Sunday, 12 June 2016

home stomping ground

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=


  1. Wow Fi. Great story with lots of great images. And thanks for the pronunciation guide. Sounds like you had a very nice journey in 2005. And sounds like you miss your home stomping grounds.

    1. You're right about my missing coastal Texas, Angie. I've lived in the Northeast for many years, but I'm still one seriously homesick Texan. But being homesick has its positive side: when I go back to visit my home stomping ground, I really enjoy it a lot!

  2. The nice thing about the internet is that you can do some research .... I can hardly imagine how big this area is coming from such a small country as Holland is.
    I love those green jay's., looks like their green is some kind of fluor color!

    1. 'Glad you had fun with the green jays, Jo! Yes, Texas is a really big place, and Texans have never forgotten that the state was once a country in its own right. =laugh=