Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, February 27, 2007, Roadside Cemetery

We decided to drive to the zoo along Route 281, which runs from Hidalgo to Brownsville along the Rio Grande River. On one stretch of the road we found about 5 or 6 small cemeteries. What fascinated us was the fact that several of them were right along the road, in fact, the front boundary of the cemetery laid right next to the road, no right of way or shoulder for the roadway. We stopped at one, just to have a look. Here is an overall view of part of this cemetery. By the way, the Rio Grande River and Mexico are just beyond that line of trees in the back of the photo. It was very well kept considering how old it was.

Below:This stone is one of the most unusual I have seen. It marks the burial place of at least 4 or 5 family members, of the Torres family. The shape is very unusual, the surface appears to be some form of tiles. It is very handsome indeed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, February 27, 2007, The Zoo

There is a fabulous zoo in Brownsville Texas, the Gladys Porter Zoo. I have been wanting to go visit for a couple of years, and somehow it never happened, so this year we made it happen. We picked a day we hoped would not be too hot (funny after all the cool and wet weather we have been having, eh??). We were thrilled that when we got to the zoo it was slightly overcast. It was a great photo day, no sun glare to deal with. They had a number of animals that we had not seen before, the animals were displayed in natural settings, some of the viewing areas were behind glass and we were quite delighted with how close we actually were to the animals, sometimes only a few feet seperated us from wild cats. Between 3 couples we took well over 500 photos! Yep, it was quite the photo op!

Click here for the slide show for the Gladys Porter Zoo, there are 25 photos, of the most unusual animals, or animals that we enjoyed being close to, or that had babies.I have tried to identify each photo, and on some I have information on the animal, such as land of origin.

Google took away slide shows in 2016, I have added the photos right here, ALL 25 of em!

Greater Flamingos, other wise known as Caribbean, about 4 foot tall, brilliant in color.

Mother and baby Gorilla, she kept her baby back (as in away) from other Gorillas and humans!  Photos were difficult to get.

We enjoyed the landscaping, it was very well done.

More pretty landscaping.

Stanley Crane, AKA Blue Crane or Paradise Crane, from South Africa.

This guy, like many other animals in the zoo was taking a siesta. Sun Bear, from Asian Rain Forest.

Baby Camel, in the Petting Zoo area, his birthday was not posted, but he look awfully wobbly on his legs.

Bornean Bearded Hog, from the Indonesian island of Borneo, just north of Sulawesi.

Saddle-Billed Stork, Tropical Africa.

Tiger Siesta, you can see the glare of the glass in the bottom right.  About 6 foot from us, could have cared less!

Bongo, African Forest Antelope.

Grey Crowned Crane, from Africa.

Giraffe, they have quite a crowd, eh?

African Serval Cat. There is glass between this cat and the public. When we walked up to this exhibit, a bird was on the public side of the glass and the cat was trying to catch it!

Mandrill Monkey, from Africa. Red nose and blue cheeks, he was something to look at!

A lion siesta.  There was glass between us and these big cats, however, if you were to measure the actual distance, they were about 4 feet away from us.

Pigmy Hippopotamus.

Mamma Baboon grooming her baby.

Black Swan, the official bird of Western Australia


We thought the rock formations were interesting and well done, we particularly liked the turquoise blue veins.

Mandarin Duck, Asian species, this is a male, the female is pretty much plain brown.

Scarlet Ibis, from South America.

This is a Colombian black spider monkey with an infant, she, like the mamma gorilla, was reluctant to let us get a good photo.

Spider monkey swinging from 2 ropes, tail on one, arms and legs on the other. Habitat is the coastal forests of Mexico, Central America, and of South America.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, February 18, 2007, Shopping for Lumber

Al has been making a few improvements to Montana, they can be found here. Another improvement I have asking for (do you hear him groaning?? you should! HA HA), is a shelf that runs about 10 to 12 foot long, mounted above the slides. There has been a lot of talk and measuring and buying lumber and taking it back. Here are some photos from ONE of the shopping trips.

Above:  John and Al explaining and discussing the project to Carol. OK, even I was thinking hard about this. John observing the process, seriously, but of course.

John and Al checking for warped lumber, this takes a while.

Al and John study the lumber, Marge, Donna and Carol waiting and waiting and waiting, (snicker). Thanks John and Donna for sharing this photo, as well as the other two.

No photos of the finished project, YET, as this lumber actually went back to Lowe's and Al is into part "Q" of the planning process. We will let cha know when this project gets accomplished. The finished product can be viewed here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, February 10, 2007, and they went square dancing

So, you may ask, what else have you been doing, since the weather has been less than desirable?

Carol has been active in the Genealogy Class here at the park, what fun to watch newbies understand, and to share my hard earned "insider information" with them. It is very rewarding to watch them bloom and grow.

We attend some of the entertainment here at the park, they have had some great entertainers this year. Usually cost around $3.00 each for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour of entertainment. We walk over to the clubhouse, sit, enjoy, walk home, kinda relaxing.

We also take in some of the "food" opportunities, usually the coffee and donuts on Saturday mornings. The chatting is fun too!

Taking care of the dogs and housework take up a lot of time. The grass in the dog play area is better this year (as in more grass, less burrs, etc.), so we have taken the "kids" in there a few times. I still have to do an hours worth of grooming when we come out of there, grass still gets tangled in their coats. Sorta weaves in. Nasty to get out. The last time we took them, I came home and cut poor Gallagher's leg hair ALL off, he looks very silly right now, but it will grow back. He squawks so when I hit a knot of hair and grass, and well, we were all tired of that silliness.

We also took some square dancing lessons. Yes, indeed we did! No kidding! And, yes, I have photographic proof! SEE::::::

See, we really did do some square dancing. We went with John and Donna. John and Marge came along a couple of times, and Marge had her camera ready and willing. Thanks Marge for sharing your photos.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, February 4, 2007, South Padre Island & burnt sugar cane

A trip to South Padre Island is a "have to do it" activity while we are here in South Texas. This year Skip, Mary, John, Donna, John, Marge, Al and Carol all went together and visited Jim and Sue, other Montana owners. We had a great meal, and then went to the shore, where Jim fed the sea gulls, while John watches

Jim still feeding those sea gulls, Carol (in the purple, but of course) and Sue are trying to stay warm and chat. Yes, those are ear muffs on my head (thanks to some Wild friends of mine who gifted me with them).

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, sugar cane is a huge product. Part of the process of harvesting is burning off the unusable portions of the cane. This puts out a large cloud of dark gray soot. In the cloud are hunks of leaves that were burnt enough to turn sooty and black. This soot dumps all over the surrounding lands, even several miles from the "burn". Below is a photo of a hunk of sugar cane soot that landed in the campground one day. This piece was about 5 inches long.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, January 26, 2007, Citrus Festival

On yet another one of the few good weather days we had in January, Al and I drove into town to see what the Citrus Festival had to offer. It had a tent full of local citrus products, goodness, we discovered there are quite a number of variety of oranges. More than we ever realized.

This is also a Texas style BBQ cookoff affair. There must have been 10 or 15 (maybe more?) HUGE Texas style cookers. These babies are large enough that they have wheels and are drug in behind a pickup truck. They cook with a lot of mesquite, the results are flavorful and tender.

Click here to take you to a short slide show, including Al and the roasted corn! Ya have to see it to believe it!

In 2016 Google took away the slide shows.  So, here are the photos:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Montana Keeps on Rolling, Travels for 2007, January 23, 2007, Monterrey Mexico

On January 23rd, Carol took a day trip to Monterrey, Mexico. Sadly, the weather was lousy to say the least, as it was very low visibility. They tell me Monterrey is a city surrounded by hills and mountains, I could verify that there were hills, but I could see little more than the first several rows of homes built up the side.

Monterrey also has some terrific monuments and parks. We had lunch at the Radison Hotel, and it was marvelous, great food. After lunch, because of the weather conditions, we could not do some of the activities normally planned for the trip, so instead they took us to the Mexican Museum of History. This is a top notch facility, sadly our time was very limited, they have college aged docents who will take a tour around, they speak very good English, very worth the stop.

After the museum, they took us to a Canyon nearby, I did not get the name, but I won't forget it, even with the low cloud cover.

Click here to see a short slide show.

In 2016 Google discontinued the slide show.  Here are the photos.

Canyon, near Monterrey, sorry, I did not get the name.

Abandoned home built in the canyon wall, first step must have been a killer, it is a LONG way down!

Low clouds engulf the canyon wall tops.

Canyon, photos do not show the size, barely show the beauty. This must be spectacular on a day with some visibility.