Ruby Red LbNA # 29229
|Placed Date||Mar 13 2007|
|Found By||Nac Trail Cat|
|Last Update||Mar 7 2008|
*** Part of my TX Birding Trail Series ***
Terrain Difficulty: Easy (flat, 400 yards RT)
Recommended Ink: red, orange & yellow
Originally known as "the forbidden fruit", it wasn't until the 1800's that a Jamaican farmer called the fruit "grapefruit" for the grape-like cluster in which it grows on trees. In 1823, grapefruit made its way to the United States in the form of seeds brought by either Spanish or French settlers to Florida. Eventually, grapefruit made its way to South Texas, most likely by visiting Spanish missionaries, and the first reported planting of a grove in Texas was 1893. Initial grapefruit plantings were the white and pink varieties, but an accidental discovery of red grapefruit growing on a pink grapefruit tree gave rise to the Texas Red Grapefruit Industry. With several red grapefruit varieties and names being shipped commercially, keeping track of it soon became a marketing problem. So all the red varieties of fruit started being marketed under the name "Ruby Red", and it was the first grapefruit to be granted a U.S. patent. John H. Shary, a developer originally from Omaha, Nebraska, was so impressed by the small crop raised by early citrus experimenters that he felt citrus was the crop of the future for Texas. Shary combined his determination to sell valley citrus commercially with the latest irrigation techniques and made grapefruit a major crop of South Texas, thus becoming known as the "Father of the Texas Citrus Industry". This microbox dedicated to him and his fruit can be found at the McAllen Nature Center, which is part of the Santa Ana Loop described on the Lower Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail map. This small park contains an amazing variety of native plants, birds and butterflies.
From US 83 in McAllen, exit onto Ware Road (2220) and go north about 1 mile to Business 83. Turn left (west) and go a few blocks to McAllen Nature Center on the left.
From the parking lot walk south on the road, going around the gate, to a Y jct. Go right and pass a green building, then cross a parking lot to a World Birding Center sign behind a gravel trail. Go south on a gravel trail to the right of the sign for about 50 steps. Turn right and walk 8 steps off trail to a Honey Mesquite tree with a branch extending from the trunk along the ground. The camo microbox is in the crotch of the branch and trunk about 1 foot off the ground behind sticks and rocks. Please rehide well.