March 4th - 10th , 1998

Natchez, MS Brownsville TX. is a sleepy little Texas town on the Rio Grande across from Matamoros Mexico. Our visit here was somewhat Brownsville TX initiated by a desire to slow down and catch up with much of the things we had put off when in areas of high activities. Mostly writing, as we found ourselves many articles in arrears. But Brownsville is not without its interesting places.  Our first activity was to try to find a place to walk along the Rio Grande river. Just south of Brownsville, the National Audubon Society runs the Sabal Palm Grove Sanctuary. The Sabal palm is a tall magnificent tree that in its adult stage rivals the giant palms of Hawaii. Its requirement for a wet environment has led to its reduction in the area, asBrownsville TX farming and natural activities have steadily decreased the available water, while the heat has increased.  An imported European house plant, similar to Kutzo has invaded the area further damaging the young palms and many other plants. Marty Smillie, the naturalist Brownsville TX we met, explained the various differences in the palms, then sent us off on a self guided tour of a half mile trek of land which is home to many different birds.  After we had completed the trek, Marty directed us to a trail leading south away from the office with instructions to take the road at the end and then a small trail that ran off it, which would eventually lead us to the Rio Grande. We wandered through the foliage and over ant hills occupied by large red ants and through some short grass to a hill overlookingBrownsville TX the Rio Grande. I worked my way down the embankment and found an animal trail at the edge of the river. From here I could survey the manicured lands of Mexico on the other side.  The next day we drove out to Los Fresnos to pick grapefruit but the farm which reportedly allowed such activities, had closed for the season. This had Brownsville TX not reduced the availability of citrus fruit which comes across the border daily. We returned to the center of town and the Historic Brownsville Museum, which is housed in the old Brownsville Southern Pacific Railroad Passenger Depot that was built in 1928 as part of the extension into the Rio Grande Valley.  A fine example ofBrownsville TX Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the depot features a tile roof, arcades, curvilinear parapets and other ornamentation common to that style. The inside is a mixture of historic items that relate to the local area. Laura couldn't help stopping at the old time switch board to simulate a call. She confided that she had always wanted to operated a switch board. There was a separate military room which displayed the attire of the soldiers who served at Fort Brown.  Likewise, I had fun Brownsville TX playing railroad engineer as I swung from the rear of a caboose which is mounted outside the museum.Brownsville TX A project of a local scout group, the car is a nice added touch to the train station atmosphere.  The next day we drove down to Boca Chica beach where the Rio Grande dumps into the Gulf of Mexico. On the way back we were stopped by a Border Patrol road block looking for illegals. The term is now politically incorrect. The new term is undocumented.

In the middle of Brownsville as it is in many cities, there is a cemetery which is both old and beautiful. Here in their final resting places are the heroes and villains of the past century. We wondered through reading the stones. An orange tree in the middle gave a momentary citrus delight.

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