Nature scenes


January 11, 2017, Steven and I became Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalist (RGVCTMN) trainees.  And we’ve been in exploratory mode with memorable results ever since!


Thanks to the TMN three-month training program, my environmental awareness has expanded.  I’ve learned, for instance, that Resaca de la Palma and Palo Alto are more than just Brownsville landmarks; they’re historical public parks in need of volunteers.

By working on requirements for graduation— thirty class hours (three each Wednesday evening), ten field trip hours, eight advanced training hours, and forty volunteer hours— as well as recertification— eight advanced training hours and forty volunteer hours— within the same calendar year, trainees are exposed to a plethora of exciting adventures and learning situations that not only enrich our understanding of nature, but also evoke a proactive engagement in the world around us.  Did you know, for instance, that lint from the clothes dryer can be set out for birds to use as nesting material?

Reality check

Life as a TMN is amazing!  The more I learn, the more I want to do my part; but there are unintended consequences, too.  Morning, noon, and night— even on waking at odd hours— I’m obsessed with ticks, chiggers, and pain.  Oh, my!  

The pain, the pain!  Reality bites!  Calamine lotion does not work!  And Benadryl is a temporary fix.

I constantly check my clothing, my bedding, myself.  After each outdoor excursion, I follow a routine at home.  I change out of my clothes by the washing machine in the utility room before heading for the shower.  I massage my scalp, carefully feeling for creepy crawlies, and scan my arms and legs for peculiar dark-brown freckles while watching TV.  I mentally retrace my steps and examine myself again and again as I sit at the computer.

Two ticks and too many aching red spots found after volunteering at Ramsey Nature Park followed by too many big welts all over after volunteering two subsequent stints at Resaca de la Palma State Park have traumatized me beyond imagining.  Every prick, every itch gets my full, immediate attention.  

My life will never be the same again!

Still, all trepidation aside, what an adventure!  What incredibly gifted, generous folks we’ve met!  What fascinating treks and service!  There’s nothing like the exhilaration of sharing space with like-minded individuals who care so very, very much about our communities, our world.

Nothing compares.

Giving back to nature so that others can enjoy it more fully makes a lot of sense.  I just wish ticks and chiggers would respect my personal space the way I respect theirs.


Ebony Haven – Brownsville – 6.16.17

Joe Lee Rubio gave some of us a tour of a nature site waiting to be discovered.  Can you spot the chachalaca?









Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco – 2.18.17

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Frontera Audubon – Weslaco – 2.21.17

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Gladys Porter Zoo – Brownsville – 3.23.17






Palmito Ranch Battlefield – Brownsville – 4.1.17








Palo Alto Battlefield – Brownsville – 3.25.17













Ramsey Nature Park – Harlingen – 3.18.17










9.5.17: Linda Butcher, thanks for all you do!



Resaca de la Palma – Brownsville – 1.21.17

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2.22.17: Thanks to Jessica Castro (UTRGV student) for “the beautiful white flower” photo from our morning weeding out invasive castor bean plants!

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2.25.17: Thanks to Mike Elfarnawani (purple shirt) for the Gulf Fritillary photo (row nine) from our morning planting trees!












3.29.17: Tuesday afternoon we assisted Melissa in weeding out invasive guinea grass.  Then Wednesday morning we did a bit more on our own; and Steven removed some small unwanted trees with deep, thick roots from the butterfly garden.




South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center – 6.17.17

Javi Gonzalez captivated us with his “zizotes milkweed monitoring and propagation” slideshow presentation before walking us out into the garden to continue with his show-and-tell.  Loved it!  And the handouts were perfect takeaways for the seed packets Barbara Peet gifted to us at April’s TMN graduation.  Then, as if that wasn’t excitement enough, our class buddy, Philip Dobson, showed off his ongoing plants project.  We left feeling quite inspired, and now Steven’s growing native milkweed for our back yard.










Valley Nature Center – Weslaco – 1.21.17

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South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center – Rio Grande Valley – Texas

Links of interest…  Bentsen State Park: facebook / website / world birding center…  Edinburg Scenic Wetlands: facebookwebsite / world birding center…  Essential oils as a natural repellentmosquito bracelets / peppermint / ticks…  Estero Llano Grande State Park: facebookwebsite / world birding center…  Forest man: Inspiration for those who wish to change…  Frontera Audubon: blogfacebook / website…  Keeping it wild: Forest group targets lower RGV for habitat restoration…  La Jarra Ranch: about (more) / facebook / images / website…  National Butterfly Center (Mission): facebook / website…  Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark: about (more) / battle (more) / Park Daysummary & facts (more)…  Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park: about / battle / facebook / historic site / history comes alivereenactment…  Philip Dobson: nature & work…  Ramsey Nature Park: aboutfacebook / mapworld birding center…  Resaca de la Palma State Park: about / battle /  facebook / Resaca de Guerrerowebsite / world birding center / youtube…  Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalist (RGVCTMN): Anita’s blog / articles / facebook (more) / webcamwebsite…  Sabal Palm Sanctuary: about / Audubonfacebook / website / youtube…  South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center: facebook iNaturalist / website…  TX Master Naturalist: chaptersFAQsmission & need / programrequirements / wildlife & natural resources…  TX native trees (photos)…  Valley Nature Center: aboutfacebookwebsite


© Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts…, 2008.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts…, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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