Night creatures, gators subject of naturalists talks

HARLINGEN — The Texas Master Naturalists two Valley chapters are targeting alligators and things that fly by night at March meetings in San Benito and Pharr.

On March 10 at the Cameron County Annex in San Benito, photographer Joseph Connors and Master Naturalist Jessica Tanguma will present a talk on “Creatures that Come Out at Night,” featuring native spiders, bats, moths and birds and how you can locate these yourself.

Connors is a noted practitioner of macro photography, or close-up photos, and frequently finds his subjects during night excursions when creatures here in the Valley tend to be more active. Tanguma is program coordinator for the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department who has worked at the McAllen Nature Center for four years.

The presentation sponsored by the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists begins at 7 p.m. at the annex at the corner of Williams Road and U.S. 83/77 in San Benito. There is no charge to attend.

On March 16 in Pharr, the South Texas Border Chapter of the Master Naturalists will meet for a presentation by Britney Marchan, assistant manager at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary.

A naturalist educator at the Island wildlife sanctuary, Machan will speak on “American Alligator: Man-eater or Misunderstood?” and will discuss the nature center’s recent addition of alligators.

She will discuss the definition of a nuisance alligator, speak on common negative misconceptions people have about alligators and discuss how to avoid dangerous situations with the reptiles.

Marchan is a Texas Master Naturalist who promotes education involving Valley ecology.

The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. at St. George Orthodox Church Hall, 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr.

The event is free and open to the public.