Thursday, April 21, 2016

Resaca friends

The past month has raced by, filled with great activities, working in the park and enjoying the visitors here at Resaca de la Palma.  I have a lot to catch up on and certainly want to get it all in print so I will have a complete record for myself and anyone else who might want to see what there is to see in the Brownsville TX area.

The visitors center entrance at Resaca de la Palma.  This year we volunteered from March 14 to  April 15, 2016  

Inside the visitors center guests, friends, employees, and volunteers are greeted by Anay and Cynthia.  Weekends finds both greeting people, while during the week Cynthia holds down the front desk by herself.  These two women make coming to work a fun and "tasty" experience.  Lots of new food experiences happen just behind this wall.

Tram stop

I not only enjoyed driving the electric tram this year but I learned a great deal more about the park and the plants and trees in this habitat.  A majority of visitors to the park are "Winter Texans" like us and come from northern states.  It is fun sharing information with travelers about the unique surroundings here.

The bike shop

One of Marlin's jobs this year was repairing bicycles.  Mostly this consisted of fixing flat tires.  Since most all the trees here have some kind of thorn that usually end up in bike tires, there were always flats to be fixed.

Bird blind at the back of the visitors center.

Green Jays and cardinals are very common in this part of Texas.  This is a poor shot of one at the blind.

Cardinals everywhere.

The resaca at Resaca de la Palma State Park, taken from the first bridge.  Resaca is the same as an Oxbow lake, created when a loop in the Rio Grande River is cut off from the direct flow of river.  They can also be created when deep channels are created during flooding.  This park has four miles of resaca within its borders.

This year the park is allowing the resaca to dry out completely in order to remove invasive plant species that are clogging the waterways.  The good part of this plan is that the lower water level brings in more types of wading birds because the fishing is so good.

Lots of Ibis'

Flocks of Male and female Roseate Spoonbills

Great Egrets

Many Snowy Egrets

Several Black Crowned Night Herons were present each day.  I got a good shot of this immature while he was digesting his last catch.

Activities with the staff most often center around food.  For Melissa's birthday we went to lunch at the Mariscos Lauro Villar Restaurant.  The Seafood restaurant is owned by Carlos' brother-in-law, who honored us with some special attention that day.

Left to right:  Marlin; Pablo, the Park Superintendent; Ranger Carlos; Ranger Cynthia; Albert, Maintenance Director; and Melissa, Park Biologist.  Not all the staff and volunteers were able to join us that day.  Missing are Loren, the Office Manager;  Gloria, Park Naturalist; and Park Host Volunteers Steve and Jan Mondale

Our final day at the Park, everyone gathered in the office for breakfast.  Carlos brought barbacoa, Anay brought cactus salad, and we brought Dunkin Donuts.

Cactus salad.  Made from the very young pads of the prickly pear cactus, cilantro, onion. pepper, and tomato. 

This Barbacoa is made from beef and slow cooked until it can be shredded.  It is served in corn tortillas with cilantro, onion, and salsa.

Carlos and his wife Maria

A New England favorite!

Hard to say goodby to the wonderful people who have become like family here at Resaca.  We hope they will all come to visit us in Maine someday.

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