Too many calories yesterday necessitated a long bike ride on Friday. After a 2-mile walk around the resort and breakfast, I rode through the Mission Nature Park, and then east. As I entered the town of Granjeno, I was chased by 4 dogs, including 3 Blue Heelers. Intending to ride further east, I looked up and saw 4 more dogs crouching along the road, waiting for me. Chickening out, I turned around and faced the first 4 dogs again, and managed to ride by without getting bit. I exerted so much energy that I was spent for several minutes. I rode to Anzulduas Park, but it was closed for the holiday, so rode back to the Mission Nature Park, and then to “home” to the resort, a total of 20+ miles, stopping to take photos of the citrus fields along the road. After a quick lunch, I drove to Costco to have the new hearing aids checked while Kay prepared leftover food for the after Thanksgiving palapa buffet; we sure do eat a lot! I was tired with bicycle saddle sores, and stayed in the rest of the night, but Kay enjoyed a couple of hours among friends at a campfire in the middle of the circle—she’s such a social butterfly.
After a late breakfast on Saturday, Kay and neighbor Shar drove east towards McAllen and Donna for shopping while I hopped on the bicycle for a ride to the National Butterfly Center. Instead, I rode back to the Mission Nature Park (and the Roadrunner trail) and managed to photograph a Roadrunner and a tarantula—the beginning of what was to be a fortuitous day. Kay was still shopping when I returned, so I rode to the National Butterfly Center with neighbor Lorna. I have been desperately looking for Orioles, and for Mexican Bluewing and Zebra Heleconian butterflies. As we were locking the bikes, one of the staff said both the Mexican Bluewind and Zebra Heleconian had been spotted today! We walked down to where they had been seen, and after a short while, Lorna spotted the Mexican Bluewing open on a tree. Regretfully, I did not get a photograph as I was trying to get close rather than take the sure shot. She said she was going to walk around a bit and would yell if she saw the Zebra Heleconian. After only a few steps, she yelled, and we saw the Zebra Heleconian floating among the plants. There ate two beautiful butterflies! I hung around the area a while longer hoping to photograph the Mexican Bluewing, without success. I slowly walked down to the bird feeding station only to find a couple of Altimira Orioles feeding on a nearby limb allowing for a decent photograph. Wow, what a day. We saw many other species of butterflies and took lots of photos, and returning to the bird feeding station, saw a Long-billed Thrasher, Clay-colored Thrush, American Kisskadees, Gray-tailed grackles, Green Jays, White-tipped Doves, Chachalachas, and a rare-to-this-area American Robin. Score today a 10! Back at the RV, we visited with neighbors at the palapa until about 5 PM when I returned to the RV to download and edit photos and write this portion of the blog.