TBT: Wooden Folk Art

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Wooden musicians playing instruments and singing.

Oaxacan wood carvings have been around for less than 60 years, they have become one of the most popular folk art styles in Mexico. The monos de Madera or alebrijes as they are called in Spanish were originally created by carver Manuel Jimenez but soon became so popular that other people from his town and a few other communities in Oaxaca began carving to have an extra income. The economic boom created by the popularity of these colorful creatures has given many families the chance to have a better life in one of the poorest areas of the country.

In the 1940’s, with the construction of the Pan-American Highway, Oaxaca opened up to

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Wooden skeletons enjoying a boat ride.

tourism. Folk art stores were opened in Oaxca City and the Monte Alban archeological site and artisans finally had an outlet for their crafts.

Mach 21st marked the day of World Wood Day and International Day of Forests. This day highlighted wood as an eco-friendly and renewable biomaterial and raises awareness on the key role wood plays in a sustainable world through biodiversity and forest conservation.

Quinta Mazatlan is proud to display an array of folk art pieces depicting this time honored tradition. The Folk Art Room features over 1,400 pieces of art from Ann Maddox Moore’s private collection. Long-time McAllen native, art collector, enthusiast and community supporter, Ann Moore has accumulated Mexican folk art for over 40 years. The detailed

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Whimsical devil dancing with skeleton.

work on each piece is exceptionally creative and shows the artistic ability of each artesian.

Want to learn more about the history of the area and Quinta Mazatlan? History tours are offered every Friday 10am -11am and are included in the General Admission fee: $2 Children under 12, $2 Seniors (65+) and $3 Adults. Free admission to members and children ages 4 years & below. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Private bookings are available. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen, TX.

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Colorful armadillo with spines.

The Texas Tortoise

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Texas Tortoise inching its way across the South Texas environment.

The Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) has yellowish-orange, “horned” scutes (plates) on its shell and cylindrical and columnar hind legs, like those of an elephant. About one and 1.5 inches long (and wide) at hatching, this turtle will normally grow to have a shell length of about 8.5 inches.

The Texas tortoise is a very docile creature which is primarily vegetarian. They feed heavily on the fruit of the common prickly pear and on other mostly succulent plants available to them. Although the life span is unknown, it is thought by some that breeding age is attained in about 15 years and that longevity may be as great as 60 years. The Texas tortoise has a low reproductive rate, historic heavy exploitation by pet suppliers, and other factors have led to a severe population decline of the species. This has resulted in its being listed in 1977 as a protected nongame (threatened) species, thus affording protection from being taken, possessed, transported, exported, sold, or offered for sale.

The Texas tortoise can be found in dry arid regions. Their range is from south Texas into eastern Mexico where it is found in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.

Want to learn more about the Texas Tortoise or other native South Texas fauna. Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Sculpture Trail Tour – Thursdays at 10am

FEE: Free with general admission.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Zodiac Signs

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Eight zodiac and plant symbols chiseled in the flagstone.

Upon completion Quinta Mazatlan during the 1940s, the Matthews installed a flagstone walkway up to the mansion. It has been reported that Mrs. Matthews chiseled the signs of the zodiac and planets at intervals up the walkway. She was known to follow the astrological signs and believed it would bring serenity to the mansion.

Once the Schultz family purchased the mansion in 1968, renovations began and the walkway was one of them. The flag stone walkway was removed and placed in a corner of the estate until they would be needed. A patio was added just outside the master bedroom as an area to unwind and regroup oneself. The masons were told to use the flagstones, but were not informed of the uniqueness of them. Upon inspection of the completed project, an error was uncovered. The masons did not notice the astrological signs and only placed eight of them right side up. The concrete had set, so rectifying the mistake, was not possible.

Want to hear tales about the families that built and lived at Quinta Mazatlán for a total of 60 years before the City of McAllen purchased the estate and opened it in 2006 as a mansion with a mission? Bring your friends and tour one of the largest adobe homes in the state of Texas, Quinta Mazatlan. The History of Quinta Mazatlan Tour is hosted on Fridays at 10am. Discover how this massive structure was built from adobe and the secrets to its longevity. Stories of intriguing guests and happenings at the mansion will leave you wanting more.

Tours have begun and will continue weekly through April 2017. All public tours are included in admission fee: $2 Children under 12, $2 Senior Citizens and $3 Adults. Free admission to members and children ages 4 years & below. Private bookings are available. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Archaeopteryx

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Archaeopteryx ready for flight.

Archaeopteryx is the oldest-known bird. Unlike modern-day birds, it had teeth, three claws on each wing, a flat sternum (breastbone), belly ribs (gastralia), and a long, bony tail. Like modern-day birds, it had feathers, a lightly-built body with hollow bones, a wishbone (furcula) and reduced fingers. This crow-sized animal may have been able to fly, but not very far and not very well. Although it had feathers and could fly, it had similarities to dinosaurs, including its teeth, skull, lack of a horny bill, and certain bone structures.

The first Archaeopteryx fossil (a feather) was found in 1860 near Solnhofen, Germany, and was named by the German paleontologist Hermann von Meyer in 1861. A total of seven Archaeopteryx specimens has been found, plus the feather.

Amazingly detailed Archaeopteryx fossils have been found in fine-grained Jurassic limestone in southern Germany. This fine-grained limestone is used in the lithographic process, hence the species name “lithographica” given to the early Archaeopteryx specimen.

Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Sculpture Trail Tour – Thursdays at 10am

FEE: Free with general admission.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Collared Peccary

The collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) has a pig-like snout, a hefty head and shoulders and small legs with hoofed feet. It has thick black and brown bristly fur. It has a collar of white fur around its neck and small, straight tusks. It is two to three feet long and stands about

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Female Collared Peccary with two reds by her side.

one and a half feet to two feet tall. It has a musk gland at the top of its rump. It uses its musk to identify the members of its group and to mark its territory. Locally it is known as a Javelina.

Peccaries thrive in brushy desert zones and rocky canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Texas south to Argentina. They travel in herds between 6-50 individuals looking for food like berries, cacti, fruit, grasses and nuts. It is especially fond of agave and prickly pear. In fact, it gets some of the water it needs from the prickly pear. It will also root in the ground for bulbs, fungi, and roots. Occasionally it will eat amphibians, insects and reptiles.

The dominant male of the herd will mate with the females as they come into heat. If more than one female comes into heat at the same time, a subordinate male may mate with her. The collared peccary breeds throughout the year. The gestation period is 21 weeks. The female gives birth in dens or in a depression in the ground. She has two to six young, named “reds”, due to their red fur color. The young reds can travel with the herd a day after birth. Reds are weaned when they are two or three months old.

In the summer, the collared peccary will forage at night when the temperatures are cooler. During the fierce heat of midday, they will bed down in the shade under a bush or boulders or in a cave to stay cool. In the winter, it is more active in the day and often bed down with other peccaries to stay warm.

The peccary is territorial and will defend their territory from other peccaries. Territories are defended by the rubbing of the rump oil gland against rocks, tree trunks and stumps. They fend off rivals by squaring off, laying back their ears, and mashing their canines. If it has to come to a fight, they charge head on, bite, and occasionally lock jaws.

Want to learn more about Collard Peccaries or other native South Texas fauna. Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Sculpture Trail Tour – Thursdays at 10am

FEE: Free with general admission.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

TBT: Schultz wedding anniversary

On March 12, 1955 – Marilyn LeEllen Smith married Frank Lewis Schultz. They would have

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Marilyn and Frank in the courtyard surround by bougainvillea plants.

been celebrating 62 years of married bliss this coming week. The Schultz family lived at Quinta Mazatlan for 30 glorious years, and raised a daughter and a son.

Marilyn was the owner of Gallery Editions, LLD, a commemorative plate business in McAllen and she also had the patented for the foam container it was shipped in. One area where Marilyn really excelled was in music. She was multi-instrumental, playing the clarinet, piano, organ, pipe organ and harpsichord. Anytime one of the organizations she belonged to needed a pianist, she would volunteer for the task. Her musical talents included earning an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Applied Music. She loved to sing and often gave singing lessons. She was the Music Director for the Alamo Community Church and primary organist and pianist at the McAllen United Methodist Church. If that was not enough to keep her busy, she was the author of “Mail Order on the Kitchen Table”, a marketing consultant, scuba diver, photographer, recipient of various accolades and

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Marilyn and Frank in the living room posing with their cat ‘Simpatico’

inducted into various professional and social organizations were all part of Marilyn Schultz identity.

Frank Schultz was a citrus farmer. After receiving a marketing degree from the University of California at Berkley, Frank returned to the family business, Crest Fruit, to launch the first full scale Frank Lewis advertisement. He became known as the “King of Grapefruit” for his marketing of the Royal Ruby Red Grapefruit and its products. His two companies, Frank Lewis and Cooper were thriving endeavors to use the tactics of mail order to get products all-round the United States. In his spare time, he enjoyed scuba diving and helping his wife with many social events. As a humanitarian he often sent truckloads of Texas Ruby grapefruit to the Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona to be distributed to the Navajo Indians.

Together, Frank and Marilyn were a driving force in establishing the fine arts in the Rio Grande Valley. They were instrumental in starting the McAllen Museum, Tower Club, Valley Symphony Orchestra and brought many fine arts activities to the Rio Grande Valley. In 1985, Frank and Marilyn Schultz researched, applied and received the Texas Historical Commission to dedicate a Historical Marker, located at the front entrance of Quinta Mazatlan. For the first time, this private residence earned recognition as a public heritage.

Want to hear tales about the families that built and lived at Quinta Mazatlán for a total of 60 years before the City of McAllen purchased the estate and opened it in 2006 as a mansion with a mission? Bring your friends and tour one of the largest adobe homes in the state of Texas, Quinta Mazatlan. The History of Quinta Mazatlan Tour is hosted on Fridays at 10am. Discover how this massive structure was built from adobe and the secrets to its longevity. Stories of intriguing guests and happenings at the mansion will leave you wanting more.

Tours have begun and will continue weekly through April 2017. All public tours are included in admission fee: $2 Children under 12, $2 Senior Citizens and $3 Adults. Free admission to members and children ages 4 years & under. Private bookings are available. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Bobcat

The Bobcat (lynx rufus or felis rufus) is the most common wildcat in North America. The cat is named for its short tail. They are tawny to gray with indistinct black spotting. They have a cheek ruff and a short stubby tail. The bobcat tail is only dark on the top of the tip;

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Bobcat lapping up some cool water during the South Texas heat wave.

the underneath is white or pale—lynx tails have and all dark tip. Bobcats have smaller ear tufts and smaller feet than the lynx does. The weighted average for males is 22 pounds and 14 pounds for females. They can be 25-41 inches long and 17 to 23 inches high. The bobcat’s growls and snarls are so deep and fearsome, they sound as if they are coming from a much bigger animal.

Bobcats are excellent climbers, hunters, and stalkers. They prey on chipmunks, hares, rabbits, squirrels and, other rodents, and birds. In the winter when other prey is scare the males will even hunt deer, or if near human habitations, sheep, poultry and young pigs.

Bobcats live from the Canadian/USA border down through to Mexico. They tend to be larger in the north and smaller in the south. Their habitat includes coniferous and mixed forest, swamp areas, desert, and scrubland. Bobcats can have home ranges as big as 20 square miles.

They are solitary animals with each bobcat having a main den (often the natal den) and several secondary dens (shelter dens). Dens are often in a cave or under a rock shelter, but can be in hollow logs, under fallen trees, or in brush piles. Bobcats mark their territory or home range with urine, feces, scent markings, scratches on trees and scrapes (piles of dirt and debris marked with scent).

Litters of bobcats range in size from 1 to 6 kittens, weighing 10-12 ounces at birth. They are weaned at 12 weeks of age and independent of their mother at 10-12 months. The longevity of bobcats in the wild is 12-13 years.

Want to learn more about Bobcats or other native South Texas fauna. Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Sculpture Trail Tour – Thursdays at 10am

FEE: Free with general admission.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.