We drove to Weslaco this morning to meet our friends Sharon & Rick at the Valley Nature Center. Every Saturday morning at 10:00 the Nature Center has a program/speaker ($3 for non-members).
Todays speaker was Richard Moore (a South Texas native). He has just finished a documentary entitled: Secrets of the Chaparral.
There are some 122 native plants in Deep South Texas, and many are important to the people and wildlife. For example, one of the most important is the prickly pear cactus or "nopal" as it is known in Spanish.
The "nopalitos" or tender young cactus pads were a vital source of vitamins, minerals and fiber to the indigenous people, and continue to be a traditional food in the Rio Grande Valley. Richard Moore features Benito Trevino in his film, an ethnobotanist * speaking about the medicinal and edible qualities of South Texas Plants.
* Ethnobotany (from "ethnology" - study of culture and "botany" - study of plants) is the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants.
The program was an hour long DVD that was filmed, edited and narrated by Mr. Moore. It was very interesting and well-done.
After the program Mark and I walked around the grounds for an hour or so. It was a cloudy, overcast (smoky) day. There were mostly house sparrows at the feeders. But we did see a few other birds and several butterflies.