Monday, April 4, 2011

More Retama Fun and Future Travels

Hi all -- Dianne here.  Not much to write about, so I'll try to be brief.

Most mornings we still do our separate exercise routines.  As our friends/readers Bill and Nancy reminded us, good health is what makes all the rest possible.  That is so true; it's good to be reminded of that now and then.  

While riding through the state park the other morning, I stopped at the hawk tower and joined some serious birders at the top with my binoculars. April is hawk migration time through the Rio Grande Valley, and the official count while I was there was 161 hawks in a "kettle" (new term for me) circling on the updrafts.  It was amazing to see that many hawks all at once.

The acacia, Mexican olive, and retama trees are in full bloom right now.  Our development, Retama Village, is of course named for these beautiful trees.  The photo would have been even prettier with a bright blue sky backdrop; however, I plan my morning bike rides while the cloud cover remains.  As soon as the morning clouds dissipate, the blazing sun immediately makes the temperature soar!

We have a pretty little Mexican olive tree in our backyard which is blooming right now.  Here's a photo of a more mature Mexican olive tree at the state park. 

 Here's a close-up of the beautiful white flowers that fall to the ground and give an impression of snow.  I hope this is as close to "snow" as I ever get.

I also finally got a photo of one of the the resident roadrunners at the state park.  The second photo doesn't show his topknot as well, but it's a clearer photo.  I also saw my first bobcat this same morning.  He was starting to cross the road in front of me, but quickly "turned tail" back into the brush.  I got a good look at his bob tail, but no photo.

I finally stopped to read the historical markers inside the state park. 

A second marker gave additional interesting information about the history of this area.  We know there are still Zamoras living in this area.

Here's a shot of the bike trail as it looks in front of the Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort and also leading up to the Retama Village entrance.  There are miles and miles of bike trails down here.  This particular bike trail continues for five miles, between the state park and Conway Street.

We met some friends at the club house to watch the Butler final four game on the big screen TV.  Go Dawgs!  We plan to reconvene this evening to watch the final game.

What might seem exciting to some has become a common occurrence down here, the presence of the border patrol cars and helicopter. 

 Here's a shot of the helicopter right over our pergola.  We quipped that a good way for the illegals to blend in and get past the border patrol would be for them to  congregate outside with a glass of wine and watch the helicopter fly over!  If you've seen the program "Border Wars" on the National Geographic channel, you know that it's no joke and that the border patrol is very, very busy down here.   They work hard to keep this area safe and we appreciate all that they do.

The only major excitement this past week was the finish of our friends Bob & Linda's coach house next door.   (Roger here....  Actually, I think that Butler winning the first final-four game and making it to the national championship game was also kind of exciting!)  Since we were in Indiana while our coach house was constructed, we enjoyed watching the process as theirs was completed. 

 Here's what the drip irrigation system looks like under the sod and planting areas.

I happened to have my camera handy when our new neighbors "moved in."  I've seen photos of this motorhome for the past five years, and now it's parked right next door!

Our end of Mallard Drive looks complete now.   Looks like a matched set, right down to the Motosats on the roof!

Last evening we inaugurated their RV pad with Bob's delicious strawberry margaritas, Linda's gin and tonic jello shots, and some of our Grape Creek wine.  I have to admit that I wasn't feeling so good this morning!  We enjoyed a delicious meal and talked into the evening.  Just a taste of good times ahead!

I sent Roger back to our place for a second bottle of wine, and he came back mugging like a wine sommelier!  Linda captured it on film and e-mailed me the photo, so I'm adding it here.

Roger has been busy spending his days planning our summer travels.  If you can hang in there for a few more weeks, we'll get back to writing about our travels. This summer our plans include Big Bend national park, Custer State park in South Dakota, travels across Highway 2 in northern Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Stay tuned!!

For the pet "fix" of the day, here's a very amateur video of Bandido and Charlie the cat:

Go Butler!


Linda said...

Yes, I do like the look of our twin rigs! And yes, Bob does make great margaritos. It is going to be hard to leave, we have enjoyed getting to know both of you better.

Wayne and Maureen said...

So nice to see others living the good life! I'm talking about Bandido and Charlie the cat :>)....Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Not sure how you decide what you will stop to see along the way so when you travel Hwy 2 will you be considering visiting the headwaters of the Mississipi River/Itasca State Park/Pineer Farmers/Itasca Blue Grass Festival?

Margie and Roger said...

What a cute video! I finally decided that they do like each other. You can't get a rig washed and waxed at that price in Florida - $75 just to wash. A friend had her MH and car washed and waxed and it was $250.

We may be in the UP of Michigan this summer too. Sure dread the diesel prices.