Castroville, Texas - St Louis Catholic Church and Vines on the Rocks Winery

The moon and Mars, July 5th 2014

St. Louis Day - Since as early as 1847, residents of Castroville have conducted a community holiday on or about the 25th of August--the Catholic observance of the feast of St. Louis. Local tradition recalls that early processions escorted clergy from the priests' house adjacent to St. Louis church, with the clanging of anvils and the blare of the community band.

Through the years, a picnic became traditional on the church grounds following high mass. Before the festivities, men smoked sausage and pit-barbecued beef. Women prepared potato salad, cabbage slaw, and desserts. An evening dance in a local establishment ended the day-long celebration. The St. Louis Society, founded in 1875, traditionally organized the event. Since 1889, the celebration has raised funds for the benefit of the parish church and school. After the 1920s, the picnic and dance were held at Wernette's garden. That site (4 blocks NNW) was donated to the parish and renamed Koenig Park in 1949. The dance pavilion there was erected in 1953.

The celebration is now held annually on the Sunday nearest August 25. The procession begins at the church after Mass, and winds through the city to Koenig Park for the picnic lunch and evening dance.

Castroville dam on the Medina River

A few miles West of Castroville on Highway 90, Vines on the Rocks Winery

Netting prevents birds from damaging the grapes

Members of the local bug population

Dragonflies eat mosquitoes, flies, bees, ants, and wasps. At rest dragonflies hold their wings perpendicular to their body.

The damselfly is commonly confused with the dragonfly. Most damselflies hold their wings at rest together above the torso instead of perpendicular to the body.

Grasshoppers have antennae that are shorter than their body.

The spider wasp drags the body of a spider across the gravel. A female wasp will search for a spider and will sting it. When the spider is paralyzed by the sting, the female wasp will take the spider to a burrow and lay an egg on the spider abdomen. When the egg hatches, the larva will feed on the spider.

A scorpion hangs upside-down to eat a bug.

The scorpius constellation (or Scorpio) in the nightsky. Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares. The Babylonians called the constellation MUL.GIR.TAB - the 'Scorpion'. Literally, the creature with a burning sting.

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