Just arrived from the Quinta.....on a very cool day.....the President of Mexico is in Reynosa, cutting the ribbon to mark the ceremonial openning of the Anzalduas - Mission International Bridge. The bridge has been open for about a month already but there are a lot of things that both sides are trying to bring to a complete finish. The highway accesses have not been finished, and both sides are having staffing shortages, although it is not a 24 hour facility....that will come later, although it was promised at the beginning. And, there are the computerized identification systems that take pictures of one's face and license plate as that person comes and goes.....and once on the other side....as one goes and comes. In any regard, we made it through town easily enough and had a short wait at the McAllen/Hidalgo - Reynosa Bridge .
The period from December 23rd up to my return was written up by the gods of difficulty. One episode of very high winds and cold from the 24th through the 29th....along with a prolonged power outage due to the fact that the service offices were closed from the 24th through the 25th of December. We did manage to keep our water supply from the ejido because their pumps and systems were in an area that remained with power.....as did almost all areas. Then we had the outbreak that started up around the evening of the 6th of January and became increasingly bitterly cold....finally culminating in temperatures reaching down to 23 F on the morning of the 10th of January. Temperatures remained below 35 F for most of the period from 8 January through 12 January. It was miserable.
Many of our plants werer killed or severely damaged, although just as many seemed to survive without major insult. Our various cats and dogs seemed to suffer only slightly.....but the girl cats fared best since I would let them stay inside. The big avacado tree that produced so well during the Summer appears to have made it through the cold with no damage. The royal poncianas that bloom out in solid red splashes during the Spring normally lose their leaves during the Winter, so this event simply solidified reality in that respect. It seems to me that the royal ponciana trees (flamboyan) will have little or no ill-result from this episode.
There was a bit of freezing fog, freezing light rain, and very little snow. Higher up in the mountains we could see with binoculars that things were pretty well blanketed by snow and freezing rain, from about the 2,500 fasl point on upwards. The lowest temperature recorded in our area was -12 C which I believe is around 15 F...occurring at a point about 10 miles west of Cd. Victoria at an elevation of approximately 6,000 fasl....at a weather recording station on the old highway over the mountains that goes to Juamave and Tula.
According to a weather poobah who was being interviewed on the local television channel, this December was the coldest composite in the history of records in Cd. Victoria....said records dating back to the 1870's. He also indicated that January was stacking up the same, although there are many days remaining in the month. It is interesting to note that while these figures are probably true, no single day's temperature, either as a low-low or a low-high, set any record. It was just the incessant hovering in the 50's and 40's, with many overnight lows coming in around 35 F or thereabouts.
We were also favoured with a visit by some very kind and adaptable clients during the worst of the weather....arriving on the 8th of January. They went about their birdwatching in dismal conditions, enjoyed our parlour's fireplace and some pretty decent meals....warm room....hot showers.....and even a bit of televised sports and news. It was a father - son pair, very civilized and quite intellectual....so it made things a lot easier on Diana (who had to handle all her normal chores, plus the booking and reservations during times when even things in Mission - McAllen were complicated by power outages, grindingly frigid freezing temperatures, etc.)....as well as on Alvaro and me. It amazes me the high quality of folks we seem to be blessed with as guests.
For a bit I shall be in and around the Mission - McAllen area...so more notes and observations from around here and the Ejido Francisco I. Madero will probably be showing up on our blog. Right now, early morning 13 January 2010, I'll be signing off only to return at some unpredictable time in the near future.