RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – It was about one week ago that we experienced an historic snowfall. Richard Moore traveled from the brush country to the bay to document the wintry event in the south Texas wildlands.
The recent south Texas snowfall was first in more than a decade, and creatures of the chaparral like the Rio Grande gobbler seemed to be wondering, “What is all this white stuff on the ground?”
While a couple of intrepid turkeys braved the snowy turf, the rest of the flock took refuge atop a snow-capped fence, content to engage in their ritual morning preening perched above the strange white carpeting.
But life goes on, and it did not take the turkeys long to begin strolling about, while busily scouring the snow in search of sustenance.
Soon, javelina were trotting across snowy fields, and Whitetail deer ventured out sporting their thick winter coats.
A trip to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge revealed the land of the yucca in winter’s embrace with prickly pear cactus festooned in falling flakes.
Blooming cenizo sported snow amidst frigid pink flowers, while fruiting granjeno chilled, encased in icy crystals.
Even the shoreline of the Laguna Madre was awash in white, and the bay’s first overlook offered a pristine trek.
No ocelots were spotted padding along snowy trails, and the Visitor’s Center photo blind sign became wreathed in white.
The lookout platform from Redhead Ridge was covered in snow, and throughout the refuge winter held sway.
Just north of Raymondville, the historic Punta del Monte headquarters of the Yturria Ranch nestled draped in a snowy mantle, with the venerable chapel clad in white vestments.
From the brush country to the bay it was a memorable day… ancient mesquites blanketed with snow, Spanish daggers tipped with icy crystals, and south Texas wildlife moving cautiously thru a winter wonderland they had never experienced before.