Thursday, December 6, 2012—The National Butterfly Center

Today started just like any other day, so we’ll skip the usual. After breakfast Kay and I road bicycles to the National Butterfly Center which is nearby. About one third of the ride was on on a paved bicycle path, and the remainder was on on local, light-traffic roads.  As we walked to the entry, we observed hundreds, if not thousands, of butterflies. We went inside and bought an annual family membership, entitling us to go anytime, and to take a couple of guests if we choose. We stepped back outside and more closely observed the different species of butterflies, taking a few photos along the way. We completed our ride back to Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort and Kay washed a couple loads of dark clothes; we got to try out the new ladder clothesline and it worked great, necessitating that we only use the dryer for one load saving us a whole $1.25.

121206_E30After lunch and spraying with OFF again for the second time today (the mosquitoes this year are horrible and we have to spray several times a day), I returned to the national butterfly center while Kay went grocery shopping at the HEB superstore. My first stop was at the bird feeding station were I observed Great Kiskadees, Green Jay’s, a couple species of woodpeckers, and other birds which I did not (or could not) identify. Along the paths, there were thousands of butterflies in the native plant beds, and as you can see below, I was able to take a lot of photographs. There was one rare butterfly but I was unable to photograph it as it was flitting around to rapidly. 121206_E14121206_E09

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Now back to Kay and HEB. HEB is a Texas grocery chain, and has really good self-branded foods. There tortilla chips are the best we’ve ever eaten. Kay was still gone when I returned from the butterfly center, so I took a quick swim and soak in the hot tub.

In mid-afternoon the Executive Director of the National Butterfly Center gave a presentation at BPVRV Resort. Her talk was more in generalities, such as origin and mission, but she did have a couple of amateur lepidopterists (people who study butterfliers) in the audience (they live in next door in Retama Village), and they told about their own new, small butterfly garden where they have counted and photographed 100 species of butterflies.  They also told a story about a recent siting of a very rare butterfly, but we had heard the story first hand from our neighbors who were the first to spot it, but didn’t know what it was.  It was a quite interesting and humorous story, and we laughed when they talked about recognizing the siting, and the chain of phone calls back and forth across the nation among amateur and professional lepidopterists and photographers—news travels fast.121206_E26

As has been said and almost all of our blog entries, at about 4:00 PM most of the neighbors together at the palapa in the center of our circle for social time.  Kay and I really like this and the strong sense of community it engenders. 121206_E19

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