Tag Archives: Louisiana

~Birding in Arizona – Number 388!

~Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ (near Tucson), November, 2017

I am excited to add a new bird sighting to my Life List. Number 388, a cute Dusky Flycatcher.

This Dusky Flycatcher, migrating south, visited our RV site, at Catalina State Park, for several days; continually searching for insects in the Mesquite trees.

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Dusky Flycatcher

~

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“Ain’t he cute?”

~

I am writing this post from Lafayette, Louisiana, arriving today after spending three nights in Beaumont, TX. The birding at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont was wonderful! We met some expert birds while out on the pier, giving us some great advice on birding along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. Wouldn’t it be fun to attend a couple “Birding Counts” in this area?

Hopefully, next winter we can spend a few weeks down on the Texas Gulf Coast birding. Yeah!!

I am so far behind in posting; hopefully I will catch up soon. I have a few more photos from Catalina State Park to share, and photos from Rock Hound State Park in Deming New Mexico; South Llano River State Park in Junction, TX; McKinney Falls State Park near Austin; and Cattail Marsh in Beaumont.

Howard and I are enjoying our journey…. meeting with friends along the way, eating some delicious food (we had Crawfish Étouffée for lunch) and persuing our hobbies as best we can on the road.  I even got to  play a couple hours of Pickleball with friends in Austin, which made me extremely happy.

We haven’t seen rain for many, many weeks; I bet we will see some very soon!

~Enjoy the Journey~

 

~Our Ride Today, 11/17/2015

To my RV friends…

If you are ever traveling down Highway 49 near Alexandria, Louisiana, consider stopping at River Cities RV Park in Boyce, LA. It is new, it is nice and clean, it is convenient. Notice the security gate in and out.

River Cities RV Park, Boyce, LA (Sie 20)
River Cities RV Park, Boyce, LA (Sie 20)
The only building, laundry, restroom/shoewer.
The only building on the property, laundry, restroom/shoewer.
River Cities RV Park, Boyce, LA
River Cities RV Park, Boyce, LA

After leaving Boyce, Louisiana we traveled Highway 49 to I10 heading toward Madisonville, Louisiana (all interstate travel today) .

We crossed the Atchafalaya Basin, traveling on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. A little information about this unique area taken from the web.

The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States. Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. The river stretches from near Simmesport in the north through parts of eight parishes to the Morgan City area in the south. The Atchafalaya is unique among Louisiana basins because it has a growing delta system with nearly stable wetlands. The basin contains about 70% forest habitat and about 30% marsh and open water. It contains the largest contiguous block of forested wetlands remaining in the lower Mississippi River valley and the largest block of floodplain forest in the United States. Best known for its iconic cypress-tupelo swamps, at 260,000 acres, this block of forest represents the largest remaining contiguous tract of coastal cypress in the US.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, is a pair of parallel bridges in the U.S. state of Louisiana between Baton Rouge and Lafayette which carries Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin. With a total length of 96,095 feet or 18.2 miles, it is the second-longest bridge in the US and fourteenth-longest in the world by total length.

A few photos, I took,  out the window of the RV….
IMG_4524
Atchafalaya Basin

 

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Atchafalaya Basin

 

After exiting the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge we crossed the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Bridge over Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA
Bridge over Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA
Port of Baton Rouge, Mississippi River in the background
Port of Baton Rouge, Mississippi River in the background
Tug Boat on the Mississippi River
Tug Boat on the Mississippi River

 

We arrived this afternoon, under cloudy skies, at Fairview Riverside State Park in Madisonville, LA. We have enjoyed visiting this state park many times. Here is our site for the next three nights.

Site 41, Fairview Riverside State Parl. Madisonville, LA
Site 41, Fairview Riverside State Parl. Madisonville, LA

 

The Tchefuncte River is high, flowing into the state park.
The Tchefuncte River is high, flowing into the state park.

 

Fairview Riverside State Park, Madisonville, LA
Fairview Riverside State Park, Madisonville, LA

 

Beautiful old, Oak Ttee
Beautiful old, Oak Tree

 

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Howard and I enjoyed a late lunch today at a New Orleans style restaurant here in Madisonville. Howard had a Shrimp Po-Boy and I enjoyed what is called a Southern Thing, which includes green-fried tomatoes, shrimp and coleslaw with special sauce, all on french bread (a Po-Boy). Yummy!

 

o
Southern Thing from New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company

What’s for lunch tomorrow?

 

 

 

 

 

~I am going crazy, four days of cloudy, rainy weather

Sunday, Traveling the back roads of Texas…

Leaving Copper Breaks State Park we traveled on state highways under cloudy skies to Cooper Lake State Park. It was a nice ride. We drove through small towns and in between, as far as the eye could see, hilly, pastoral, acres filled with cattle and horses.

White rail fences and cleverly designed entryways surrounded huge ranch houses proudly displaying their ranch name, something like the Lazy R Ranch,  dotted the landscape. Some of these ranches had even larger Show Horse Barns. Gorgeous!

Unfortunately, we were at Cooper Lake State Park for only one night. Under cloudy skies we walked around some of the park and what we saw we liked. We felt we were the only campers in the park, which is filled with lots of trees and scrubs. This park is also designated as a Dark Skies park and believe me it was dark.  Just after our walk it began raining and it poured all night.

Monday, We traveled in the rain……

Again choosing to travel down the back roads we made our way to Boyce, Louisiana. We drove through eye pleasing towns with American flags proudly flying, beautiful murals covering the sides of buildings, and well taken care of landscaped city parks on corners.

Every once in a while a truck would pass us with deer legs sticking out of truck beds. Not cute. Hunting season is in full force.

We are stopped tonight in a town near Alexandria, Louisiana, called Boyce at River Cities RV Park.

They are very efficient, I called them on the phone this morning to make a reservation, they sent me a text with the security gate code and our site number, we pulled in, entered the gate code, drove to our site and settled in for the evening. Perfect! But, still raining.

We are heading to Madisonville, Louisiana to visit with friends for two days, then to visit family in Purvis, Mississippi. While in Madisonville we plan to indulge in greatly missed, delicious, cajun food! Grilled Oysters on a half-shell with butter and parmesan cheese just to mention one. C’est Si Bon!

Still raining, missing my sunshine, going crazy…

El Nino is going to be a bummer.

~Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

The Daily Post – Photo Challenge – Week of April 24, 2015 – “Motion.”

In Rocky Mountain National Park
In Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado).
Annie, running in the pasture.
Annie, running in the pasture (Mississippi).
"This feels so good" Hot Rod rolling in the grass.
“This feels so good” Hot Rod rolling in the grass (Mississippi).
Coming in for a landing!
Coming in for a landing (Florida).
Fiesty Female  Wild Turkey
Fiesty Female Wild Turkey (Florida).
Snowing
Snowing (Colorado).
"Come soar with me!"
“Come soar with me!” Florida
Soaring
Osprey (Florida).
Over it goes (Montana).
Canada Goose, over the falls (Montana).

~Zydeco-Contribution to ABC Wednesday~

Zydeco

Louisiana Creole Dance Music

Zydeco is a musical genre evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends blues, rhythm and blues and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana.

I found these photos in my archives. They are from our visit to Lafayette and Avery Island, Louisiana.

The Bayou Boys
The Bayou Boys, warming up to play their Zydeco music.
spicy, delicious crawfish
Along with Cajun music one must eat spicy, delicious Cajun food!
The Tabasco Country Store
The Tabasco Country Store where you can buy hot sauce to fix that spicy Cajun food that goes so well with Zydeco music!

Sharing with:

ABC Wednesday

http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/z-for-zachariah.htmlhttp://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/z-for-zachariah.html

~a salt dome, some pepper pods and a jungle ~

What does, a salt dome, pepper pods and a 200 acre jungle have in common? A trip to Avery Island, Louisiana, and a good time!

 

The salt dome extends eight miles beneath the earth’s surface and its protruding “island” part of the formation rising above the surface is Avery Island.

The pepper pods, obtained shortly after the Civil War, are special capsicum peppers. Seeds from these capsicum peppers, grown on the Island, are exported to Central and South America, where tabasco peppers are cultivated and harvested.

The 200 acre jungle is home to the world’s most beautiful sanctuaries for the preservation and study of flora and fauna. Edward McIlhenny, son of Tabasco sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny, was a noted naturalist and explorer and decades ago he cultivated what is today called The Jungle Gardens of Avery Island.

Live Oaks and Lazy Lagoons
Live Oaks and Lazy Lagoons

It all began when Edmund McIlhenny cultivated a crop, invented a product over 125 years ago and founded a company on Avery Island.

 

As their current day brochure states. Much of the world knows about Tabasco pepper sauce.

McIlhenny Company
Tabasco Sauce Brand
Pepper Sauce!!

**I want to give credit for the information in this blog to the wonderful writers at Tabasco, I used their brochures in writing this blog.

I love our flag and here with it are the Louisiana State Flag and the Tabasco flag
The Tabasco Visitors Center. I love our flag and here with it are the Louisiana State Flag and the Tabasco flag.

 

Wednesday, April 2nd we traveled to Avery Island to visit Tabasco. We always have to be conscience of the time we are away from the coach, because of our two beautiful four-legged friends. So when we drove to Avery Island we needed to make a decision on what we wanted to see as we only had time to visit one of two tours. Did we want to tour the Jungle Gardens or take the Tabasco plant tour? It was not a tough decision.

Tabasco factory tours
Tabasco factory tours

We decided to toured the Jungle Gardens. What beautiful grounds they have; we could have spent the entire day hiking around admiring these gorgeous gardens and taking photos!

A meandering road through The Jungle Gardens
A meandering road through The Jungle Gardens
Looking for UFO's or perhaps UFB's.
Looking for UFO’s or perhaps UFB’s.

The 200 acres of jungle gardens are home to a large collection of some 600 varieties of camellias, including some that McIlhenny developed, along with thousands of azaleas, acres of wildflowers, groves of evergreens, english hollies and wistaria vines, just to mention a few.

The 300 year old Cleveland Oak
The 300 year old Cleveland Oak
Have you ever driven through a Wisteria Arch?
Have you ever driven through a Wisteria Arch?

The jungle gardens are a birder’s paradise! We made the right decision in taking this tour.

Over one hundred years ago, Edward McIlhenny helped save a beautiful egret from extinction – the Snowy egret. In 1895 when the snowy was being hunted for its plumage, Edward, built an aviary on Avery Island, and then captured and raised eight wild snowy egrets.

 

For the love of this bird, it all started over 100 years ago. The beautiful Snowy Egret
For the love of this bird, it all started over 100 years ago. The beautiful Snowy Egret

After they had raised their hatches and were ready to migrate, he released them. The snowy egrets returned the next spring and every spring since.

Today this rookery is fondly called “Bird City” where some 20,000 Snowy Egrets, plus many other species of birds, return each spring to raise their young.

The Rookery
The Rookery
An Anhinga couple
An Anhinga couple
The Great Blue Heron enjoying The Jungle Gardens
The Great Blue Heron enjoying The Jungle Gardens

For the love of the Great Blue Heron:

 

 

Others also enjoy The Jungle Gardens:

A snoozing little guy!
A snoozing little guy!
Nature's ultimate camouflage design at work
Nature’s ultimate camouflage design at work
I Spy
I Spy

 

As the time for our departure from Avery Island approached, we stopped at the Tabasco Store to look around. We enjoyed a nice cool cup of homemade ice cream, of course made with Tabasco peppers, sampled some of their flavored sauces and even purchased a few items to bring home. It was another fun day spent in Cajun Country!

The Tabasco Country Store
The Tabasco Country Store

 

Side note:
On our way down to New Iberia, Louisiana and then out to Avery Island we stopped for lunch at a local place called Landry’s. They serve a different daily lunch to a huge number of hard working folks! The food was delicious!

On this drive we were impressed with the oil and gas related businesses we passed. Thousands of people employed in this industry in numerous small Louisiana towns. From, large oil companies, oil service and training companies, to local support businesses like Laudry’s all employing hard working people.

We should all thank these businesses that supply our oil and gas, and the folks that work in them. It made us happy to see the booming economy in this area, to know that America is rich in oil and gas and that Louisiana is employing lots of people to work in these industries.

~

We said farewell to Louisiana, for now, and drove to Beaumont, Texas!

While in Beaumont we enjoyed two full, wonderful days of birding. We met some nice folks from the Houston Audubon Society in High Island and it was a special treat meeting a fellow birder and blogger at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. More on meeting Judy and how we spent these exciting two days later.

We arrived this morning, April 6th, at Stephen F. Austin State Park and we will be here for several days. As I sit here typing I can even count the number of Northern Cardinals we are seeing, so many in one place!

 

 

 

~We passed a good time in the heart of Cajun country!~

 

We passed a good time in the heart of Cajun country!

Monday:

We pulled into Frog City RV Resort (they all have resort after their name these days). Frog City RV is located off I10 in Duson, LA between Lafayette and Rayne. This is the second time since leaving home, in late October, that we have spent time in a private RV park. We enjoy the natural setting of state parks and stay in them when we can. Over the years, traveling along I10, we have stayed at this RV park to enjoy the Cajun food in the area. This time we decided to stay three nights to explore the area more.

After setting up camp it was time for lunch, so we drove a few miles to Fezzo’s. If you are ever in this area stop in Fezzo’s for a wonderful Cajun meal. We had a salad, a seafood pasta dish with shrimp and crawfish, and the best bread pudding anywhere all for $9.99! Here is their website: http://www.fezzos.com

Tuesday, morning:

Tuesday morning we headed to Palmetto Island State Park in Abbeville to look around. We wanted to see if this was a place we would like to camp. We toured around the 96 site campground and stopped at a few places to take some photos.

Palmetto Island State Park
Palmetto Island State Park

 

We were not disappointed and we will add this beautiful park to our list of Louisiana State Parks to visit. It is a little off the beaten path, so I’am thinking, drive there and stay for at least a week or more.

The sites are big and level.

A typical site
A typical site
A part of the campground
A view of part of the campground

While driving around we passed a trail and decided we needed a walk. The path lead us to Evangeline Pond. As we walked along the trail we heard a big splash! The little guy below must have been sunning on the bank and entered the water when he heard us coming.

Hiking Trails
Hiking Trails
Evangeline Pond
Evangeline Pond
Spring along the pond
Spring along the pond
An Evalgeline Pond resident
An Evalgeline Pond resident

Next, we stopped at the Nature Center and walked along a path above the bog. 

Abbeville Red Iris, not in bloom yet.
Abbeville Red Iris, not in bloom yet

 

Cypress Trees in a Swampy Bog
Cypress Trees

 

Carpenter Bee, this bee seemed fascinated with my camera
Carpenter Bee, this bee seemed fascinated with my camera

 

Blooming Iris
A Blooming Iris

 

After leaving the Nature Center we drove over to where they rent Canoes.

Canoe Rentals
Canoe Rentals
A Park Pavilion
A Park Pavilion
A hiker!
A hiker!
Another hiker
Another hiker? Can’t be she is not wearing hiking boots!

 

Leading to the  Vermillion River, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico
Leading to the Vermillion River, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico

 

Across from the Canoes we spotted these two lying on the shoreline. Thank goodness, we were on the opposite side of the bank.

 

Biggggg Gator
Biggggg Gator

 

A smaller one
A smaller one

 

Another view of the  Big One
Another view of the Big One

Tuesday, evening:

We wanted to eat some crawfish and hear some Cajun music so we headed over to La Cuisine et la Musique Cajun,  a restaurant and cajun dancehall called Randol’s. We enjoyed their early bird special – three pounds of boiled crawfish for $12.00!

Along with our spicy, delicious crawfish we had boiled corn and potatoes, and a dark local Abita Brewery beer. Every night a Cajun band plays beginning at 6:30. They have a nice stage and a huge dance floor.  The band is called the Bayou Boys and they were great.

 

spicy, delicious crawfish
spicy, delicious crawfish
The Bayou Boys
The Bayou Boys

 

I tried to include a video I took of the band and some couples dancing, but I couldn’t get it to upload. Seems WP won’t take Mov files.

Wednesday:

A trip to The Jungle (a post for tomorrow)