Sunday, 21 February 2010

Back to Things That Are Interesting

     It was of some interest that the McAllen Monitor had a good  article concerning  a bird known as the "tiger heron"  .   Its AKA is "bare throated tiger heron", and apparently is a rare sighting in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
     Here they are commonly found around the various small ( 1 - 3 square miles) irrigation control impoundments found on the east side of the face of the Sierra Madre Oriental all the way from Allende, Nuevo Leon to the area east of Valles, San Luis Potosi'.    It seems to like to wade along the edges of these huge ponds (or small lakes) looking for goodies to pluck out of  the shallows.
       They can also be found along some of the ancient Spanish Colonial period canals that are still in use in areas such as where our Quinta is situated.   Another area with an excellent combination of canals and irrigation impoundments and small brooks and rivers is that which is adjacent to the El Chorrito religious site and old site of the Hacienda de la Meza, about 25 miles northwest of the Quinta (by straight-line;   45 miles by highway).   The ancient canals and spring-fed character of the watercourses gives this well as others....plenty of fare on the menu pretty much on a year-around basis.
       Among others "leggy birds" that can be found with some dependability are  cattle egrets, common white crane (garza), green heron, "el gigante"-great blue heron, straight-bill and curved-bill curlew, and others that do not come to mind right now.   (Don't ever become old.)
       Sea gulls, beach snipes, pelicans, osprey, and other such maritime and coastal birds arrrive at the face of the Sierra Madre Oriental more often than is worth mentioning.    Because of its rarity it is also hardly worth the mention, but, every few years flamingos on their way to and from Campeche State's southeastern coast....and their whooping crane cousins from their Aransas winter address come around.    They are probably hung over from a hard night on the town the day before...or something....and wind up in our area when their GPS is out of kilter.   This is in no wise common, but it does occur.

     ALSO!!!!   About a week ago, I was out kibbutzing with my neighbour who is busy putting in quite a fancy place next door.   He is the brother-in-law to the hacendado of the oft-mentioned Hacienda de la Vega.   They live in the fancy city of San Pedro de Garza Garcia, adjacent to Monterrey, and are finally moving ahead with the building of a mansion of sorts next door to us.
     They are nice people, very organized, and they have three daughters who seem to like the country atmosphere and cheerfully participate in heavy gardening and even some of the lighter construction work. 
      As I was walking back up to the Quinta, I heard a sharp, cat-like shriek and instinctively thought it was an encounter between two old tom-cats who call the Quinta home (debateable).   Turning, I noticed that it was actually a bobcat who had been involved in a stare-down with our old dog Prince ( a mainly black w/brown tips dog whose ggggggrandfather was probably a Doberman).      This bobcat was a male, about 35 - 40 pounds, and oddly very dark in colour.   He ran off towards the Rio Corona about 100 feet away, where cover abounds,  and returned to Nature. 
     The good part for me, in a way, is that now my neighbours know that I am not just a long-winded Texan telling enthralling tales of the animals who move around between the dusk and the dawn in the Valley of the Rio Corona.
This particular cat was out a bit early, because normally they wait until darkness to sneak out free-range hen eggs (fairly common in our neighbourhood), left-over dog and cat food (very rare!).
    Thanks again for your attention.   There will be more later, as usual.

The Old Gringo