Great Blue Heron

Bronze Heron QM 6-9-12 076 (3)(1)

A life-like sculpture of the Great Blue Heron. Come to Quinta Mazatlan for an closer look!

Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) have long skinny legs and use them to walk in shallow water. They walk slowly or stand absolutely still for long periods of time waiting for the fish to come in range. They also have long skinny necks and as soon as the prey is close enough they plunge their sharp bills into the water piercing their prey.

Their specially shaped neck vertebrae allow the Great Blue Herons to curl their neck into an S shape for a more aerodynamic flight profile and to quickly strike prey at a distance.

Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision. The primary diet of Herons consists of fish. However, they can quickly adapt to eating other animals like frogs, lizards, snakes, dragonflies, grasshoppers, salamanders, crabs, shrimp, crayfish, small mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, and other aquatic insects.

The Great Blue Heron seems large with a wingspan of 6 feet while flying, but weigh less than 6 pounds due to its hollow bones. The height of both sexes can be anywhere from 4-5 feet.

Male Great Blue Herons collect much of the nest material, gathering sticks from the ground and nearby shrubs and trees, and from unguarded and abandoned nests, and presenting them to the female. She weaves a platform and a saucer-shaped nest cup, lining it with pine needles, moss, reeds, dry grass, mangrove leaves, or small twigs. The female will lay 2-6 pale blue eggs and incubate them for 28 days.

Want to learn more about the Great Blue Heron or other native South Texas animals? Call to schedule a private one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour 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.

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

Great Blue Heron 118(1)

Great Blue Heron peering the pond for prey.

TBT: Mothers of Quinta Mazatlan

“Mother knows best” is an expression referring to maternal instinct and wisdom. A phrase often used by a mother after giving advice to her child, or after her prediction has come true. Quinta Mazatlan mansion has been home to women who strived to educate the public of what they felt was best for the community.

Marcia Matthews 1891-1963

Marcia Crary Jamieson

Marcia Crary Jamieson Matthews was the first Mother of Quinta Mazatlan. She attended Smith College and had an array of hobbies. A few of her interests were interest in the celestial bodies, fondness for animals, writing and expressive orator. Along with Jason Matthews, she owned, edited, published and broadcasted the “American Mercury Magazine”. Being an excellent writer and orator, she expressed her pro-American and anti-communist views through her magazine, appearances and broadcast. ‘We shall smash them with our Clenched First’ was the philosophy Marica professed in her writings and dialogues.

 

Marilyn Photo(1)

Marilyn Schultz

Marilyn Schultz enjoyed a wide variety of professions and hobbies, and she excelled at all of them. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Music from Pan American University – Edinburg, Marilyn used her creative side to become a photographer, professional musician and a scuba diver. Marilyn’s passion for the fine arts was used in establishing the McAllen Museum and bringing various fine art programs to the Rio Grande Valley such as the Bolshoi Ballet, opera singers and symphony orchestras. Being the owner of Gallery Limited Editions, the maker of commemorative plates, she used her marketing talents to write a book, “Mail Order on the Kitchen Table”, educating induvial how to start and manage their own businesses.

Quinta Mazatlan is a mansion with a mission inspiring families to enjoy nature in their own backyards…and around the world. Explore our birding trails, 10,000 square foot historic adobe home, art gallery, nature exhibits and gift store! Quinta Mazatlan has something for everyone from leisurely walks through the woods and historic home to programs for all ages.

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? Call to schedule a private one-of-a-kind History Tour and discover how this massive structure was built from adobe and the secrets to its longevity.

Green kingfisher

Green Kingfisher 123

Green Kingfisher perched with a fish in its mouth!

Green Kingfishers (Chloroceryle americana) are always found near water such as ponds, rivers and streams. They are about 12 in. long overall with a bill about 1.9 in. long. The heavy bill appears even larger in comparison to the rest of the body. They favor areas where there is dense low growth on the banks, providing low perches close to the water. They use their wings to making shallow dives from perches over open water to capture prey in their bills. They eat mostly small fish, crayfish, crustaceans, prawns and aquatic insects.

Nesting pair defends territory along stream, maintaining good distance from other pairs. Nest site is in burrow in vertical dirt bank near water. The burrow is excavated by both sexes and is usually 2-3′ long, 5-8′ above the water level, and no more than about 2″ in diameter.

The female lays 3-6, white eggs. Incubation is done by both parents for 19-21 days. Females incubate the eggs at night while males part of day. The young are fed by both parents. Young leave the nest about 22-26 days after hatching and may be fed by parents for several days thereafter.

At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover. Visit us at 600 Sunset Drive, Mcallen Texas or call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Frank Lewis Schultz

FrankLewisSchultz1_051107

Frank was the most steadfast of men; smart, loving, giving , a many faceted man of untold talents and generosity.

May 9th marks the passing of Mr. Frank Lewis Schultz at the age of 78. Frank was a citrus farmer that purchased Quinta Mazatlan in 1968 and along with his wife restored it to historic land mark. 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 hunting, scuba diving and helping his wife with many social events. They were both instrumental in starting the International Museum of Arts and Science, The Tower Club, The Valley Symphony Orchestra and bringing classic acts such as Opera singer Beverly Sills and the Russian Bolshoi Ballet to the former McAllen Civic Center. 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. An aspiring personal hobby Frank had was creating, – Schultz Estates Wine. The wine was made with family and friends to be shared and enjoyed by his family and friends. His son Stephen describes Frank as a dedicated family man, loving husband, stern father, but loving. He was a hard worker and compassionate to his fellow man.

Frank with grapefruits(1)

A newspaper article of Frank Lewis!

TBT: National Packaging Design Day

US4386702-1May 7, is National Packaging Design Day. It is a day that the art of packaging designs is recognized. The design community and those appreciative of beautiful, well-crafted packaging craftsmanship is celebrated.

Marilyn Schultz owned the Gallery Editions Limited Inc. In McAllen and created commemorative plates for the Rose Society and other organizations. The plates had to be shipped to customers without being broken during shipment. Marilyn noticed an opportunity to create something that she could utilize with her business. After several attempts, she finally designed the perfect foam plastic plate mold that her plates could be shipped in and they would not be damaged. The foam plastic plate packaging container would be able to hold one plate.

Marilyn Schultz filed for the patent of molded foam plastic plate packaging box on October 23, 1981. The inventors of Frank L. and Marilyn Schultz were granted the patent on June 7, 1983. The patent number is 4386702 for the molded foam packaging box.

The molded foam plastic plate packing box for china plates of different sizes has a bottom and lid each with opposite cooperating circular ridges between which a plate is confined.

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? Call to schedule a private one-of-a-kind History Tour and discover how this massive structure was built from adobe and the secrets to its longevity.

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

US4386702-2

“In boxing of china plates of the dinner plate type, great care must be taken to protect them against shock or crushing. Not only must the box itself stand rough handling, but it also must not impose local stresses on the plates within ” – Marilyn Schultz

Leafcutter ants

Leaf Cutter Ants 2 5-27-16

Leafcutter ant carrying a leaf to its colony fungal farm!

Leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta) have much in common anatomically; however, the two can be identified by their external differences. Atta ants have three pairs of spines and a smooth exoskeleton on the upper surface of the thorax, while Acromyrmex ants have four pairs and a rough exoskeleton.

These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all common to South and Central America, Mexico, and parts of the southern United States. Leafcutter ants can carry more than 5000 times their body weight and cut and process fresh vegetation (leaves, flowers, and grasses) to serve as the nutritional substrate for their fungal cultivars. Leafcutters can’t digest the nutrients of leaves directly, so they use a fungus called Attamyces as a kind of external digestive system.

The ants create a well-known example of a symbiosis called Ant-fungus mutualism. This is a relationship where ants actively cultivate fungus much like humans farm crops as a food source. The ants and fungi are dependent on each other for survival.

In a mature leafcutter colony, ants are divided into groups, based mostly on size and perform different functions. Leafcutter ants have more groups than any other species of ant. There are 22 different community jobs the colony group members must perform.

In the spring, some larvae develop into larger (3/4 inch long) winged male and female ants, called reproductives. When fully developed they will fly away from the nest, mate while in flight, then the queen will find a spot to begin a new colony. Once she finds the perfect spot she loses her wings and begins laying eggs.

Want to learn more about Leafcutter ants or other native South Texas fauna. Call to schedule a private one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour 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.

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

TBT: The Doors!

Front Door 0

The exceptional front doors are accented with Cantera stone blocks.

One point of interest at Quinta Mazatlan are the front doors. The doors are original to the mansion that were carved by Peter Mansbendel (1883-1940). He was a very skilled woodcarver from Switzerland who relocated to Austin, TX in 1911. He has numerous wood carved pieces throughout the great state of Texas. Most notably are the massive doors at the Spanish Governor’s Palace and the Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, both located in San Antonio, TX. Mr. Matthews commissioned Peter Mansbendel to create similar doors for Quinta Mazatlan like the Spanish Governor’s Palace.

Mr. Matthews’s sense of humor is portrayed on the panels of the doors. Instead of gargoyles, he had his likeness carved on the top panels. His eyes on the right door stare at you as you approach and the ones on the left follow you into the home. On the bottom panels the side profiles of Mrs. Matthews and daughter are visible.

Other intrinsic wood carvings on the doors make these doors one of a kind. Whittled on the top of each door are 3 scallop shells. The shells represent the 3 ships that Christopher Columbus sailed to discover America. The shells signify that in your many adventures that you might go on, you always return home.

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 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.

Front Door 1

Finely carved wooden doors depicting Mr. Matthews whimsical creativity!