Kay and I had a leisurely morning in the RV on New Year’s Day, sleeping late as a result of last night’s New Year’s party welcoming in 2017. With temperatures in the high 80s and armed with a new lens (a Christmas gift to myself), the first day of the year proved to be good for butterfly observation and photography. We are fortunate to live so close to the National Butterfly Center (NBC), and it has expanded several fold since our becoming members some 5 years ago. With continuing warm/hot weather and little wind, several trips were made to the NBC, with a couple of “lifers” for me. (NOTE: After watching countless You Tube videos and making lots of photos, success with the new lens, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, continues to improve.) In order of appearance, Brown Longtail, Zebra Heliconia, White Peacock, Red-bordered Pixie, Common Buckeye, Julia Heliconia, Mexican Bluewing, Crimson Patch, Question Mark, Malachite, Curved-wing Metalmark (center), and American Lady.
The great weather has also provided many opportunities for golf. Kay is golfing at least once per week, and is really liking the Texas roll on the hard packed turf. I am limiting myself to playing only twice per week—it sure makes it easier on this old body—and some days are good for scoring and others not so good. Though most of the courses are relatively flat, water abounds, and one must accommodate winds steady at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph; the wind totally changes ones game! There are several good/great courses to play, and some pretty rough. I tend to rotate among Cimmaron Country Club (private), Harlingen Country Club (private), Palm View Golf Club (public), Los Lagos Golf Club (public), and Tierra Santa (semi-private) playing occasionally at Mission West (terrible), Shary (pubic), and Tierra Del Sol. The photo below is my playing partner, Dale Short from Louisville, KY, at Palm View Golf Club.
Dances are held every night somewhere in the Valley, and we’ve found two places we really like: Buchanan’s and Mission Bell. Both are on Thursday night, and usually there’s a crowd from Bentsen Palm Village going to one or the other.
Last, but certainly not least, is bicycling. I have managed to get in 4 rides since the beginning of the new year: Jan 4—17.6 miles; Jan 5—9.1 miles; Jan 8—15.7 miles; and Jan 11—14 miles. The January 11 ride was in winds steady at 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph; sometimes it felt as if I were pedaling like crazy but not moving.
The weather for the next 10 days looks great with a cold front (low 70s) next week, so more golf, buterflying, and cycling are in the future.