Pelicans and such

Southeast Louisiana’s winter weather is so fickle. One day it’s cold, damp and gray and the next is sunny with blue skies and mild temperatures. During Christmas break from work hubby and I decided to go looking for pelicans in their winter habitats around Slidell during a warm, sunny day. We didn’t have to go far to find our first group. There are about 5-10 pelicans staying about a mile from our home in Bayou Liberty.

These majestic birds gave us all the time in the world to photograph them, much to our delight. Here are a few shots.

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Butterflies and Bayous

We were pleasantly surprised today when we finally decided on what to do on Saturday…

we went to Camp Salmen Nature Park to see what updates have been done since our last visit in February. Originally a Boy Scout camp from the 40’s to the 70’s, Camp Salmen has an interesting history in the Bayou Liberty area.

(click on pictures for larger versions)

When we visited in February we were unaware that the Park would be undergoing a metamorphosis of huge proportions. We truely enjoyed one of the first upgrades of the Park: the butterfly garden. The entire park will be changing under the direction of Edward Blake, director of The Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi. If you like interpretive journeys trail system to observe a park’s biological diversity you’ll like both Camp Salmen and Crosby Arboretum. But I digress.

The butteryfly garden at the Park contains all native wildflowers. The blanket of purples, golds and reds attract scores of butterflies. During our visit we enjoyed the sights of butterflies and bees enjoying a cool, sunny Saturday morning. Check it out:

There were several butterflies with these markings.

Can you see the tiny butterfly in this picture?

There are boardwalks that bring you closer to the Bayou and trails that roam throughout the deep woods. It’s difficult to take a bad picture there.

I must say that early autumn in Southeast Louisiana – while not as beautiful as the northern states – is one of the prettiest around.

After leaving the park we headed for the Slidell Trailhead of the Tammany Trace and hubby caught two butterflies attempting to mate.

According to him, the female butterfly must’ve had a headache, because she didn’t want anything to do with him.
Guess humans aren’t the only ones who have problems “connecting”. Good to know.

Have a good week, y’all.

Puppy Happiness!!

In July we adopted a 5 month old puppy from someone whose son moved away without the dog. Hubby found the dog through a facebook friend.

I’m a cat person. I have had cats for most of my life and currently share my home with five felines. I enjoy their company and love the fact that cats make it easy take weekend away from home and not have to worry about them; cats are – for the most part – quiet critters. But I figured “what the hell”. Hubby and my daughter have been pining for a puppy. So we drove to Chalmette, Louisiana one rainy Monday to pick up our new pup.

While thinking about a puppy, I envisioned a small, fuzzy baby dog. I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on the Deuce. My first thought was “he’s very tall, look at those legs!!”.

The pup’s owners named him “Duke”, which really didn’t click for us. On the ride home we played with names and finally decided on “Deuce”, after the former New Orleans Saint Deuce McAllister. It fit and that was “dat”.

Deuce is quite a dog. He’s responsible for turning me into a dog lover.

The few months that we’ve shared our home with Deuce have not been dull. He has grown like a typical puppy: gnawing on furniture, full of energy. A few things that stand out in my mind:

– Deuce eating a pork tenderloin that I put out to rest on the counter (I forgot how tall he is)
– Finding my phone in pieces in Deuce’s bed.
– Realizing that I could not leave magazines around because the newly acquired dog is a live shredder.
– I have never seen a dog de-stuff a dog toy as fast as Deuce.
– He drops bones and heavy “chew toys” on the hardwood floor which causes my 17 year old cat to have seizures.
– He eats anything (wood, cloth, CDs, etc).
– When he jumps on me, his paws are as high as my shoulders.
– Dog spit is sticky.
– I have seen this dog eat things he regurgitated earlier (ugh!).

With that said, I would like to present the pictures of Deuce’s debut in da bayou today.

He made me a dog lover today. There is nothing like seeing a dog discover his calling, his breeding.

Deuce is part Labrador, part Chesapeake Bay Retriever, which makes him a true water dog. Hubby was worried that our pup would go brain crazy and swim away from us once he touched the water, so he tied Deuce to 50 feet of nylon rope to be sure we didn’t lose him.

Deuce’s first dive

He looks pretty happy about things here

Deuce wanted to be sure he found a “stick” suitable for his size

We brought our pup to the bayou unprepared, and the only sticks I could find were not enough to keep Deuce happy. He promptly ate this stick

After eating the “excuse for a stick” that I presented him, Deuce rediscovers his stick

Does this dog looks upset? Nope!

Trying to shake of the water while he’s still in the water

Deuce swam up and down the bayou for about 20 minutes, completely satisfied

After about 30 minutes we noticed that something under the water was taking Deuce’s attention and decided to get him out of the water. Hubby thinks it was a gator. Me? I think it was crabs.

Here’s a peaceful shot I took looking down the bayou. This has got to be one of the prettiest places I’ve ever spent time in.

It was a well-spent Saturday. Our adopted “puppy” experienced his first of many swims and we were there to share it with him. I’m glad that Deuce has come into our lives, making it a little richer.