This collage is autobiographical: the journey depicted, from Los Fresnos, Texas, around the Laguna Atascosa ("lah-GOO-nuh ah-tahs-KOH-suh"), and back again, actually happened, In late February, 2005, my husband and I drove down from Houston, stayed in a little motel in Los Fresnos, and spent several days exploring, observing plants & wildlife, and soaking up the atmosphere of this beautiful area, the southernmost tip of Texas. The weather was fabulous: clear blue skies, bright sun, and temperature around 70 degrees F. (21 degrees C.). We went to a number of places, including the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge—which isn't on this road map published in 1948, 'cause the refuge didn't exist yet.
To get you oriented: the Gulf of Mexico is to the east, on the righthand side of the map, the snaky blue line at the bottom is the Rio Grande, and the blank area underneath it is Mexico.
We saw lots of different species: the five in this collage are particular favorites of mine. Starting in the upper left and going counter-clockwise, you're looking at
(1) Spanish dagger (AKA trecul yucca)
(2) green jay (bright green on its back & tail)
(3) chacalaca (named for its loud repeating call at dawn and dusk: "CHOCK-uh-LOCK-uh")
(4) javelina ("hah-vuh-LEE-nuh") (AKA collared peccary; a small wild pig)
(5) aplomado ("ah-ploh-MAH-doh") falcon (once prevalent throughout Texas and nearby states, then it was wiped out; now, through the efforts of people from the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge, who brought eggs up from Mexico and re-introduced it, it's rebounding)
The aplomado falcon is a gorgeous bird from all angles: the photo doesn't really do it justice. See those black-and-white bars inside its wing? When it takes flight, you see those striking bars all over the feathers of its wings and tail.
I grew up in Houston, and spent a lot of time all up and down the Gulf Coast of Texas. So this is indeed my home stomping ground. =smile=