El Gringo Viejo
Welcomes One and All
Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre
This is your invitation to visit and stay at a Rustic but comfortable, all adobe, classical Mexican home of the outback.
We are situated at "the end of the road". It is a true birdwatching paradise, and a wildlife refuge in the ancient
Provencia de Nuevo Santander (now Tamaulipas), established during the Spanish Colonial Period.
lease stay here on our web page
for a while; You are most welcomed.
You cancome to know us as you
read through our descriptions
of places and
things that make up our environs.
YOUR PRIVATE ENTRANCE
Thanks for having stopped by! We appreciate your time and interest. We think we have the ideal 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 email@example.com .
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.
El Gringo Viejo, owner of the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, walks the neighbour's Rhodesian Lion Hound, (named Bin Laden because he was born on 11 September 2001)...in the riverine forest that parallels the Rio Corona. Many of these Cypress Tress havebeen here for 500 years. There are more than a few that have been here since
the 600 a.d. period. The Rio Corona has had a continuous flow since recorded time, which began in the late 1500s.
Finding Us? It's really easy!! (We send a highway guide that will help considerably, as well)
Powder puff, cousin of the bottle brush
Excellent hummingbird attractant!
Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre
(a friendly tip ! Below, Click onto the little square on the lower-left for satellite view. It will show
the Mountains, cropping areas, and the remote, inaccessible areas!
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 (update - now perhaps as may as 470), 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 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, 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 types of hummingbirds, 4 types of orioles, or more,
seemingly enumerable types of warblers, wrens, and ground birds, finches, various
seed and gnat-eaters, and two types of trogons, who come by from time to time.
Many are also indigenous and / or frequent and adapted.
There are always the jays, mockingbirds, ani's (both grooved and smooth bill), Kiskadees (Texas and Mexican, 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 Tigre Springs and back, specifically for the mix of birds.
They came back again in April of the next year, as promised. 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 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 openning the window
and putting on the fan.
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 Guests will encounter nice
fluffy towels and face-cloths,a 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 the wedding.
One could say that even Dolly Parton could do her coiffure up real proud in this setting.
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 perhaps minutes). If it is a bit more important than that, however, we need to be promptly advised,
since any unrestricted flow would cause us a bit of a problem with supply.
we have towait 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.
from this supply,
at any time
stocked with two
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 theirfavourite tea or one of our own availabilities.
that anywhere in
Our water supply from the Ejido is of very high quality.
We also provide triple
from this supply,
as bottled water
at any time requested.
stocked with two bottles
There have been birthday parties, office parties, and even
associated with weddings and funerals
There have been all manner
of political leaders Presidential personalities,
of this or
of this of that
The magic of adobe walls and a cane ceiling always seems to
often lament not
pictures of the
of our fireplace
who have dried
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.
place has endured in this area since the first quarter
of the 1700's, mid-way
into the Spanish
not the largest of Mexico's
it was originally
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,
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
vaqueros,and five thousand
completelyself-contained, self-supporting and defending
During these times, it is a complex of individuals. Not long ago
Mexicanos, S.A. the world's largest cementproducer held the title due to deaths and legal changes
by the issues of time. Now, as before,
as a guest
lodge, andis open
tothe public. At this
time elderly cousins hold joint interests in the
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 andsome 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
dining facilities, as well as
traditional rustic sauna,
It is worth a visit and the staff is normally very tolerant of folks j
to enjoy the grounds
show a couple of the rooms
in the colonial section,
if requested, and if it is
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 ofoperation 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. One can imagine the
surprised when on the second night
sleet and snow
It was all very pleasant.
The clients were mostly
and were not overly concerned
a couple of inches
In any regard, this
isfull of lore, legends, ghosts,
visitor to invest a morning
or a day
or a meal
or a couple of beers there.
clients who come and stay at the
for three or four
nights on the
but it makes
to our clients
who have done it.
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
to the the
ownership of the Quinta
and its guests.
They have been better than
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 Engracia, and 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
constructionof 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
and we will have
to put them backSome 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.
(data-check - composite views - 287, 004 - 15 October 2016)
A Gringo in Rural Mexico
Voice from the Sierra Madre Oriental
YOUR PRIVATE CORRIDOR
Thanks for stopping by here, too! This is El Gringo Viejo with Smokey, the Crazy Cat,
and Prince, the Lazy Dog on
This is a place
"keep an eye on things".
cats, visitors, and
ofwonderment. 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 the edge
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. Upon visiting
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 PRIVATOURING.BLOGSPOT.COM.
There are opinions
bit of humor,
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
in parking lots and park
Any and all are welcomed to email comments and criticism and approvals.
a little too much at times.
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.
We installed our Official Road S
ign, more or less recently
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.
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 one guest-room, and it has its own private entrance and bath.
We take one, two, and rarely three individuals and no more. There are special rates for weekly (six nights or longer).
Three to five nights - one person: $ 49.00 / night
Two persons : $ 54.00 / night
(total room charge)
Six or more nights - One person : $ 40.00 / night
Two persons: $ 50.00 / night
(total room charge in United States Dollars
or cash Mexican Peso equivalent)
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
THE FAMOUS "LONG, WEST-FACING 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 greatMexican 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.
At times.... folks like to have an old -fashioned Texan - Mexican parrillada (mesquite, orange wood & 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).
(El Gringo Viejo is caught, actually doing a little work at the Parrilla)
Background music from somewhere (not too loud), dogs and cats patiently waiting for bones and morsels, lurk 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, serving and 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 because it's just such a pleasant
episode for the pleasure of the Old Gringo. A fully private parrillada can be arranged and provided at a fixed price,
depending upon what is desired by the client. This would normally 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. Mexican supplies 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. At supper, wine is usually included as a courtesy.
All other alcoholic beverages are sold at an extremely reasonable charge.
It also helps when our Mayordomo, Alvaro Balboa, 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
person who can.
also always warmly greeted
guests.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.)
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 a 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, whirr and 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 following times; 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 Puebla
and, 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 depressingto 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 weeksat 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 demandingposture was not so well received by those who sought
convenience of ridding 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 is 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 side, and 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