Late this afternoon I flew to Laredo for business. Laredo is a border town. I like that it has a small, easy-to-access airport, lots of good Tex/Mex food, and a lot of heart.
Right by the airport is Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. It's a lake surrounded by the scrub
brush that is the way things look here. I had been there once before, and decided to visit it again.
I saw great egrets, bossy cactus wrens, a mockingbird, a plague of grackles, white-winged doves, killdeer, and two jackrabbits. I did not see green jays, white-collared seedeaters, or green parakeets, which are local "birds to see". Here's a few photos I took:
I went to a local flame-cooked chicken place which I thought was pollo palenque but which has apparently now become known as tori pollo asado. This place is a good fast-food chicken eaterie, a bit like El Pollo Loco, but more authentic. The woman who took my order did not speak English. I do not have much Spanish, but was able to get an order coherently made, missing only (until later) that she had asked me whether I wished dark meat or white meat on my 4 piece chicken combo. I am puzzled that some people argue that the free market should determine everything who also insist that English must be the official language. Why not let the market decide that?
They say a jackrabbit is a hare, but jackhare, or even, more formally, johnhare, does not have the same ring to it. It was fun to see two jackrabbits tonight--they were not huge like southern California hares can be, but were fun to see nonetheless. I liked to see prickly pears with fruit. I liked the fishing pier with people catfishing. I liked that people were swimming. I liked that the exit invited me to "regresso pronto". I did not like that my hotel room was a "smoking room". I have never smoked anything in my life, being of that school of thought that my moods are intriguing enough without the need for chemical alteration. I never would have guessed that 2012's election would feature an Ayn Rand fan seeking higher office.
I really enjoyed Chris Holm's novel "Dead Harvest", which sets a mystery in a heaven/hell cosmology featuring demons and angels. Next I am going to tackle a science fiction epic. I am about a mile from the Mexican border. Tomorrow after my business I will fly home again.