Tag Archives: Louisiana

~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!

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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)

 

 

~A Few Birds from Fairview Riverside State Park and #359~

 

A few more bird photos from Fairview Riverside State Park. And, number 359, a new sighting!

 

IMG_7662
Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary  Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
IMG_7657
Prothonotary Warbler

When I first spotted this beautiful little warbler, I though it was a new sighting; however, after checking my records I had seen it previously. It was truly a joy to get to watch this little bird for a few seconds.

 

Finally, a new bird РYellow-throated Warbler. Number 359! 

Yellow-throated Warbler (backside)
Yellow-throated Warbler
(backside)
Yellow-throated Warbler (not good photos, but proof of sighting)
Yellow-throated Warbler
(not good photos, but proof of sighting)

 

Very hard to photograph, because it was flitting around in the dense trees, zipping in and out of the moss.
Very hard to photograph this little guy, because it was flitting around in the heavy foliage and zipping in and out of the moss.

I enhanced the last two photos of the Yellow-throated; I tried to improve the  photos highlighting the bird better. Of course the best shot is of its back-side!

 

Great Egret
Great Egret on the hunt

 

IMG_7588
Getting close

 

IMG_7587
Closer

 

IMG_7576
Snowy Egret
IMG_7595
Yellow Feet
IMG_7594
Texas Two-Step

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

 

High up in a tall Long Leaf Pine
High up in a tall Long Leaf Pine

 

Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves

 

 It is always fun to take a walk, because you never know what you might see!

 

 

~With our nose pointing west….

 

With our nose pointing west….

We sadly leave family and friends in Mississippi and Louisiana….until next time our hearts remain with each of you.

Two weeks ago we visited our family in Purvis, Mississippi. We had a wonderful time and it was truly sad leaving them. They spoil us rotten while we are there.

We stay at my brother and sister-in-law’s farm. While there we also get to see my younger sister and many nieces, nephews, greats and great-greats! Love you guys and thanks for making us feel loved and welcome!

A few Mississippi photos:

Annie
Annie She loves to chase cows and run off critters at night
Japanese Magnolia (my brother love to plant trees and blooming scrubs)
Japanese Magnolia
(my brother loves to plant trees and blooming scrubs)
Another variety of Japanese Magnolia
Another variety of Japanese Magnolia
Sing Baby Sing I saw twenty-three species on the farm while there
Sing Baby Sing
I saw twenty-three species, of bird this visit

 

Big Red, Hot rod, Lace and Fat Mama/Lena before she foaled
Big Red, Hot Rod, Lace and Fat Mama/Lena before she foaled. All across the Front Pond
Front Pond, Howard and Leland going to see if the Wood Ducks were in the bog.
Front Pond, Howard and Leland going to see if the Wood Ducks were in the bog. We saw 14!

 

 A pair of Blue-winged Teals visiting the back  pong

A pair of Blue-winged Teals visiting the Back Pond
Red Missippippi Mud -back pond
Red Missippippi Mud
-back pond
Tracks, probably Turkey
Tracks, probably Turkey
Another view of the back pond
Another view of the back pond

Goodbye Mississippi, we’ll be back!¬†

After our visit in Mississippi we drove to Madisonville, Louisiana and again stayed at Fairview Riverside State Park. We stay there, because it is close to friends, who also spoil us rotten! We had a great time and hope to see yawl soon. Love you guys!

 

I have been posting a few photos from Fairview Riverside State Park and I have a few more to share, including my new bird sightings!

A beautiful Cypress Tree
A beautiful Cypress Tree

One evening we had dinner with Howard’s brother and our sister-in-law, who drove from Hobe Sound, Florida to visit with SIL’s family in Metairie. Remember we spent time visiting with them and family in Hobe Sound. We will see all of you very soon, with all our love!

We all met at a restaurant in Covington, Louisiana. Howard and Bob’s childhood friend and his family jointed us for dinner and we had a very enjoyable time visiting.

One morning we drove the 22 mile causeway over Lake Pontchartrain traveling, as they say, from the north shore to the south shore to the city of Metairie, which is near New Orleans. We went to visit with our 82 year old cousin. Joy is her name and she is a joy to be around.

As you can see we had a busy time and again our visit has come to an end. This morning we pulled out of Fairview Riverside State Park and pointed our nose west!!! 

 

Goodbye Madisonville, Louisiana, we’ll be back!

 

We are slowly making our way home to Colorado, stopping along the way where ever we want, to enjoy birding, hiking, sightseeing and some more good eats! 

We are staying a few days in Duson, Louisiana (can you say the cajun pronunciation of Duson). While here we will visit a state park in Abbeville, Louisiana to see if we would like to stop there on future trips through this area. We really love the State Parks!

Tomorrow night we plan to eat dinner at a restaurant near Lafayette, while a cajun band plays their unique style of music!

 

We have not decided on a specific route home.

 

We don’t have any firm plans beyond this point, except to visit some of the national wildlife areas near Beaumont, Texas, hoping to see some migrating birds. 

 

Which way, which way shall we go?