Thursday, October 31, 2013

Barataria Preserve

Last weekend was absolutely beautiful as far as great light for photography, so we meandered over to Barataria Preserve, one of the many parks located within Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Marrero, LA. It encompasses 23,000 acres of wild wetlands, marshes, bayous, swamps, and forests, and is habitat for over 200 species of birds. There are also alligators, nutria and other wild mammals thriving within the vast acreage. We could hear many different birds, but the trees were too dense and green to see them. We did, however, spot various snakes, banana spiders (HUGE!) and an alligator basking on the bayou bank. I'll spare you the spider and snake photos. :) Although it would make for a better Halloween post. Nah...

It's amazing how green and thick it still is in Louisiana. The unseasonably warm weather is causing us to have a late fall.

Even though it was a relatively cool day (about 75F), it was very humid, so the mosquitoes were munching pretty hard. The day before I had watched a marathon of Monsters Inside Me, a tv program about parasites growing inside humans. I was really mad at myself for not bringing the bug spray, praying I wouldn't get malaria. Inside my head I was screaming, "You're gonna end up on that show! Stupid, stupid girl!"

Well, whaddya know? A little fall color.

Palmetto Trail

Right after I removed the big lens from my camera, we came upon this gator.
Double D helped me change back to the 100-400mm lens promptly.
He had offered his services as my caddy for the day, so you can bet I took advantage of that!
Warning: Rant ahead.
I am SO OVER the humidity around here! Let's not even discuss my hair; it goes limp as wilted lettuce as soon as I step outside. When you add the humidity to the bad haircut I received recently, along with my sweat glands going into overdrive--well--it's a disaster area up there. I can't be ladylike and perspire, oh no, I SWEAT. Like a man! And my soppy, wet hair is there to announce that fact to the world. Some days I think I'll just buy a wig and be done with it. Maybe a hat....anyhow, this weekend coming up promises to be a little more delightful, so Double D and I are discussing our next day trip. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bird Friends and an Army of Enemies

I've been feeding and observing birds for over five years now. At first I thought it was cute that the birds shared their food with the squirrels. Well, I've learned the birds are not really sharing, they're tolerating these ravenous little varmints. It's really getting downright annoying as the furry rats take over the feeders, gobbling up food that is not meant for them.

For a while now I've been sending my golden mix, Chance, to chase them off. While it's a fun few minutes of exhilaration for him, he's getting old and arthritic; plus, it's just not working. So I started doing some research on what might deter these little $#@*&!. One suggestion that appealed to me was to spray Pam on the shepherd's hook pole. Easy peasy. Pam in hand, I marched my hiney outside and sprayed the heck out of the pole.

So far it's working, and doesn't seem to have a negative effect on the birds. I did catch one squirrel at the top of the feeder the next day while three others fed on the ground. I wish I had thought to video the escape--his slide down was like greased lightning. I'm sure all his squirrel friends were all, "What the heck happened to you? You're almost ready for the fryer, dude!" Moving the feeder farther away from the fence in conjunction with the Pam seems to have done the trick.

Who's there?

Trying to get up his nerve to jump. He finally gave up and walked away.
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday and I'd Rather B Birdin'. Thanks Stewart and Anni!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fontainebleau, Final

Sunset images at Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana, 10/12/13.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Fontainebleau, Part II

More of our day at Fontainebleau State Park.
Shallow waters with sandy beach.
I'm too afraid of the brain-eating amoebas to get in there.


How delighted I was to see a rabbit AND a fawn together. Awww!

Time to skedaddle!

Children playing on low-lying live oak branch

Linking to Skywatch Friday. Many thanks to the meme's host!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fontainebleau, Part I

A couple weekends ago we decided to revisit Fontainebleau State Park to see what progress has been made since Hurricane Isaac blew through last year. It was astonishing to see that nothing has been done. There are still no restrooms, no cabins to rent, and Alligator Boardwalk is still in scattered pieces. Very disappointing. It amazes me that the government requires all public facilities to have working restrooms, and will levy a fine if the requirements are not met. I guess they are exempt from their own rules. Oh, I'd best not get started down that path.
Half an hour before sunset

When these children saw me setting up my camera they came running over shouting,
Who could resist these little hams?

More children wanted in on the action. After each click, they'd run over to see themselves on the back of the camera display,
then run back out for more photos.

I was so surprised by their enthusiasm and wanting to get the gazebo in the photo,
I failed to notice they were standing over a big ugly drain. I should have moved
them over to the grassy area. 

The sun setting over Lake Pontchartrain as viewed from the gazebo.

More photos to come!

Monday, October 21, 2013

God's Handiwork

Some shots taken on 9/10/13 from a nearby arboretum called Independence Park in Baton Rouge.
Ladybug right before she leapt.

Long-tailed skipper

These annoying lovebugs fill the air at the end of summer. Wafting by in pairs, they get stuck on car windshields,
front bumpers, and in your hair. They are from the family of March Flies, also known as the honeymoon fly,
kissingbug, and double-headed bug. An urban legend holds that these bugs are synthetic—the result of a
University of Florida genetics experiment gone wrong. If true, another reason man should stay out of the
creation business.

Not sure what type of bug this is, but I suspect it's some sort of stinkbug.

I think this flower is giving me the finger.

Quote: Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1635

Friday, October 18, 2013

Grand Slam!

This is day two of our abbreviated time with the grandkids. We have a sports complex behind our house, so when Double D walks the dog back there, he picks up baseballs that have been left behind. I've told him for 18 months that he should just leave them there, but he insisted he was saving them for when the grandkids come to visit. Finally, he got that chance to play baseball with them, and I must say, even though our time in the French Quarter was amazing (well, mostly), our time in the park was pretty special. And everybody hit a home run!