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Tranquil Beginnings

20140905 Tranquil-BeginningsUpper Valley art League member David Bowen is a musician, but only recently entered the visual arts scene when he became a member of UVAL about three years ago. He is an accomplished organist, pianist and harpsichordist whose primary interest is early music. Having no experience in the visual arts, the floodgates opened when he immersed himself in all the instruction available as he attended many workshops, and studied with Ines Kowalyszyn who says that his rapid progress is based on "practice, practice, practice." The fruits his labors and dedication will be on display in his exhibit, “Tranquil Beginnings,” that opens at McAllen Stained Glass this Friday, Sept. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. It is located at 800 Main St., Ste. 400.

VSO opens new Sky Tower Chamber Concert series

20140905 VSOThe Valley Symphony Orchestra (VSO) presents “Hungarian Passion” for their new Sky Tower Club Chamber Concert. This new chamber series debuts on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the newly-remodeled Sky Tower Club located on the 17th Floor of Chase Bank located on 200 S. 10th St. and Business 83 in McAllen. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. This is the 62nd season the VSO brings together the talents of musicians from across the Valley and beyond for Valley audiences.           

In this new setting, the evening offers the ambience of the 17th floor setting for a brief reception at 6 p.m. that includes complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres followed by a 45-minute music program. After the program, mingle for another 45 minutes with other members of the audience, musicians and supporters of the arts in the Concert Connection Post-Reception.

The concert features the talents of virtuoso pianist Éva Polgár in an intimate atmosphere to enjoy music in the sky from Hungary and a chance to mingle with musicians and other classical music lovers.

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Celebrate Hummingbird Days at Quinta Mazatlan

20140829 HummingbirdCelebrate National Hummingbird Day from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Quinta Mazatlan on Saturday, Sept. 6, with keynote presentations on hummingbirds, designing gardens, hummingbird photography tips, art exhibit, native plant sale, special gift store items and more.

Quinta Mazatlan will kick-off the morning with keynote speaker, Rene Valdez, coming from Monterrey Mexico. Valdez will talk about hummingbirds of the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico. He will be followed by a program by horticulturist Ouina Rutledge, “Designing a Hummingbird Garden.” Mike Heep, owner of Heep’s Native Plant Nursery, will bring an array of great native plants for hummingbirds, along with his expertise on how to care for the plants. The program will be followed by a short walk to view the Hummingbird Garden at Quinta Mazatlan to get ideas to take home.

The Texas Nature & Environmental Photographers (TexNEP) booth with offer hummingbird prints for sale along with hummingbird photography. Vendors will be selling everything for hummingbird shopping, including feeders, ant traps, cleaning brushes, books, jewelry and more.

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2014 Hawk Watch begins next month

20140822 HawkJoin Bentsen State Park naturalists and volunteers as they spot and count thousands of migrating raptors during the annual Hawk Watch. It takes place at the Hawk Tower, Thursdays through Sundays in September and every day in October from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. both months.

Birds of prey are indicators of environmental well-being and Bentsen’s annual Hawk Watch program contributes to HawkCount – a long-term study monitoring raptor population trends and the largest standardized raptor migration count network in the world. HawkCount is a project of Hawk Migration Association of North America.

Participation offers an opportunity to learn more about the migration and field identification of birds of prey. Novice and beginning hawk watchers can practice their raptor identification skills with the help of naturalists on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Hawk Tower.

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Bentsen-RGV Sate Park celebrates bats

20140815 Mexican-Free-Tailed-BatCome out after dark and celebrate bats at Bentsen-RGV State Park on Saturday, Aug. 23, as park naturalists take park guests on a guided walk to look and listen for nocturnal wildlife during the Creatures of the Night excursion. From 8 to 10 p.m., they will seek to shatter myths and misconceptions of the often misunderstood nocturnal creatures, such as the Mexican free-tailed bat (shown), while explaining their habits and the role they play in the natural ecosystem as pollinators and seed dispersers. Participants should bring drinking water, insect repellent and a camera. Advance reservations are needed. Call 584-9156 to reserve a spot. The park is located at the southernmost end of Bentsen Palm Drive in Mission.

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