VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018

VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018
VLA antenna, Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Magdalena, NM, May 30, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Tale of Cat Tails and a Fox - Sat., March 3, 2018

Today, Susan and I went to breakfast at our motel at 7:00 a.m., and started walking at 8:00 a.m. The walk started at Sul Ross State University/Rio Grande College in Del Rio, Texas.

As we exited Building M, we saw a course set up in the parking lot to teach motorcyclists driving safety skills. No one was there to take the course yet.

Motorcycle Safety Skills Course

The area in which we started our walk seemed to be education central. As we were driving to the start, we passed an elementary school, a "freshman" school, and a high school, all within three-plus blocks of each other. Then, as soon as we walked out of the grounds of Sul Ross University ~ Rio Grande Collge, we went past Southwest Texas Junior College. I remarked to Susan that you could do your education for your whole life within those three-plus blocks!


Our walk ended up being uninspired. It was basically an out and back walk along a busy street next to a floodplain. My photo taking was limited to long views of grass, a couple of parks, and some trees. So I searched for interesting items to photograph: butterflies and birds (they don't stay still for long), flowers, flowering weeds, signs, you name it. (Surely, there had to be somewhere in Del Rio that was more entertaining than that. We found a more interesting place for a walk, but more on that later.)



The roadside sign below is obviously put up by a very organized group. They have very specific dates for their events.
Love this sign
A long view of the busy road (left) and
the floodplain (right)
Black swallowtail butterfly
The most interesting part of our walk was the gentleman who was putting out food for feral cats. He had 20+ dishes of expensive-type cat food all around the 1/2-mile loop of the Agarita Walking Trail. We talked to him for a little bit. He said he feeds quite a few cats "and a fox." For the rest of the loop trail, we looked for the cats and the fox. Unfortunately, the fox eluded our efforts to find it. We did, however, see four cats and couple of dogs eating the food.

Tuna or chicken, and a fancy brand of cat food


 The cats stayed away from us, but I was able to photograph three of them.


The prettiest of the batch
Definitely curious about us
But turned tail and headed away
 A couple of beautiful birds with yellow bellies and a thick black beak flew around us while we were on the Agarita Walking Trail. They made a lot of noise. These are the Great Kiskadees, of the family Tyrant Flycatchers. From the Audubon.org website, I learned these birds break the rules for the flycatcher family. Besides flying out to catch insects in the air, they also grab lizards from tree trunks, eat many berries, and even plunge into ponds to catch small fish. Their bright pattern is unique in North America, but in the tropics, there are several other flycatchers that look almost identical. The Great Kiskadee is found from Texas to Argentina, and is also very common in Bermuda, where it was introduced in the 1950s.

Great Kiskadee
Yellow prickly poppy
Yellow prickly poppy
Tubular weed or wildflower,
not sure which.
More floodplain views from a dirt road
From the floodplain, we turned and went through Del Rio Lions Memorial Park and past a neighborhood. This park had the prettiest basketball posts and hoops I've ever seen. 

Hoops!


Another Great Kiskadee
Friendly walkers
Del Rio Lions Memorial Park was established in February 1979. As you can see from the photo below, the Del Rio Lions Host Club sponsors Boy Scout Troop 255.
Boy Scout Troop 255 clubhouse and park
historic marker
Prairie verbena
More friendly walkers
Great branch structure
Christie, Dee, and Andy heading out
Southwest Texas Junior College Campus
Priscilla waiting for Heinz
After we finished the walk, we decided we wanted to find San Felipe Springs, a point of interest mentioned in our motel's Guest Directory. I Googled it while Susan drove and we found San Felipe Lions Park, one of the public access points mentioned online. Here is what we found...This would have been an awesome walk!
San Felipe Lions Park
Susan Medlin photographing the dam
Just awesome!
Part of the Mayor Dora Alcala Hike & Bike Trail
I want to spend more time here!
While we were there, there were a few guys fishing in the steam. According to the website, this is a good swimming hole in the summer. The water is pretty pure because it comes out from the Edwards Aquifer.






A local denizen
Ring-necked duck
Swimming area access, I think
Ring-necked duck
Mayor Dora Alcala Hike and Bike Trail


This park is a great find. I think there are other parks in Del Rio with public access to this great water source. It would be fun to make another trip and spend a weekend in the area. There's also a National Wildlife Refuge nearby.

As usual, after walking and exploring, we were hungry. We started out looking for a good Mexican restaurant, but Susan's GPS found an Italian restaurant where there apparently used to be a Mexican restaurant. Scratch that one. We continued driving and across the street was Jitra Thai Cuisine. We unanimously and spontaneously decided to go there. Good choice!



They had a lunch buffet which, when you're hungry, is wonderful. The food was excellent with a good selection, the service was very good, and they had a nature channel or video playing that we enjoyed watching while we ate.


Good food selection
Nice decor
Salads and desserts
Peaceful ambiance
With full tummies, we returned to the motel. Susan, as Southwest Regional Director for the American Volkssport Association, had to attend the Texas Volkssport Association meeting this afternoon. I stayed at the motel, worked on my photos from today, and took a two-hour nap. We planned to go see "Red Sparrow" this evening.

We skipped dinner because we had such a large lunch, and opted to have popcorn instead. We got the refillable large tub. 

"Red Sparrow" gets a 5-out-of-5-star review from me. Be forewarned, it has quite a bit of heavy swearing, full frontal nudity, sex, and gory violence (torture-you'll want to cover your eyes). The story, however, is riveting. Jennifer Lawrence does an excellent job portraying a Russian spy, known as a sparrow. Her mother, in a mother-daughter moment when she finds out what her daughter is becoming, tells her daughter the agency will want to own her, but she should always hold back a piece of herself, and not completely succumb. There are twists and turns, and you're never quite sure what will end up happening. Wow.

Tomorrow, we are off to do a 10k hike in Kickapoo Caverns State Park, north of Brackettville, Texas. We're looking forward to getting out in nature again. 

Bob, on the other hand, will be running a marathon in San Antonio tomorrow. Good luck, Bob. 

Good night all.

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed our time in Del Rio, but watch your cell phone usage, it will hop to the Mexican towers! We had Verizon adjust our bill after two days, because we didn't know it was jumping. Then we set our phones to no international so it wouldn't do that again. We changed our brake pads in the parkinglot by a truck place in Del Rio, and then camped further north along Lake Amistad which was so pretty!

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