(Mission, TX) – The National Butterfly Center and the Upper Valley Art League announce Art in the Park, a summer program for artists of all ages in the Rio Grande Valley.
From June 6 – August 21, 2015, the gardens and grounds at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, will be open at no charge to members of the Upper Valley Art League for plein aire painting, sketching and photography. Works produced on site or in the studio from field studies and observations in the outdoors may be entered into the juried competition and show for the chance to win scholarships and prizes.
All who are interested are encouraged to attend the kick-off event for this program at the National Butterfly Center at 9 AM, Saturday, June 6. A guided tour of the property will be provided at this time, along with instructions for participants and deadlines for the contest.
(Mission, TX) – This week, record U.S. sightings of butterflies have been reported at the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas. Specifically, the 2nd sighting on record of a Red-sided Swallowtail (Mimoides phaon)came from Dan Jones, on May 19; and Mike Rickard recorded the 3rd sighting of a Dusted Spurwing (Antigonus erosus).These subtropical butterflies of Mexico are considered “strays” to the United States. The Red-sided Swallowtail, for example, belongs to the Sierra Madre Oriental and ranges up to the southern state of Nuevo Leon.
Although several species of large, mostly-black swallowtails may be found in the Rio Grande Valley, Dan Jones knew he’d spotted something special when this one flew past him in the gardens on Tuesday.
As published in The Monitor, February 14, 2015
January 1, 2015, Chris Tenney started his Big Year for butterflies. This personal quest to locate and identify as many species as possible in 365 days is not an activity for the unprepared or faint-hearted; rather, it requires focus and determination if numbers are to be tracked and racked up, reported and defended, in what often becomes a contest among naturalists in search of bragging rights and field status.
This is not Tenney’s kind of quest.
Lanky and soft-spoken, rumbled and weathered, deliberate and unassuming, he does not appear to be leading a charge, marching across America in pursuit of a goal; but don’t let this fool you. Tenney is a man on a mission, and butterflies may just a pretense for his first significant trip alone.
Two years ago, January, marked the loss of Tenney’s true love, May, his wife of forty years. Together, they criss-crossed the country, discovering special places and creating memories that he cherishes. Recollections of their experiences in places like Missoula, Montana, and Zion National Park, are guiding his steps, today, as he seeks to honor her time here, as well as her passing.
Talking with Tenney, it soon becomes clear his Big Year is less about setting a record than it is about creating a present that simultaneously celebrates their bond and releases him to complete the rest of his journey in this new form, on his own. With this in mind, staff at the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas, eagerly anticipated his arrival, which occurred befittingly on the first day in which the sun broke through the blanket of winter clouds.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2014
‘Lady in Purple’ Takes the Grande Prix in North American Butterfly Photo Contest
(Mission, TX) – Jonathan McElvery, of Massachusetts, won the Grande Prix title and $500 prize in the North American Butterfly Photo Contest with his portrait of a Painted Lady. This prestigious contest is part of the annual Texas Butterfly Festival, which accepts submissions from anywhere in the world, so long as the image captured is that of a free-flying species that may be found in North America. Entry fees for the contest support the environmental conservation and education efforts of the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas.
(Mission, TX) – Did you know that one of every three bites of food you eat is produced by a pollinator? Members of the RGV Chapter of the Texas Chefs’ Association do! That is why they celebrate the butterflies, birds and bees at the 19th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival.
For the second straight year, these culinary artists will prepare the freshest and most flavorful foods South Texas has to offer for visitors from all over the world. Under the direction of chapter president, Santiago “Jimmy” de la Cruz, many of the outstanding and rising stars on the local restaurant scene will enjoy this opportunity to shine.
“I love to eat, play and create,” explains Chef de la Cruz, “And I get great personal satisfaction when people enjoy eating what I’ve created for them. The people who come to the festival appreciate the regional twist we put on familiar tastes, as well as the opportunity to experience exotic foods—the things they may not be introduced to at home.”
Joining de la Cruz is the Valley’s only Certified Executive Chef, Dustin Stair, Culinary Services Director with Sunshine Retirement at The Gardens of Brookridge. A former instructor at the International Culinary Institute, Stair says the key to great food is passion.
“Many people can cook with art, skill and precision,” asserts Stair, “but passion is the secret ingredient; the one that elevates a dish or a meal, and makes it most memorable. The festival participants get that. They have their own passion, for butterflies!”