Rio Grande Valley-2007
Jul 16, 2010Public
Photo: We started by tracking down the national co-champion Texas Sabal Palm (Sabal mexicana), just a short drive down 6th St. in Weslaco...
Photo: ...but when we arrived, we noticed that the house on the lot was set to be moved. So were the trees, and our champion is now located at the Frontera Audubon headquarters nearby!
Photo: Paul and the national champion Brazilian Bluewood (Condalia hookeri) in San Juan.
Photo: Next, we visited the Valley Nature Center in Weslaco to remeasure the national champion Potatotree (Solanum erianthum).
Photo: The Lower Rio Grande Valley and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuges are comprised of small tracts of vanishing native habitat. This view of riverflat forest is from the observation tower at Santa Ana.
Photo: Here, USFWS biologist Mitch Sternberg poses with the national champion Saffron-plum or LaComa (Sideroxylon celastrinum).
Photo: In the evening, Paul and I walked across the bridge to Nuevo Progreso to take in the sights and find a meal.
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Photo: Paul took me to his favorite taco stand for good food, a Mexican Coke, and a smile!
Photo: Where to get the best deal.
Photo: This town has more dentists than anywhere I've ever been...
Photo: ...and pharmacies, too! Must be something in the water.
Photo: New downtown loft apartments being constructed.
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Photo: Back across the border.
Photo: The official border line.
Photo: The next day, Paul, Mitch, and I hiked all over a refuge tract looking for our champion Trecul Yucca. We never found it, but did spot this good-sized Sierra Madre Torchwood (Amyris madrensis).
Photo: Paul escapes the jungle...
Photo: ...and Mitch, too. It was rumored that there were a few Berlandier Jopoys (Esenbeckia berlandieri) on this tract, but we never spotted one.
Photo: Nearby, we stopped to remeasure our national champion Montezuma baldcypress (Taxodium mucronatum) growing at the edge of a beautiful 'resaca,' or oxbow lake.
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Photo: The following day Paul and I traveled to Los Ebanos to visit the historic Las Cuevas ebony tree and take a ride across the river. This is the old trading post.
Photo: The border station and customs house...
Photo: ...complete with drug-sniffing (and other-parts) dog.