HARLINGEN, Texas – It all begins with the opening of the Day’s Gate, from a South Padre sunrise flowing toward the shore, to a peaceful dawn resaca bathed in the rich morning light.
The Rio Grande Valley offers a plethora of impressive views.
A ranch country windmill looms like a silent sentry against the burnished sky, yielding to a lurking male who disappears into a masked chaparral.
A great blue heron sweeps through the misty waters while an Aplomado falcon languidly spreads its wings before setting off for the morning hunt.
The Altamira oriole greets the dawn from an exquisitely woven hanging basket nest, fixed in a gently swinging tepeguaje.
While a white-tailed falcon hovers suspended in a clear blue sky in search of prey scurrying far below.
Daylight warms the golden carpet sendero while the pitaya unfurl their vivid purple blossoms and the tulipan del monte unveils lush red velvet blossoms.
The eerie buzz of the Diamondback Rattlesnake shatters the morning stillness, and this intimidating snake is too hard to tangle, even for an awesome indigo.
Depending on the season, white-tailed deer exhibit fascinating behavior, ranging from gentle spotted fawns having a good time, to mature males fighting for hinds and dominance.
Nothing really misses the intense glow of a great horned owl or the inquisitive gaze of a howling screech owl peering into the hollow of mesquite.
The remarkable South Texas wildlife parade is intriguing year round, and you might spot a herd of thirsty javelins or see the face of a ground squirrel covered in purple prickly pear tuna juice like a child with a raspa on a hot summer day.
Tuesday, June 15 is Nature Photography Day, but every day there is something intriguing happening outdoors in South Texas.
You don’t even have to leave your own backyard to enjoy a flock of red crowned parrots or marvel at the magnificent butterflies of the Rio Grande Valley.
From the bay to the scrub to the backyard, there is no better place to celebrate nature all year round.