Monday, February 3, 2014

The Butterflies of Falcon Lake

We needed a vacation from our vacation!  We couldn't get away from the cold and wind but at least we could get a change of scenery to shiver in.  So, eight of us set out for Falcon Lake State Park for a few days.

Jane and Jack Pronovost, MarySue and Bruce Rosenberger, Steve and Jan Campbell, and Willis and Rebecca Coombs -- and Blayde, of course -- spent parts of four days enjoying the beauties of Falcon Lake and its surroundings.  The sparse trees, wild shrubs and thorn bushes are a marked contrast to the rich cultivated fields of the middle Rio Grande Valley where we usually spend our Texas time.
We hiked along the lake shore each day, bundled up against the cold north wind.
Mexico lies just across the lake on its western shore.  Falcon Lake serves as the reservoir for water for both countries.  The international border is clearly marked in the middle of the bridge across the lake.  Identical power plants, one Mexican and one U.S., control the release of water from the lake according to an international treaty.
Sunsets over Mexico, across the lake from the state park area are beautiful -- when the weather is warm enough to sit outside and enjoy them!  We had to be satisfied with enjoying a warm campfire instead!
 We did, however, enjoy the wildlife.
This golden-fronted woodpecker was one of the avian treats we found along our hikes.  We also saw a vermilion flycatcher, a meadow lark, several large coveys of quail and lots of red-winged blackbirds.  One bird friend made himself right at home around our campsites.
This road runner apparently thought he owned the spots where we were camping and he proceeded to strut around keeping a close eye on "his" property.
He was a comic little chap and provided us an afternoon's entertainment.
We walked through the butterfly garden, admiring the variety of plants growing there.  However, there were no butterflies!  The poor little creatures apparently were in hiding from the strong cold wind.  So, we played at being butterflies ourselves!
Behold! the Rebecca Butterfly,
the Jan Butterfly,
the Jane Butterfly,
and the MarySue Butterfly!
We are deeply indebted to Rebecca for doing such scholarly research that she discovered the scientific name of this butterfly species.  It is, she says, the species Animalia, phylum Anthropoda, class Humana, order Frozenera, and sub-order Rhopalocera Amigas.  Now, isn't that impressive -- and imaginative -- research?