El Gringo Viejo

Welcomes one and all

Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre

This is your invitation to visit and stay at a Bed and Breakfast, a birdwatching paradise, and a wildlife refuge in the Mexican
Please stay here on our web page
 with us 
for a while.   You can
 come to know us as you
 read through our descriptions of places and 
things that make up our environs.


Thanks for having stopped by! We appreciate your time and interest. We think we have thideal setting for relaxation and rejoining a time long gone by.
   We are fixed in a theatre designed to frame a really good old movie.   Always check back with us with information and/or questions and/or
for reservations at 


   It would be our pleasure to welcome you to our little adobe home situated about 225 miles south-southwest of the international metroplex
of McAllen, Texas - Reynosa, Tamaulipas, or between four and six hours of easy driving,
 depending on your number of stops. We are situated about 28 miles
 north-northwest of Ciudad Victoria,the capital of the Mexican
 State of Tamaulipas, in the middle of a truly majestic
 geographical and cultural settings.

     Simply by enquiring via our e-mail,  we can give all kinds of pointers about road conditions, clean restrooms, snack
stops, and so forth. The highways range in quality from very good to excellent, so for veteran
 travellers in Mexico it is pretty easy work to make it down to our place.We shall be more
 than glad to give directions down to the kilometer post. We have never "lost" a guest.


Finding Us?  It's Easy!

                        Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre                          


(a friendly tip - click onto the little square on
 the lower-left for satellite view.  Much better!)

Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre


   Butterflies and Birds Abound 

Over the years we have had the pleasure of receiving many visitors and guests who enjoyed our grounds, location, and the attendant
opportunity to see, hear, and experience the bounty of birds The Old Gringo appreciates these folks and clients.
They are the people who have made our establishment of a place "at the end of the road" a truly rewarding
 adventure. With reference to our visitors, we can truly say that we have arrived at that pleasant point
where we have the best and nicest guests in Mexico, little matter from whence they come
We have been favoured to receive an eclectic clientele, from as far
away as France and Japan, to as close by as our pleasant little
Capital city of Tamaulipas, Cd. Victoria, just a bit less
than 25 miles to the south-southeast of
our little home.

The overwhelming majority are folks essentially looking for a respite from urbanity. Some are looking for birds,
 butterflies,dragon flies, and/or certain other forms of wildlife, especially mammifera, or vegetation,
 such as bromeliads, types of yuccas, and tropical flowers.  We have had photographers,
 painters, horse trainers, even reporters and ghost hunters.  All our folks
 seem to enjoy going about their pursuits knowing that they have a
private room with a private bath in a private home
where access is restrained, traffic is slight,
parrots and hummingbirds are many,
and, while rustic, all the basic,
 necessary "luxuries" are
We also really do have 430 species of birds, on an annualised basis, who call the Quinta, and the area within 25 miles radius, home.
A normal bird count for a person just trying make numbers and see a lifer or two during a day or two of watching
 can be as high as 170 different species.    Because of our geographical situation we attract mountain, desert,
 chaparral, prairie, pine and oak and cedar forests, ground birds, as well as
 riverine, coastal, incidental, tropical, maritime, and migratory.We have
 had people record numerous songs of scores of different species,
 declaring later their recordings to be the best they had ever
 made.  We are also on a major monarch butterfly corridor
 and have them either coming down to Michoacan in
the late Autumn or heading back to Canada
in the Spring each year, about two
months for each episode. And, we
have scores and scores of other
species of butterflies many
not seen in Texas.
This is a place where you can be pleasantly bored.   You can drink beer or not drink beer, Cuba libres, Gin and Tonic, Grapefruit Juice
 w/ Hornitos Tequila and even Margaritas sometimes when we have a little notice.   You can feast or fast,
or do almost anything that is tolerated by the somewhat antiquated social standards of
our peculiar little rural community. It is still pretty much the quintessential
place to be laid back and to relax. We even permit smoking, but  
never inside the house.

Come unto this place all ye who travail and are heavy laden, as it is said in the Old Book, and visitor, client, and/or Creator will do well here.
Or, perhaps one might  just  like to see and appreciate a place that is truly particularly and peculiarly interesting on
the face of this planet.  A lady said one time, during one late afternoon, with the birds preparing for
the nightfall and things becoming quiet and the sun setting on the nearby mountains,
"This must be where the Lord comes to gather His thoughts and lower
His blood pressure".   It just might be.
When the Old Gringo has the cats and dogs fed in the late afternoon, he can sit on the long, west-facing corridor, and he will be able
to see weasels, racoons, opossum, bear, puma, bobcat, coyote, fox,and other beasties but more especially birds.
Some of these beasties are seen rarely,others more frequently, but they have all been seen.  Of the birds,
 we have four types of parrots, at least 13 typesof hummingbirds, 4 types of orioles, or more,
 seemingly enumerable types of warblers, wrens, and ground birds, various seed and gnat
 eaters, and two types of trogons, who come by from time to time.

There are always the jays, mockingbirds, ani's (both grooved and smooth bill), Kiskadees, Kingfishers, and Finches. There are  many different 
raptors, including various eagles and hawks.  During the Spring and Fall,migratory birds come from all directions.Geese and ducks, and
 even pelicans from the Gulf, cranes, curlews, can appear to delight the serious or amateur birding enthusiast.  We have
 three different types of kingfishers that come up to visit from our nearby Rio C0rona.    During recent times birders
both as guests and just passing through, found your adobe hideaway to be among the very best they
had experienced in terms of rustic comfortability, and surprisingly good food and drink.

 We have had a couple who came back a year later and did the walk to Tiger Springs and back, specifically for the mix of birds.
  They anticipate coming again in April. The walk is about 11 miles round trip, and takes about 8  hours,
 including bird-watching and photographic episodes. They know what they are doing and are in
 good shape, so it should be another really good experience.  There is no scaling or rugged
 terrain, although it does go from our groves and woodlands up to the base of mountains
 that shoot up fairly quickly to elevations well over 10,000 fast.  This
 particular amble goes only to about 1,270 feet above sea level.


The Guest Room and in-home facilities 

The Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre  receives only one, two, or (rarely)three guests at a time.  Therefore, when you arrive you are obviously 
members of the same family or friendship grouping. This means that when you are with us, you are, in fact, the exclusive guests
 staying in a private home that is essentially yours.  Because we are at the end of the road, it must be understood
 that we are, in a way, on the edge of civilisation.   The electrical service ends with us and
 thankfully includes us. The man who delivers our propane gas has to drive to the end
 of the road. Our telephone is a peculiar combination of stationary
 instrument, antennae assisted, and cellular.

   There are major mammals hanging around in the river bottoms and all the way up into the nearby mountains, (bobcats, tejones, puma, bear,
 fox, coyote, raccoons, o'possum weasel, and others that do not come to mind readily as I write). Your home is all adobe.
  It is built in the same way and on the same basic plan as what was used for building of quarters for
 Spanish military officers during the Colonial Period (1521-1821).
   It is not very imaginative and it is built so as to be easily and economically repaired with native materials. Most of the electrical wiring
 runs on the outside of the wall, just as if the house had been built before the time of electrical service.The Saltillo tile
 floor is set at the same level throughout the Quinta,so there are no footing "surprises" as one moves
 about the home.  Your guest room has two large-sized single beds which we move into
 a queen-sized configuration gladly,at your request.Please advise us before your
 arrival.    Your room also has a bit of air-conditioning which actually works.
  We do advise that nights are quite cool, even in the  Summer,
 so most guests wind up opening the window
 and  putting the fan on.

 The bedroom itself is large, with a panoramic window overlooking the  valley of the adjacent Rio Corona.   It is pictured  here, readied
for a Winter night's stay. The room has a nice heater, just in case, although normally the adobe construction prohibits much
 invasion of the overnight chill that comes down from the nearby mountains.  And, as stated above, we have air-conditioning
that actually.  works. We have reading material, games, a standard reception television that also has a linkage with
 the SKY satellite service, and a nice radio to pick up your favourite overnight radio programs.The
 radio picks up Spanish transmissions from all over Mexico and even the Gospel
  according to Fidel from Radio Rebelde in the Citadel of Democracy.

Yanqui Imperialist stations come in clearly after nightfall.   For instance: KTRH - 740 Houston,  KRLD - 1080 Dallas,
 WOAI - 1200 San Antonio, and WFAA - 820 are good selections. Electrical adaptation
 is not necessary since our electricity speaks standard-Gringo volts and cycles.

The Guest Room has its own private bath, complete with full-time hot water, (something of a luxury in these parts).
 The Guest will encounter nice fluffy towels and face-cloths, selection of shampoos and conditioners.  There 
is even an availability of some things to replace necessary items that might have been
left behind.  The bath is large enough for a bride to dress for he wedding and even
 Dolly Parton could do her coiffure up real proud.

     And, so long as we are talking about running water, please advise us about any plumbing or water matters. We can usually fix anything in a
 matter of seconds or minutes.  It is a bit more important than that, however, since any unrestricted 
flow would caused us a bit of a problem with supply.

  The Ejido's water supply sends us about 600 gallons of potable water, usually for a period of three hours in the afternoon. So, if we lose water, we have to wait
 for a 99.3% reliable delivery on the next day to replace our supply. The number of days we have missed a resupply with guests present,
 in any regard, has been zed - zero.  
Our water supply from the Ejido is of very high quality. 
We also provide 
 from this supply, 
as wel 
as bottled water
at any time requested. 
Your room 
stocked with two bottles
per person, 
which will 
be found 



The Parlour  -  El Salon Grande 

The parlour serves as a dining area, a reading room, a television room,and a conversation site during the colder times.   Guests can feel free to raid the refrigerator, or retrieve some
 secret goody or necessity that has been entrusted there.
Sometimes the guests make themselves their 
favourite tea or one of our own availabilities. 
 be pointed 
ut again 
that anywhere in 
our little
 hut the  
 is potable.  
Our water supply from the Ejido is of very high quality.
We also provide triple 
from this supply, 
as well 
as bottled water 
at any time requested. 
Your room 
 stocked with two bottles 
per person, 
which will 
be found 

     There have been birthday parties, office parties, and even 
associated with weddings and funerals
There have been all manner
 of political leaders Presidential personalities, 
government ministry 
of this or 
of this of that 
The magic of adobe walls and a cane ceiling always seems to
 provide the 
for conviviality, 
are permitted.  
often lament not
taken live 
pictures of the
personalities and 
 have taken 
 of our fireplace 
who have dried 
out from 
 in a


There Are Touring Options

          We frequently joke that we guarantee "absolute boredom", which actually means that ours is a place of "soledad y tranquilized", solitude and tranquility.
   Many of our clients want nothing more than to have a chance to read their Agatha Christi. Or, drink beer and/or margaritas,
 and siesta on the corridor.   Like the lady told me one summer, "It beats the heck out of paying a therapist".

     Other folks put on the trappings of combat birdwatchers and trek two, three, or even five miles roundtrip while making scores of species sightings during a
 four hour jaunt (the record for a mid-afternoon to sundown sortie is 170 species).  Then they come back, have some refreshment,
 eat well, and sleep without moving for 7 hours.  We have had folks with tripods, easles, ghost monitoring
 & sensing equipment, night nature photography gear, and even reporters.  All seem to agree
 that there is something restorative about being at the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre.
   But, when and if you want to do a bit of moving around, there are things to do and
 places to see that are neither distant nor difficult.


Other Nearby places of great interest
The area around the Quinta has scores of lesser and greater attractions. Whether it be something as simple as a walk through the gravel streets,
 admiring the luxuriant flowers, bushes, and trees that the people care for, almost reverentially, or visiting other places,
some quite magnificent, some quite humble, the area provides considerable opportunity for
 memory building, photography, and general learning about the human
 condition in rural Mexico.

 La Hacienda de Santa Engracia

This fabled
place has endured in this area since the first quarter
of the 1700's, mid-way 
into the Spanish 
Colonial Period.  
not the largest of Mexico's 
haciendas, it was originally
 million acres, 
say roughly the
size of half of an 
average Texas county.
The braiding of genealogy
brings us to the present
 fact that there are 
still descendants of the original Spanish
grantee involved in the o
wnership of the remnant properties
 to this place,
 which was 
a duchy located in
roughly equivalent to-day 
an outpost on the
Now it is about one kilometre from the 
Quinta Tesoro de 
the ownership is not one
Spanish Don lording over a thousand 
adult male 
vaqueros,and five thousand 
self-contained, self-supporting and defending 
enterprise with 500,000 acres of extension.

 During these times, it is a complex of individuals.  Not long ago 
Mexicanos, S.A. the   world's largest cement 
producer held the title due to deaths and legal changes
brought on
 by the issues of time.  Now
t is 
as a guest
lodge, and
 is open
the public.  At this  
time elderly cousin hold joint interests in t
 venerable structure and grounds with its roots in the ancestry of the Hacienda.   To-day, the Hacienda is thoroughly modernized facility
with a five star rating.  It has a few modern rooms and 
some that have been retro-fitted into modernity. The antique rooms are
 veritable marvels and saturate a person's sensibilities with the effects of much history , calamity, triumph, and gay events.
It is surrounded by groves and very nice  
grounds swimming 
bar, elegant 
dining facilities, as well as
traditional rustic sauna
would associate 
with such 

   It is worth a visit and the staff is normally very tolerant of folks j
ust "dropping-in" 
to enjoy the grounds 
They will 
probably even
show a couple of the rooms
in the colonial section, 
if requested, and if it is
 tactically possible.  
The owners of the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre operated the excursion
 company that was the first to bring groups to the Hacienda after its rehabilitation in the late 1970's.
During the time of operation of our excursion company we probably introduced four thousand
 or more different folks to the Hacienda.  The first group came in during late January for
 a couple of nights' stay, and   
was surprised on the second night with 
quite a
 sleet and snow episode. 
It was all very pleasant.  
The clients were mostly
 adventurers were from the 
and were not overly concerned
a couple of inches 
of snow. 
Plus, we 
the fireplaces
 everyone cosy.

In any regard, this
endary facility
full of lore, legends, ghosts, 
and gossip.
It would
 behoove the 
visitor to invest a morning
 or a day
or a meal
 or a couple of beers there.  
We have 
even  had 
clients who come and stay at the
for three or four 
at the
for three 
or four 
nights on the 
same trip.
strange perhaps,
but it makes
to our clients 
who have done it.

La Hacienda de La Vega

Only a few
hundred feet from the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre 
is the landmark Hacienda de La Vega.  It is a legendary place
owned by a family with long-time and deep roots in this 
part of Mexico.  
They are typically 
civilized, generous, 
to the the
 ownership of the Quinta 
and its guests. 
They have been better than 
good neighbours.
The Hacienda de La Vega is nowhere near as old as the Hacienda de Santa Engracia, but it has its own
 tales of war & peace, conflict & resolution, dating back into the most troubled period of the
 Agrarian Reform.   following the Mexican Revolution of 1910 -1917.   The 1920's
 and early 1930's were especially difficult in the area around the Hacienda de
 Santa Engraciaand the story behind this property has much to do
 with the resolution of the contentious issues of the period.

 The first picture is of the front yard and present "manor house" which is an uninspired structure that brings to mind the architectural style of
 "Mexico City Concrete-Earthquake Bunker".  But, it serves well as a center  of operations and country home for the owner, his family,
 and friends.  The house is actually very well built, considering that it was put out in the middle of nowhere in 1961.  In those years, 
of course, there was no electricity or much of anything else. The family had rural traditions, but has been long
urbanized.   The grandfather received  the land as a form of  payment for services rendered by him to the
 government's Agrarian Reform efforts and essentially pioneered there from homes and business
 interest in Monterrey and Victoria.

The second house is the original "manor house", built in 1934, and is shown below.  One can only imagine the difficulties involved in the construction
 of this home.  No roads,no electricity, no propane,no nothing,  Try to imagine the delivery of
 sillares, (huge hewn stone blocks weighing one tonne each).

This is the original "Manor House" built back in 1934


This is the old "smithy compound" and "someday" the owner and 
the Old Gringo are going to do something with these buildings.

                     The expropriation of land of the Hacienda de Santa Engracia  in the 1920s resulted in a not too brief but intense skirmish with defenders of said Hacienda.
Oddly enough, this particular text and the associated picture have  always been difficult to hold in place. The here text seems to
 squiggle and disorganize and at times change colours.     Pictures will have been found to be "dancing" during
 our absence, 
and we will have
to put them back 
in place. 
Some folks think that the place being
 described is haunted, and perhaps that "spirit energy" is entering our little page and / or
 our little computer. 

During these times (November - 2016) the 200 acres or so of riverside land is being re-planted after nearly 80 years of producing Valencia Oranges.
The new crop will be citrus as well, but a type of newly improve lime that has a very fine partly sweet and partly sour flavour.  It has proved
to be a big operation for a sole proprietor, and he has acquitted himself well.  Industrious, honest, and compliant.  The planting is 
almost done, with the first harvest coming in 2018, with with will of God and the Devil not objecting.

                             datacheck -    composite views -   287, 004 - 15 October 2016


A Gringo in Rural Mexico
Voice from the Sierra Madre Oriental



Thanks for stopping by here, too!
El Gringo Viejo with Cleo the Crazy Cat, and Prince, the Lazy
 Dog on 
west-facing corridor".  This is a place 
"keep an eye on things".   Birds, 
cats, visitors, and 
wonderment.  It is a good


The Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre and the the blog site named  A Gringo in RuralMexico˚˚˚˚A Voice from the Sierra Madre Oriental
 are identical twins who are completely different. One is a physical place of great beauty and tranquility;Great Birds & Butterflies,
 cold beer, limeades & orangeades, smoothie of varied and sundry types depending upon the season, soda pops,great
food, and accommodations with the comforts of basic luxuries one might well not expect on theedge of the wilderness.
Rustic comfort is the theme.

The reader can communicate at length with questions and/or comments at our page
designed or such things on our blog,

A Gringo in Rural Mexico .   The reader can
read about various political, historical, and cultural matters pertaining to the
United States, Texas, and Mexico at the linkage provided here at
, with opinions 
from glands 
bit of humor,
all flowing 
from the 
keyboard of
mean, old 

who visit are 
invited, at their own risk, to check 
in with our blog. 
It is an eclectic set of
observations about life along with 
comments of 
grumpy old 
who lets 
things like 
in parking lots and park 
bother him
a little too much at times. 
Any and all are welcomed to email comments
and criticism and approvals.  All mail is read and all should feel
at home, both at the Quinta and the blog. We are glad to
respond to requests for information about Mexico
on almost any front.
Remember when asking, however, that El Gringo Viejo tends to be very conservative in political
and cultural matters. Your responses will be filtered through such thought processes.
But, his analysis will be truthful and sincere. His favourite parable is that of the
Samaritan, so you will receive fair treatment, friend or foe.

Another link, www.bnb-directory.com  will connect the visitor with a registry to a
directory where literally hundreds of places such as ours, some very elaborate,
others rustic, all good and interesting, are displayed with pictures, costs,
locations, service and accommodation format,  and other
information is readily presented
in readable fashion.


Alvaro and our Semi-official Road-sign
     We now have a somewhat semi-official
 "historical marker - road sign"
 for our little mud hut.

    Its production was overseen by our neighbour at the adjacent Hacienda de La Vega.
   He has a similar sign that announces his more extensive acreage about 50 feet
 from this sign, placed near the main entrance gates.  Alvaro moved
 the sign closer to our  main entrance about a week after
 this picture was taken.

Accommodations and Rates

(effective -  1 April 2016)

The first and most important condition concerning rates and availabilities is that the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre takes reservations
 only on the basis of 'estancias' of three (3) nights more.   We have only oneguest-room, and it has its own private entrance and bath.
  We take one, two, or three individuals and no more. There are special rates for weekly (six nights or longer).

Three to five nights -  one person:         $ 35.00 / night
                                            Two persons :      $ 39.00 / night
                                            (total room charge)
Six or more nights   -  One person :       $ 40.00 / night
                                            Two persons:    $ 44.00 / night
                                            (total room charge)

                                           ( United States Dollars)

There is no deviation nor exception to the 3 night minimum rule, for friend,
foe,  extraterrestrials, angels, or family.  The same applies to the rates.
There is no smoking permitted within the walls of the Quinta.
One may smoke freely in the out-of-doors.

We accept Mexican or American cash money at the rate of the day as established
by the average of the purchase and sale of the American dollar as evaluated by
the Mexican Peso.  Guests can prepay by forwarding a personal check or
bank transfer to our account in Texas, as per the very simple
instructions we shall provide if the client wishes to prepay
by that manner.   We receive no credit cards.

    The Office on the Corridor
From here a person can pick his own avocados, or take a long siesta in
 the cool shade of a warm day.  Imagine with one of those really great
 Mexican Coca Colas, or a cold Mexican beer,  sweating in its little
 bucket of ice, or a tropical smoothy or just being left alone to 
study the mountains to the west.  The biggest bother might
be a dog or a couple of cats who think they deserve some
 special attention.  Shoo them off, or give them a treat,
as you so will.  Just look out for the cats' tails when
you are rocking back and forth.


 What we do.  What we offer.  What to expect.

 At times.... folks like to have an old -fashioned Texan - Mexican parrillada (mesquite & charcoal
grilling) and this can be arranged as well.  To describe such a thing, we are a bit hard-pressed. It
is rather much a controlled disorder, perhaps a man's thing, beginning around mid-afternoon
with the lighting of the charcoal (without accelerants), mixed with orange and mesquite
wood that has been placed in the parrilla (an outdoor grill).

Background music from somewhere (not too loud),dogs and cats patiently waiting for bones and morsels, around the edges,
 sizing up food-lackeys. These things complete the  controlled disorder.The cooking of beef and/or pork cuts, chicken,
 even fish and shrimp, potatoes, beans, onions, chili peppers, carrots,broccoli, continual chilling
 of beer and soda pops, deploying of citronella anti-mosquito candles, servingand being served,
 and just being generally congenial.  This  having a good time without a script,
 while buying ice and and tending the fire is all part of the parrillada.

In the summer it is ideal in the late afternoon on into the early twilight, while during  the winter everything will startoutside 
 and retire indoors for a bit of dessert away from the even's chill.  These events are more social than commercial,
 might involve a very limited number of third parties, like neighbours or other highly-filtered participants,
and really has no fixed charge.  Ten or twelve dollars, Each puts in a bit here and there.

Usually the house bears the brunt of any cost overruns, because it is an hospitable way to be and becauseit's just such a pleasant
 episode for the pleasure of the Old Gringo. A fully private parrillada can bearranged and provided at a fixed price,
 depending upon what is desired by the client.  This wouldnormally be for anniversaries, birthdays,
 and such although it is done just for the fun of it at times.

We do earnestly request... that you give us at least three weeks of anticipation before your arrival, so that we can do the kind
 of shopping for native goods and products that will make your stay special. Mexicansupplies and qualities
 are quite good, so with your ample notice we can then keep up with what is available and make our
 purchases in an effective way so as to ensure an excellent dining experience with us.
 We grow a considerable amount of our own herbs and seasonal fruit.  There is no
 microwave at the Quinta, and we make almost everything up from scratch.
 We generally have very cold beer, usually Corona and/or Bohemia,
and we can usually make a limited selection of mixed drinks such
 as martinis,cuba libres, margaritas, tropical smoothies which
  are a house specialty, and that depend upon the 
availability of fresh tropical produce.

 We have a bit of white or red wine for before, after, and/or during mealtime. All alcoholic beverages
 are sold at a very reasonable charge.   Wine served at meals has no further charge,
 when it is part of an overall meal.

It also helps when our Mayordomo, Alvaro, is on site since there is very little that he cannot fix or do.
If he cannot do the 
fixing or doing, he can always 
seem to quickly 
locate the 
person who can.
He is also always warmly greeted 
our returning 
While not wishing to be redundant,
we do earnestly request that the client give us,at the very least three weeks of advanced
 notice so as to stock the larder and make as close to perfect as possible
preparations for the arrival.

We truly are, without complaint, on the very, very edge of civilisation in many ways.
   Oddly, things that are simple take a little extra preparation to accomplish.
 Since it is Mexico, the impossible is easily  accomplished.
  It is only the simple things that are difficult for us to do.
  (Old Texian and Mexican Axiom, because it is true.)


The Out of Doors 

There is a long, west-facing corridor, where folks frequently choose to relax in a mesadora (large, rustic rocking chair). From here, they
read their Agatha Christi or whatever, or sit with a nice set of binoculars and a good bird book and relax. They relax profoundly.
  Some ask for a Corona or Bohemia beer every hour or so. Others do not use alcohol. They all attract, in a passive way,
 the  dogs and cats of the Quinta Tesoro de laSierra Madre who think there might be canapé
 of ham & cheese, or even a hidden doggy-bone as a reward for being cute.
 The view from the corridor, both close and distant, seems to absorb the
 poisons of life.  Birds come close by.

Butterflies fill the air after 10:00 in the morning. Hummingbirds, sometimes by the score, whirrand flit from one shrimp plant flower to another in their frenzied search for nectar.
 Bees stay busy all day long. Almost all guests can be found on the corridor at one or all the followingtimes; in the morning after brunch, or in the earliest part of the afternoon,
when the searing heat is just beginning and a strange sense of normalcy seems to permeate everything,and then,of course, during those mystical couple of hours before the
 late afternoon sun slowly slices into the Sierra Madre that forms the western horizon.  Birds are the theme of these moments. Tranquility is the sub-plot.
Your property fronts onto the banks of the Rio Corona, a spring-fed, mountain stream that has never gone dry in its known history. 

The first encounters by people who recorded such things comes from the latter 1500's although settlement in the area came much later.It is generally understood that the base flow
 of the springs that feed the Rio Corona is a little more than 400,000 gallons per minute.That seems like quite a bit,but that water is heavily used to irrigate several-score
 thousand acres of citrus and grain in and around the Santa Engracia cultural zone.  Our little ejido is a part of a legendary Valencia orange, Persian, and Yellow Lime,
 and Texas-Variety red grapefruit producing area, famous throughout the citrus industry in the world.  Many of the "huertas" (orchards) are now irrigated by
well-water, if necessary, during the dry season or in case the rainy season is late.  The Rio Corona is lined by cypress trees that can reach up as high as 200
 feet.  There are some that are thought to be, or have been otherwise proven to be, around 1,300 years old. These are the famous Bald (Montezuma) 
Cypress.There are some of this same specie of Cypress, a time and a half older in Tehuacan, State of Pueblaand, of course, just outside of Oaxaca,
 State of Oaxaca further to the south in Mexico in a village named Santa Maria del Tule.We have been present in the area off and on for about
 half a century, in various postures and purposes over those years. When we bought our property, it was somewhat depressing
to see how folks had used the banks of such a noble River as a garbage dump. The expression was,"It's okay,
 because when the floods come the water carries away all the garbage." While this war has in no wise been 
won, we are able to claim at least a running victory, because we can go through two or three weeks
 at a time between episodes of abuse. Before, the dumping was daily. With the efforts of our
 mayordomo, Alvaro Balboa Huerta, and the rest of the Quinta's "extended family",
 our river's edge is in really good condition now,perhaps 95 percent
 of the time. At first our grumpy nature and demanding
posture was not so well received by those who sought
 convenience inridding themselves of litter and
 garbage. Now, however, even some
of those same people come by to
 say that things are much
 better when they are
 cleaner. Go figure.


We advocated for a scheduled garbage pick-up, which was initiated, with many people saying that it would never work. Now after about five years,it has become a twice-weekly institution,
 giving us more than a little pleasure to see the garbage cans,  boxes, and other containers lined up along the highway when we go to town on certain early mornings.
 The people even sweep clean the dirt around their garbage cans. Some times the smallest steps have the greatest effect.

Some of our land adjacent to the Rio Corona's banks is kept in a nearly primeval state. Various of the property owners on both sides of the river have pretty much
 agreed to this measure. so as to ensure reasonable predictable habitat for the riverine beasties as well as the birds and other critters.  There was a time
during my lifetime when it was just accepted that prepotent individuals who felt to unconstrained by law, morality, or reason would hunt to
 elimination of any mammal larger than one pound adult weight.

The people of lesser means were in the business of gleaning what few animals out of the wilderness that they could, edible or otherwise.
  It seemed to be a pretty bleak outlook, and a certain one, for many years. Just recently however,during the past 10 to 15 years
 we have been witnessing a very significant re-population of bear, deer,mountain lions, bobcats, and even ocelots,
 crocodiles, and things such as the mink-like weasel known locally as an"onza".  All repopulation
 has been from native population already in place.

     Our "Green Zone" is not something caused by any solidarity with Al Gore or the Peoples' Democratic Tree Hugging Alliance Against Normalcy.
It is simply the extension of the normal practices of a farm boy whose father taught his sons conservation,respect for the land,
and the things in and on it, and to exercise an Anglican catechism which includes stewardship over the affairs of Creation.
   This has led us to have several thousand square yards of terrain that is chocked full of birds
 and where anything from  bobcats to red and grey fox can be and are seen.

Just to the sideand in the River-course proper (called an avenida, like "street" or avenue, in Spanish) we have encountered puma and 
coyote.  Birds are too numerous for us to mention accurately. Now, at this writing, after over ten years of listening, and witnessing,
 it is clear that the bird specie count might actually surpass 500 for our place and 25 miles radius around us.The dragonfly,
 butterfly, and other such beasties are also impressive,   As stated elsewhere in this website, we are 
situated on a very heavily trafficked flyway for the Mariposa Monarca.  (Monarch Butterfly).

Read More - from Mexico Mike Nelson's Blog