Monday, February 27, 2006

Montana Travel Reports for 2006, February 27, 2006, Los Ebonos Ferry & Biking

Near Mission to the west, is the last hand drawn ferry that crosses the Rio Grande River from the US to Mexico. The ferry holds 3 cars, or 20 bikes and riders. Many Winter Texans find this an enjoyable way to spend a morning. Ride the ferry to Mexico and bike into town for shopping and lunch, bike back to the ferry and cross back to the US. Some of our friends had done this and we decide to do this one day in early March. Well, much to our dismay, the water of the Rio Grande was high, the current was fast and the ferry was not running. They could not get it close enough to load the passengers and vehicles and the current was too strong for the workers to pull us back from Mexico. Here is the ferry-------- and Mexico on the other side ------

And here are the sad faces that could not go biking in Mexico this day. OK, a few of em were laughing, but some of em were crying!

All was not lost, we drove over to Santa Ana Refuge and rode there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Montana Travel Reports for 2006, February 15, 2006, LaJoya & Parakeets

As we have for the last several years, we attended the LaJoya School District presentation of Mariachi and Folklorico dancing. This year we sat in the balcony, which was very nice, but we found that our ole digital camera just could not catch the action. We enjoyed the presentation, and this is the only photo that is worth sharing. This was called a Ribbon Dance, was intricate and enchanting. Yes, it is out of focus.

The Rio Grande Valley area is renown for birding. "Birders" come from around the world to see some of the birds in this area. Al and I do not consider ourselves extremely serious birders, but we do enjoy seeing different species and learning about them. We heard about the green parakeets that fly from Mexico into McAllen every evening, just before dusk and land on the power lines. So, we found out where this event took place and off we went with another couple to see this "happening." Here is what our camera caught, on our best zoom. Nope, we cannot tell what they are either!

Some of our other friends heard of this little birding phenomenon and off they went, they emailed this photo the next day. After the episode at the LaJoya presentation and then the green parakeets, well, you know where this is going, don't you?? Yep! Al purchased a new digital camera. We now have a Cannon Power Shot digital camera, some of the following web pages will offer flower and bird photos he has taken while learning about his new toy!

In the meantime, aren't these Green Parakeets something? They are about 13 inches long, and have yellow under their wings. The bird books claim they are escapees.

Thanks John and Marge for the photos that show what the Green Parakeets look like!

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Montana Travel Reports for 2006, February 2, 2006, Dolphin Watching

This gorgeous flower is on the Esperanza bush, a continueous blooming evergreen. They are planted all over the campground. They are a native Texas plant.

We went to Border Fest again this year, we stayed for seven hours. We had a grand time. Below, this Border Collie was helping his master do push ups. We enjoyed the dog show tremendously.

Below, dancers from different countries, but all considered "belly-dancing". Other ethenic dancing exhibits at Border Fest were dancers from the Netherlands, Brazil, Scottish Bagpipes, Polonesian drums and dancers. There were demonstrations of Karate and other martial arts, drummers, country western entertainment. The list goes on and on. Wander from tent to tent, area to area, country to country.

Right, Mardi Gras dancing from Brazil and South America. The drums that beat out the dances were fabulous, makes ya want to get up there and dance with em! Costumes were outrageous, as Mardi Gras outfits should be, green, gold, purple, with dashes of hot pink.

Left, one of the floats from the Illuminated Parade, it is a small parade if you count numbers of units, but it goes through the grounds of the entire Festival, has lots of lights, and very colorful floats. A great way to end a wonderful day at Border Fest. (Oh, yea, and we have not even talked about the fab food we had there!)