Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fontainebleau

After I scheduled my previous post, my aunt called to let me know about a couple of state parks good for birding. One of them was Fontainebleau State Park. This is the most visited state park in Louisiana, with over 300,000 visitors per year. Fountainbleau has over 2,800 acres and was once an old sugar mill. It is located on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and also bordered by Bayou Cane and Bayou Castine. As soon as I read that there are over 400 different species of wildlife, including birds, I asked Double D if we could go to Fontainebleau instead of Lake Martin. Being the happy-go-lucky, good ol' boy that he is, of course he obliged. Enough chit chat. Come see what I saw!
Double D spied this bald eagle twice on our hike. It helps to have a second set of eyes when birding.
For this shot we were about 30' away from the tree.
That's the closest either of us has been to a bald eagle. Easily the highlight of the day.

Red-headed woodpecker. Had several opportunities for shots, but he was always very far away, thus the subpar shot. :(

A pavilion that looks over Lake Pontchartrain. The Causeway Bridge is in the distance.


I'm 99.99% certain that this is a Swamp Sparrow. Interestingly, they only winter here.
They live year long on the East coast and parts of the Great Lakes. 

Hurricane Isaac tore up several areas of the park, including Alligator Boardwalk.
Seems to me this should have been repaired by now. I'd also like to add that all the bathroom facilities
were boarded up. Kind of disappointing. Doesn't the state carry hurricane insurance?

Eastern Bluebird. Oh, I have so many of these. You'll likely be seeing him a few more times. :)

After hiking 4 miles with no lunch (only breakfast) we wanted to stop off at Friends Restaurant in Madisonville for an early dinner.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Isaac caused damage there, too, and unfortunately we didn't find this out until we pulled into the parking lot.
We ended up at another seafood restaurant nearby, and I was delighted with this deluxe seafood salad which included
lump crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish. I even peeled the bug and ate the tail meat at the end!

No dinner is complete in Louisiana without enjoying a big honkin' slice of bread pudding. We shared, of course.
Don's Seafood Restaurant has my favorite because it has NO rabbit poo (raisins), but has white chocolate cream sauce. YUM!
I think I earned this indulgence after all the hiking. Now my knee is hurting, so I think I'll go rest now.

Please visit Madge and her wonderful meme. Thank you so much for hosting!
Weekly Top Shot #73

33 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh Gail good you did not get ate by a Gator:0 I was worried about that. Your photos are stunning I love them all.
The food makes me very hungry you are not only an amazing nature photographer but I am positive now you could do a food photo blog. I am drooling.
Awesome trip bring food with you well maybe not Gators and Bears smell food don't they? :) B

She Who Carries Camera said...

I'm totally with you on that "rabbit poo" and white icing. Yuck. I guess the little Swamp Sparrow is a real "Snowbird"!! :-) As far as the hurricane clean-up (I don't normally do the political rant thing) but it doesn't surprise me in the least bit these days. I think our country is going backwards in many aspects!! Extremely disappointing.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

looks like you hit the jack pot today and hope you bought a lottery ticket on the way home! Beautiful eagle - lovely pier looking out into the lake and your Seafood Salad! Goodness Gracious!! That's the best I've ever seen. I'm living in the wrong part of the world!!

Deanna said...

Oh I agree, the eagle had to be the highlight of your day....only that lunch and dessert looks like a darn good highlight too. Beautiful!!

Chatty Crone said...

Gorgeous - gorgeous - gorgeous!!!
sandie

Nancy said...

I love going along with you on your hikes; what a great day full of wonderful captures...The Bald Eagle is so majestic and to think you were that close to him.....

Certainly that delicious dinner was a great way to top off the day....My aunt used to make chocolate bread pudding and it was always one of my favorites....

Brian King said...

The eagle would have been the highlight for me, too! Wonderful photo and a nice perch! It looks like a great place for photographing wildlife. Too bad some of the damage hasn't been repaired yet. I would think the restrooms would be a priority.

Kittie Howard said...

Gail, your photo of the bald eagle is MAGNIFICENT! That hike was definitely worth it. Your seafood lunch had me drooling!

And thank you for your lovely comment. It was awesome yesterday to open Southern Writers Magazine and see my book there. When I began blogging, I never ever thought this would happen.

Pam ;) said...

Congrats on the Bald Eagle Gail, two sets of eyes are always better. Awesome shots of the Eagle, Blurbird, Red-headed woody and sweet Swamp sparrow.

and now I'm hungry bread pudding- bye ~:)

Susan said...

Loved your pictures. Funny...we are headed there today for a wedding of all things! Gosh...you are so talented. I've enjoyed each picture.

What an adventure for you guys!

And to end with that lunch, yummy. Now I'm craving bread-pudding!

Hope you have a blessed day!

ladyfi said...

Amazing shots - that eagle is so majestic!

Linda said...

The eagle shot is fantastic! Even the woodpecker shot is one I'd be pleased to get. Maybe the alligator walkway is best left torn up. Can't imagine walking on that and thinking it would protect me from alligators. I'd have trouble making it in Louisiana because I'm not fond of seafood. I am, however, fond of well-made bread pudding. So I could sit with you through the meal and join you for dessert.

TexWisGirl said...

the eagle is AWESOME! (i'd probably need a rest room after seeing one!) :)

the boardwalk is pretty sad to see - still...

Cindy said...

Wow! What a fabulous day you had. All the photos are beautiful. Fantastic shot of the Eagle and I just love the Bluebird (I definitely want to see more) and then there is that bread pudding! Yum, yum and yum!!!

Barbara Shallue said...

What a great park! You got so many wonderful shots. What a shame about the boardwalk and the restrooms. I know the Texas Parks department has had huge cutbacks - I wonder if that's what's happening there, too.

Linda R said...

That Eagle photo is amazing. It really should be in a magazine. I just love it. I have only seen a Eagle in person once. But it was so far away I could only see it through binoculars.

That food looks mighty yummy and bread pudding is one of my favorites.

Fabulous photos once again my friend.

Hugs~

Phil said...

You had a great day out Gail. How fantastic to get so close to a Bald Eagle and take a full framer like that. I had that sparrow down as a Chipping until you corrected me and I looked it up in Peterson. I can't believe that lake, looks like a huge sea to me! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your Bluebird shots but now I'm off to get something to eat. Your last photos just made me hungry for my evening meal of lasagne.

Evelyn S. said...

I'm trying to decide which is more appealing....the eagle or the bread pudding! ;-) These are all impressive images!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The Eagle shot definitely takes first prize. Wow,that is spectacular.Now a close second is the bread pudding,looks mighty yummy.

Lisa Gordon said...

What a great place for a hike, Gail, and the photograph of the eagle is just beautiful!

The first time I had crawfish, I was in New Orleans, and I fell in love with them. So, so good.

I just have to have the rabbit poo in my bread pudding! :-)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Patrice said...

My in-laws live very close to Fountainbleau State Park - my husband is headed there now!

Ann said...

you make me laugh!!! i love raisins!!!
your photos are wonderful. the bald eagle is magnificent! how fabulous to have been able to see one that close..30 feet away is close in anyones book!!!
the view from the Pavillion is really pretty!!
Issac caused so much damge to your state. it's a shame that repairs haven't been made in so many areas. perhaps our countries states and people should be helped before others. so much aid to other countries(and,i do realize the importance)..yet so many citizens need the help...neighborhoods destroyed/damages by hurricanes,floods,,some children in the US go hungry every day...just sayin'....
gorgeous bluebird!!!!...Bluebird of Happiness...this one sure brings a smile to my face!!!
your dinner looks mouthwatering!!!
rabbit poo..or no rabbit poo....i'll take bread pudding either way!!!
have a wonderful weekend!!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Rabbit poo! Yes we definitely have things in common, that's what I call raisins too!

Beautiful pictures; I've always wanted to see Lake Ponchatrain and now I have through your eyes. Thank you.

Barb Brookbank said...

Thanks for the beautiful tour through your park. Hmmm, can I skip right to dessert?

David Oliver said...

Your photos always have so much color. I like the one with the sail boat A LOT!

bailey-road.com said...

Great photos. The bread pudding looks delicious!

Shug said...

Oh my gosh girl....I am on a big diet plan right now and did you know that bread pudding happens to be my all time favorite dish to eat...
I had to scroll past that photo really fast. No alligators? Glad you had a great time.

Tricia said...

You always have such great shots, Gail! The one of the eagle is so spectacular! xo

EG CameraGirl said...

Holy cow! I dream of being that close to a bald eagle! Fantastic!

Jori said...

Your eagle photo is Ah-mazing! Your dinner and dessert looks delish!

Kerry said...

Beautiful bird shots! Can't believe you got so close to that eagle. And to the bluebird. I know you have a powerful lens, but still.

Good thing you had that 4 mile hike because it's always great to have a fantastic guilt-free lunch!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fabulous Gail...I hope I get to come back to Louisiana someday and if I do this park will be on top of my list. What a place.

Lunch looks fabulous too.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Such a gorgeous post Gail! Your photos appeal to all the senses!