rio Grande Valley. After ringing in the New Year, we will be spending a couple months traveling around South Texas before deciding our future destinations.

Goodbye Ohio snow.
Ohio snow

That should catch everyone up on where the heck are the Weavers. Happy New Year to all. Be safe and enjoy 2018.

2018

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!