Any chance of seeing butterflies had to occur Saturday morning as cold weather is coming again late Sunday night. This allowed time for only a short bike ride; Van and I rode together for about 6 miles, and then I split off to return to the RV to pick-up the camera and binoculars for a quick visit to the National Butterfly Center before getting ready for the Mariachi concert at La Joya High School. Here are the ride statistics:
Ride Time: 1:10:28
Stopped Time: 6:07
Distance: 11.98 miles
Average: 10.20 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.80 mph
Ascent: 190 feet
Descent: 200 feet
I was “targeting” a Mexican Bluewing butterfly at the NBC, but had no such luck as few butterflies were flying; a nice Monarch sat still long enough to be photographed, though. Waiting for the sun to warm the place so more butterflies would be around, I sat down at the bird feeding station, and was lucky enough to photograph a male Lesser Goldfinch, a “life bird” for me. A life bird or life butterfly is one that you’ve seen for the first time.
After lunch, a group from the BPVRV Resort carpooled to La Joya High School for their spring folklorico and mariachi concert. The photo below was borrowed from their website, and shows one set of colorful costumes.
This is one of the most successful programs in the United States for keeping Hispanic students in school, and it started in the Rio Grande Valley with the La Joya Independent School District. Some 25 years ago, the district decided to pioneer a ballet folklorico and mariachi program for students to motivate low-performing Hispanic students to stay in school by giving them something representative of their Hispanic culture to keep their interest in school. We have attended several shows and concerts at local high schools in the Rio Grande Valley, and are amazed at not only the quality of infrastructure but also the superb quality of their performing arts programs. Texas high schools are known for their athletic programs, and more specifically, football, but from what we’ve seen they also strongly support the fine and performing arts programs. And, they really appreciate Winter Texans and schedule several performances for us. It would be impossible to describe the Mariachi concert, but suffice to say that it included lots of traditional Mexican music and dancing, and the students were awesome! There were several costume changes, and the costumes were elaborate. After the busy morning and afternoon, we chilled during the evening with Kay working on her Swedish weaving and I worked on the blog.
NOTE: Almost 70 RVs pulled out this morning (Saturday), ending their 2013-2014 season at the resort. Several traveled to Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville, TX, to meet up with other “jammers”. Apparently, this is the place for singers and musicians to gather on their way north. Consequently, as a result of a diminished population, resort activities at Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort have slowed considerably. Most of the rest of us will leave on March 15, IF weather at home is decent; however, many Canadians are already planning on extending their stay because of the heavy snow cover and brutal cold back home! Also, on a different note, hundreds of vultures were observed at Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park, on their way north for the spring and summer. The park has a Hawk Tower, and is used in March and April for counting vultures and birds of prey as they migrate. Hundreds upon hundreds are counted some days, and several RVers in our resort extend their stay to be a part of the process.