We have had day after day after day of rain. Not hard rain, just a good soaking rain. After sitting in the house for a week we decided we really needed to get out and do something. I Googled things to do in the Bandera area and got a hit on two museums. One we have been planning on visiting but had never gotten to and one we had never heard of.
The Bandera Museum of Natural History sounded interesting and we were somewhat puzzled that we didn’t know it was here.
Bandera (Spanish for flag) is a small town (population almost 1000) about 20 miles from us. When the weather is nice we drive into Bandera almost every morning. There is a very nice 9 hole disc golf course that Mark really enjoys playing. There are lots of restaurants and we have a few favorites.
So we plugged the museum into the GPS and off we went.
The museum looked brand new and it turns out that it is. We went inside to pay the entrance fee ($10 each).
While driving in we noticed several very large dinosaurs scattered around the grounds. Since the rain had let up we decided we had better see the outside exhibits first before it started raining again.
The museum sits on 8 acres. I neglected to count how many life-sized, fiberglass reproductions of dinosaurs and Ice Age animals there were.
The monster was Mark’s favorite:
Indricotherium (Indric beast)
I took about 4 pictures before my camera quit working. Yep, it’s the same camera that quit during a kayak trip in Alaska. That camera is now in the trash and a new one is has been ordered. Mark got out his phone and we continued the tour.
The big toe guy is a Deinonychus (Terrible Claw).
Some of the Dinosaurs were in Texas 70 million years ago.
These play stations were a lot of fun! You take the bones off the walls and bury them in the sand.
Then dig them up!
After walking around the grounds we headed inside the 14,000 square foot museum.
The creator of the museum is 81 year old Juan Infante, an Argentina-born mechanical engineer and big-game hunter. He’s also been a rancher in Bandera for over 40 years.
The museum initially was planned as an exotic wildlife museum filled with the mounted figures of the animals Infante had hunted on his many trips around the world. It ended up being a $4 million natural history museum.
The museum’s six dioramas display some of the nearly 100 body mounts of animals Infante downed on his hunting.
Artwork, all of it collected by Infante, also is displayed throughout.
Ironwood carving of two lions on attack (this was carved from one piece of wood).
70 native masks from Latin America
Possibly the largest collection of hardwood sculptures from the late Mexican artist Isaac Carrasco.
The museum is small but is packed with lots to see. There isn’t a lot of written information. Everything is nice and clean and well displayed.
Before we left we talked with one of the employees. She told us the museum had opened about a year ago. Now it made more sense that we hadn’t heard of it before!
It was a great way to spend a rainy morning.