Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vacajun on the Water

For an explanation of Vacajun, see this post. None of the events of our vacajun will be posted in order, but who cares? I have so many photos and I might get around to them before the end of the year and I might not.

This was our adventure kayaking with my daughter, Autumn, and her fiance, Jason. First timers!
Autumn got into the kayak just fine. She was a little tentative at first, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Is this a Neotropic Cormorant? It looks different from our Double-crested Cormorants.

8'-10' Alligator. I asked the kids if they were scared and both said 'No.'
We had our kayaks in a semicircle around him and just watched.

Jason was all smiles from the moment he entered the kayak.

After a few minutes, already like a pro!

Thanks to the lovely Anni for the link-up!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Joyous Vacajun

Autumn (my daughter) thought Jason said he was looking forward to their "vacajun" in Louisiana. She misheard him, but a new word was created and we love it!

Oh, y'all...I am drained. In a good way. The visit with my daughter and her fiance could not have been more perfect. This is what Autumn wrote on Twitter on the third day: "Amazing visit so far with @gailadixon. We saw a guitar god [Gregg Wright], found my wedding dress, kayaked and saw lots of family." 

Jason and Autumn both LOVED kayaking. My daughter kept saying she could see why we love it so much. And that was after paddling pretty close to an 8'-10' gator resting on a log.

Every moment was special. Bridal shopping was a priority, and by gosh, she said Yes to a Dress!
This dress was a contender. Of course I can't post the real dress just in case Jason decides to get nosy. :)
Here are snippets of the real thing. A deeply discounted Lazaro gown. She looks like a princess in it. When she stepped out of the dressing room I cried. 

After the kids left I had some problems getting my blood pressure under control. When one of the readings was 171/111 I admit I was a little scared. Double D wanted to at least call the doctor, but I am stubborn. I rested a lot and resumed taking my b/p pills and that is helping. I guess I had too much fun with the kids. 

Thanks for sticking with me. I promise to get to everyone's blogs today, though it might take a few days to get through them. I looked at my Feedly roll and y'all have been busy! Hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Red and Grace

Last weekend, I went back to City Park Lakes to stalk Grace. She and her competitor, a Great Egret, were not having much luck fishing. It didn't matter (to me anyway), because out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a large raptor-type bird about two football fields away, on the golf course. Suddenly, another appeared. My heart skipped a beat. Does anyone else get as excited as I do when there is a chance to photograph a cool bird? I have seen many hawks, but never have I gotten close enough to get decent photos. Here was my chance, y'all!

I did my usual: walk stealthily as close as I dare, snap off a few, advance another few steps; lather, rinse and repeat. Finally, I was about 30' (9 meters) away. That was as close as the pair allowed. They flew into different trees, so naturally I continued my stalking maneuvers to the closest tree. The tree vantage point let me get even closer. I was thrilled!

Later, I tried my best to make an identification. The more I Googled, the more confused I became. Our trusty blogging friend, TexWisGirl, came to my rescue! Thank you so much. Just to make sure––not that I don't trust you, T––I put some of the pics on Facebook. Most all agreed it was a Red-tailed Hawk. 

Hope you enjoyed my hawk pics. Although I just posted Grace on Monday, I am using her again today for my HAPPY DANCE! If I danced in public (which is a rarity), this is what I would look like. Why a happy dance? My daughter and her fiancé arrive tomorrow! I can hardly contain myself. Unfortunately, this means I have to take another short blogging break, but hopefully I will be back with stories and photos to share. Y'all have a good week. :)

P.S. This is my 1000th post. Geaux me!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nerdy Birdies

I really wanted to post my hawk pictures today, but I can't figure our what type of hawk it is. So in the meantime, you get these goober-heads.
Unknown hawk with both nictating membranes showing. Spooky!

Female mallard striking a pose.

Muscovy getting his bath on.

A different muscovy who spent the whole time I was there with his mouth open.

This is Grace.

Poor thing, she can't help it. One of her toes is bent backwards. I see how she struggles to fish and get food.
God bless her! We've gotten to know each other quite well.

Grace is looking like she's cutting a But she's trying to run from the
Great Egret who keeps chasing her off his favorite spot. Bless her heart.
I hope everyone had a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving. Ours was great...a visit here...a visit there. My house is now decorated for my daughter and her fiancee's arrival on Saturday. Yes! This Saturday. I'm tickled pink. Cannot wait to see them. Four days will FLY. God, help me enjoy each moment and not worry how quickly it will all go by.

Happy birthday to Deanna Lynn, my sister. She would have been 51 today. May God grant her eternal rest and peace.

Linking with


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Fisher Kings

Greetings from Baton Rouge, Louisiana!

This past weekend was amazing! If you're friends with me on Facebook you saw the giant alligator that scared me and my friend to death last Friday. He was a good 15 feet, if not longer. The wind was pushing our kayaks closer and closer. Finally, I anchored myself against a tree that was probably 25 feet away to get pics with my phone. When the gator lifted his head, my heart leapt out of my chest and splashed into the water. Haha, I exaggerate, but I was pretty scared. Then he slithered into the water while we paddled as fast as our arms could manage. My friend Cathy kept looking backwards. I kept yelling at her to keep paddling! Later, while putting her kayak onto the roof of the SUV we were attacked by a swarm of ladybugs! Let me tell you those things sting!
Sorry for the poor quality, but you at least get the idea of size.
After my cousin's delightful lunch on Sunday, we drove to LSU Lakes. Double D helped me corral a Great and Snowy Egret onto a small dam that separates the lakes. He is such a good husband. The egrets love to stand there and catch fish that swim unknowingly into the trap.

Even the ducks were in on the action.

They always took their catch to the banks and ate there.

This snowy egret was the most successful fishing. After a while he stood there for a long time
with his mouth open like this. I don't know if he got stuck by a fin, bone, or what.

Double D took this one of me shooting the snowy egret.
My legs are wrapped around my tripod for extra stability.
Wishing each of you a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!! See you next week.

Sharing with the generous Anni at

Friday, November 21, 2014

Good Day, Sunshine!

It's hard to believe that on November 2nd I was sweating while photographing winged things at the arboretum, since most of us are experiencing record-setting cold temperatures this week. As I age, it gets harder and harder for my body to retain heat. Thyroid disease doesn't help matters. It took much effort to get off the couch where I was so comfy with my blankets and heating pad to prepare this post. I'm not complaining, mind you. I much prefer the cold to the sweltering heat. But that's just me.

Before we really get into winter and holiday mode, I thought I should share these images.
Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Checkered Skipper

Unknown bee

Unknown insect

If all goes as planned, Bridget and I are set to photograph horses at a ranch not far from town this morning. I'm so glad the frigid temps are starting to abate. I hope it is for you also. Take care and have a great weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pelican Brief and a Warning

These beautiful birds have returned to LSU and Capitol Lakes in Baton Rouge to entertain us for another winter. As of last week the count was around 300. Last year we had 1,000, so I hope more are on the way.

Interesting facts about the American White Pelican:
  • The collective nouns for pelicans are "brief" "pod" "pouch" "scoop" and "squadron."
  • They consume 4 pounds of food per day.
  • AWPs scoop their food unlike the brown pelicans who plunge-dive.
  • They sometimes work together to herd fish into shallow water.
  • During breeding season adults grow a protrusion near the bill tip.
  • One of the largest North American birds.
  • Parents must provide approx. 150 pounds of food for their chicks from birth until they're ready to forage for themselves.
  • The oldest known AWP was 23-1/2 years old and was banded in North Dakota in 1983.

I told you to stop tailgating, Junior!

**The Warning**
Had a very upsetting morning on Saturday. Someone impersonating my son called my dad saying he was hurt and needed money--$1500 to be exact--said his lawyer would call later. The "lawyer" indeed called and asked for three $500 prepaid cards to be sent. Red flag! I was able to get in touch with my son and found he is okay. This ruse is called the Grandparents Scam, and there are many articles on the internet about it. It almost caused me to have a heart attack. My dad and stepmom were obviously upset by it also. Please be careful, y'all!

Linking with the lovely Anni at