The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

National Butterfly Center in Mission TX

Today the sun made an appearance early and warmed the day up so we decided to visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission TX. One thing you have to remember about the Valley is that there are a string of towns and small cities in a row so it isn't that far from one place to another. Sometimes you don't even know when you are in the next town.

First stop is inside to pay the admission fee and then to check out the merchandise for sale. They have all kinds of beautiful T-Shirts with butterfly and bird prints on them. They also have ones that start out white with black outlines of various scenes, flowers, birds, butterflies, etc., but get them in the sun and they morph into beautifully colored scenes. They also have jewelry, aprons, cards, etc. You'll want to take a look for sure because they also have all kinds of information about butterflies and their life cycles. You also learn to tell the difference between butterflies and moths and it isn't necessarily their colors.

We stepped outside to the garden next to the building. Although this winter has been chillier than normal, we still found some pretty flowers.

Then we hopped back into the car and drove back further back on the property and parked.

We wandered over to the bird feeding area. This photo is a little close up so you can't see the whole bath but it is a rock balancing on another rock. The water flows into it along the branch you can see over it.....very natural and unique looking.  There are trees all around this area with half oranges and grapefruit stuck into branches for the birds. Surrounding the area are benches and picnic tables so you can sit and quietly watch all the birds flitting through this feeding area.  There were also seeds on the ground for the smaller birds and a feeder hanging from a tree. It was beautiful and very peaceful with only the sounds of the birds since there weren't a lot of people there.

This red squirrel stopped by for a drink.

Great Kiskadees are a treat for bird watchers who visit south Texas....they have a boisterous attitude and coloring:  a black bandit's mask, a yellow belly, and flashes of warm reddish-brown when they fly. They like to sit out in the open and attract your attention with "kis-ka-dee" calls and short flights.  Birdie said they were very rare when she started birding in the early 90s.

Green Jay......initially I thought I was seeing another green parrot when it flew over because it is very green underneath and I'm such a novice.  Green Jays are colorful  tropical birds found primarily in Mexico and South America making its way into the United States in southern Texas. They are beautiful.

We also saw a number of Ladder-backed Woodpeckers.

Look at this big guy! He was about two feet long.

He was moving around and stopped long enough to pose for me.

The butterflies were few and far between on this day.....still a little cool (about 60) and windy. I bet they will be out in force with the warm week in the 70s and 80s we have coming up.

Another nice little shady area to take a break.

There were more of the tiny butterflies.

And a bee feeding on the nectar as well.


Another Kisskadee....they really are beautiful.

Golden fronted woodpecker.

Four Cattle Egrets flew in as a crew and settled down to strut around the area as well. They look like chickens when they walk.

You really have to see this sign......

in order to "see" this unique sculpture.  Otherwise you get caught up in looking at the individual tires.

We had a wonderful time at the National Butterfly Center.  One day I want to come back when there are a lot of butterflies flitting around but this visit was nice as well.


  1. WOW, great pictures. I enjoyed them all but especially the green jay and the turtle.

  2. Gosh, this beautiful place is going on our bucket list--your photos are great too! Thank you for this gorgeous post--take good care!

  3. I never heard of green jays, would love to see one someday.


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