Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cat Island

Last Saturday my friend B and I were excited to visit a place new to both of us: Cat Island--a 10,000+ acre NWR (National Wildlife Refuge) located near historic St. Francisville, LA. From January - July most of the area is under water, so we were worried that we might not be able to cross a couple of the one-lane bridges leading into the preserve. But we decided early in the day that this would be an adventure and treated the day as such. Bravely (trepidatiously?) we entered the refuge, and although I spent most of the day swerving to avoid pot holes, it was dry.

We arrived at our destination around 8:30AM, so the heat/humidity weren't oppressive. Yet. We were prepared with snacks and drinks, but I was unprepared for the amount of sweat that would drench me in such a short time. Thankfully, B had an extra cloth to lend me so I could mop my face. I had so much fun with B and I hope we get to do more exploring together. It's so wonderful to have a nature-lovin', photog bud.
Checkered skipper

Bee on "sensitive plant." I haven't seen one of these since I was a child.
The leaves look like small ferns that close up when you touch them.
Next time I'll get the leaves in the shot. B's is so much better than mine.



Butterflies were landing on us right and left.

B photographing the inside of a large cypress.
Is she dressed for success or what? I've got to get a vest like that.
There are so many pockets for all sorts of goodies!

This Bald Cypress is the largest tree of any species east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The massive base splits off into two trunks and is 56' in circumference, 83' tall,
and is thought to be about 1,000 years old. Maybe even 1,500 years old!
A viewing platform was constructed around the tree to protect it.
A very nice article can be found here.
B has all kinds of neat camera stuff. See that strap? I've got to get one. Also, she has a clip-on
thingy that holds the lens cap. Since I keep losing my lens caps, this is another must-have.

B noticed this scary spider as we were leaving the big cypress. Yikes!

White Ibis with a leaf stuck to his bill.

Cemetery gate in St. Franisville, LA
More of our afternoon there in a future post, which includes exploring an open crypt!
Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thanks to Tex for hosting the fun Good Fences meme!


Also, many thanks to Anni for


And Stewart for

Almost forgot to add Eileen's. Thank you!!
LINK

69 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

This was a superb entry today!!! I enjoyed it all. That fence is so intricate. A perfect design for a cemetery in my opinion.

Of course the ibis and heron are great images.

And your nature photos are fantastic. I've not heard of any other plant other than the flytrap that could close at the touch. Interesting.

By the way, I asked Bud what frog it was from your post the other day, and I stand corrected...it is NOT a Leopard frog. But of course you knew that already. lol

Jacquelineand.... said...

Beautiful photos, and what a stunning orb weaver spider! It looks like a golden silk spider, with it's colouring and markings. Oh, and I adore the second fence; so complex and unique!
So glad you had a good day with your friend; and it's a pity my mother doesn't still make vests. She had a second business making vests very similar to those for shooting enthusiasts.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Cat Island looks amazing. A nature lover's paradise. I love that cypress. The spider, not so much :)

Beth of "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

so cool. i love that the butterfly landed on your arm. that is awesome!! love all these shots. so fun. what a great weekend. ( :

Buttons said...

Hey Cat Island where are the cats?:)
Oh nice spot and to have a camera buddy is perfect enjoy all those trips you will be taking exploring together friends and sharing is the best.. Hug B

orchid Miyako said...

The Cat Land sure seems heaven for these creatures; and your pictures are stunning♡♡♡ How wonderful that the butterfly land on your arm. And your friend photographing the inside of a large cypress really impressed me; both the size of the tree & his camera.

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs to from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Helma said...

What a beautiful photos of this park. Great to see and that huge tree should really be huge to see. Great beautiful butterfly. It was pretty hot and sweat also ran over your face off puffff ........ but all in all a beautiful area there.

Anvilcloud said...

As usual, your photos are wonderful, and I can't imagine that B's could be better. I have a camera strap similar to hers. It has its good and bad points. One good point is that I can keep a spare battery and memory card in it as well as a lens cloth.

EG CameraGirl said...

I want a vest like B's too! Love that shot of the butterfly!

Melissa said...

Wow, looks like a pretty place. And such a diverse habitat!

nookworm said...

Oh! I love the spider shot! He is beautiful. The picture of the bee on the "sensitive plant" is a winner! Your buddie is just a perfect companion to accompany you - I can tell!

Sally said...

Such beautiful photo's, Gail. No wonder you enjoy the outdoors and taking wonderful pictures; they are superb. Thanks for sharing these. I love each one. :)

nookworm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irma said...

Beautiful surroundings with a great big beautiful tree, Gail.
Very nice also the butterfly on the arm.

TexWisGirl said...

LOVE the spider shot! and the sensitive plant is a new one to me! your shot is gorgeous. that tree is remarkable. :)

brian uses one of those straps for his camera. the vest looks very utile! :)

looking forward to more of your adventure!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

ho boy, i need my own nature lovin photog bud!!

great shots as usual

B is smart with long pants (skeeters)...but i sweat so much i'd lose my pants from the extra weight

Felicia said...

Gail your images are magnificent. what a beautiful refuge. I wish there were more places like this close to me but sadly there aren't. love the butterfly images.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Gail A very interesting post today and I love the very ornate gates at the cemetery. It is always good to have a friend with like mind to go out with and you both obviously had a great time. Love that big tree and your butterflies.

Janey and Co. said...

You are very good with that camera. Love the Heron and that is a most unusual fence.

bailey-road.com said...

Looks like you and your friend had a grand time at Cat Island despite the torturous heat and humidity. What gorgeous photos these are!

Breathtaking said...

What a nice day out with your friend, and a wonderful post Gail, with superb photography. Love the butterfly and spider shots, all new to me.The tree is amazing, and the intricate railing is beautiful.Look forward to seeing more.

Mama Zen said...

Spectacular shots!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

A very interesting post. I'm sure the spider would be more afraid of you than you of him or her. I am scared of spiders, but they are mostly harmless.

DeniseinVA said...

Fantastic! I haven't been around where the butterflies have been so plentiful that they have landed on me. I loved all your photos, that old cypress with the great opening was impressive. Hard to pick a favorite amongst these. Have a great weekend Gail :)

barbara l. hale said...

I think I have lens envy. Glad you took us along to Cat Island. Great creatures there. I have to day that I am growing quite fond of the skipper butterflies. I love their furry little wings.

eileeninmd said...

This is my kind of place! I love the birds and butterflies! And that Bo
I live that big old tree is gorgeous! I am glad there is a fence around it to protect it!

Stephanie said...

Wow, absolutely amazing! That spider is scary, but quite pretty. Thanks to your wonderful photography skills we can see a whole different side to insects :)

Lovely photos, my friend. Hugs to you!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous sights and time spent with someone who shares the love of nature and photography,it doesn't get much better than that.

Barb said...

That spider shot - !!! I'm not sure I'd be able to hold B's huge lens stable. Love the perched Ibis.

Debbie said...

omgoodness, I'm not really sure what to say.....

Can I come live with you, these are just stunning, can is come live with you!!

Your captures are just amazing, the pink/purple flower was a standout for sure!!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Ps...I know I'm in my Hootin' Anni's Admin right now, but too lazy to sign out and log in to the Birding Blog...

But, wanted to thank you for linking up this week, Gail, at the Bird D'Pot. Your shares are always a big plus for the week's entries.

Karen said...

A fabulous place to get photos Gail. As always, your captures are exquisite!

Roan said...

I need a photog bud! JD works almost every weekend. He's supposed to be retired! That spider is really scary, but he is a handsome thing. Love the butterfly, too. Nice post!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

Wowzers Gail! That is a marvelous place and all of your photos are mesmerizing! Thanks for the cheering comment and faith in me. I am feeling a bit better; more time at the computer, more time mildly exercising and less time in bed. yay, working combination. The only issue I have had this #5 has been bathroom issues, but I have a handle on those now so things are looking up, up and UP!

Shug said...

The checkered skipper looks like it has little hairs on it. Very cool.
I envy that you have so many super neat places and things to photo. I'm sure we have some neat things around here too, but my eye just doesn't see them. so many great photos in this post!!

janiceadcock said...

What a wonderful area to visit. All the great pictures then you crown it all with that wonderful fence.

Slamdunk said...

Looks like fun. B's attire is most useful. With the kids being small, my favorite shorts are the ones with multiple pockets--all different sizes. Of course, I need a belt too as the pockets fill up and my shorts then want to be pulled down by gravity.

Those huge cypress trees must have been very interesting to peek around.

Stephanie said...

Wow! I was awed by the beautiful tree and the greenery of the park. Love the wee critters you captures and nice outfit your friend was wearing. That fence is stunningly beautiful in its ornate designs.

Susan (ABON) said...

Lucky you, I need a good photog bud too. What a wonderful place and so diverse. Love the butterflies, and the sensitive plant has gorgeous blooms!

Hilary said...

Lots of fine images here, Gail but I just love that second shot. The colour, the focus.. the beauty.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Mercy, you all have so many interesting places visit where it’s a photography’s dream. That sensitive plant is lovely, I have never seen one but reminds me of the dill herb that flowers little round pink flower balls.

WOW….. that tree looks prehistoric…. One could set up housekeeping in it.

GOTA’ get me one of those vest; sure beats luggin’ around a bag. Just think what all one could store in there. YES, I have seen that strap, another thing on my wish list too. OH MY WORD....what a lens she has there, wonder if carrying the camera in that position, she has trouble with “lens Creep”?

Spiders give me the willies but they are interesting to photograph and this one is superb in markings.

Cant wait to see more of your visit, your photos are always a treat for my eyes.

ladyfi said...

Wow - how fabulous, especially that tree!

rainfield61 said...

Yikes, it is beautiful.

Betty Manousos said...

hi gail, i thoroughly enjoyed your post and photos. simply gorgeous! loved seeing that beautiful butterfly landing on your arm. awesome! happy weekend!

i linked to you today!
xo

Gail said...

Amazing pictures and what a wonderful adventure.

Gunilla Bäck said...

What a great outing you had! I love the butterflies.

Pantherka said...

Your images are really wonderful. I admire.
Beautiful weekend.

hootnonny said...

Awesome, awesome! I've seen few butterflies this summer. My daughter has lots of flowers and I've seen only one skipper. They used to lots of Swallowtails.

Just got back from a whirl wind trip through North Ga, Birmingham, and South Georgia. The only thing I saw were gnats, and lots of them!

maryaustria said...

Your photos are so amazing! Such beautiful butterflies and birds... And this tree... great! The spider is really scary but also fascinating! A wonderful post!

Barb Brookbank said...

What incredible captures once again! That butterfly looks like it has a button for an eye - wonderful post!

Brian King said...

Gorgeous photos! Love the Ibis! The tree is very impressive. I don't do vests, but I use after market straps. I despise neck straps.

Indrani said...

Amazing tree! What a life it must have seen.
Great pics of the critters too.

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - having a decent way to carry your gear about really can make a different between a a good day and a frustrating one!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Very enjoyable trip with you, Gail. I liked all the photos, but those of the butterfly and spider are particularly nice macros.

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Wow- cool, cool, COOL! I don't even know where to start- that tree is spectacular. I want that vest too!

Marie said...

Fantastic place to visit! Wonderful photos. I loved the bald cypress. Such an interesting post!

troutbirder said...

What a fun and beautiful post. We love to visit NWR's wherever we find them ours here in southwestern Minnesota is call the Upper Mississippi Valley NWR. As to photography and nature I use my flyfishing vest. You can never had enough good pockets...:)

eileeninmd said...

Gail, stopping back to say thanks for linking up! Have a happy weekend!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

hi sweet Gail!
Yes this Friday, the 8th in #6 and I cannot wait!! Then I have to deal with the symptoms for 21 more days but my nurse has confessed that not all symptoms last the entire 21 days. It is more like on day 17 or 18 the symptoms go away.

At any rate I am looking for the last week of August (like around the Monday the 25th) to be WONDERFUL!!!! My own mini Christmas! (gift of life to live again) Whaaaa - Whoooo!!!

Christian Weiß said...

Great series of photos, the tree is very impressive.

Daniel LaFrance said...

Another high-quality set. You photos inspire me. :)

Carola Bartz said...

These are gorgeous pictures, Gail. I like the cypress - and of course the ibis. Any wildlife refuge is an adventure for me - I'm glad we have them!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Beautiful shots, Gail! I think one of my favorites is the butterfly on the arm. Some great macro shots here! I also like the cemetery gate.

Ileana said...

Your pictures are stunning! That tree is fabulous !

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

WOW Gail!! That old cypress tree!! Completely and totally amazing!! The history that it has lived through. I would have laid there on that wooden walkway and just starred up into it's branches all day long!! Great fence shot too!! And birds!! Always great posting Gail!!

June Caedmon said...

I delighted in your images earlier this week when you posted, but never got back {until now} to comment, and delight in them all over again!

Amy Burzese said...

Looks like a fantastic outing! Love your shots. The gate is beautiful. That looks like a Black Rapid strap. I love mine. Really saves your neck, especially if you have heavy equipment. It's not perfect, but I do recommend it.

BumbleVee said...

Thanks for a good day out!

Mitzi Rice said...

You are so lucky to have a photographer buddy close to you! These are awesome images.