Before and After the Storm

These are images of the house and yard before and after the storm.
You can see the bulldozer tracks if you look closely where the downed trees were scraped away.
Hurricane Katrina wiped out a very large number of trees in our area.
Our neighbor who stayed, saw tornados move through our yard and watched as trees fell all around.
The large Long leaf pines, slash pines, magnolias, dogwoods, quince, tulip poplars and old growth camellias to name a few... are gone. Now there is way too much sky! Sunlight is great for grass and gardening, but I don't need a "great lawn" .
We miss our shade and flowering trees. I have fewer of the native piney wood shade loving delicate violets and bluets sine the storm... hopefully the few long leaf pines that we have replanted will grow in time.


A Grazing Gaggle of Geese

The geese wanted to free range this morning
so we let them out into the herb garden.
They raided the bird seeds on the sundial.



We had our first really hard freeze here and the ice on the bird baths were at least 1 cm thick. I know that is not much by most of the world's winter standards, but for us.. it's chilly!


Felus rufus

This morning
on the way to work,
near the "quickstop",
we saw an animal
that had been hit,
probably last night
or early this morning.
It was a beautiful
female bobcat or
"Felus rufus"
I had never been
that close to a
wild cat before-
so I did not know
about the white spots
on the back of its ears.
It was a beautiful animal. Such a shame to have been killed that way.
Click on the title above to find out more about Bobcats.


Wrong Way Rudolph!

We recently put up
our weathervane that
we got on sale
for very little.
It had the East West
axis backwards!!
We fixed it.
Now Rudolph
can tell
which way
the wind is blowing...


Here's the latest Buzz..

Even with the weather changing to cool
Our sunflower is buzzing with
lots of activity...


Cold Front

The weather turned very cold this week.
Here is a picture of the lake with the low clouds moving over it.

Porch Door

We finally got the door up on our glassed in porch.
The inside still needs to be finished and caulked, and then painted, as well as the outside..
It was a lot of hard work. What color should we paint the door? it will not remian red- as the paint is coming off...


Canis lupis-Grey Wolf tracks ?

The other night, our dog went crazy barking loudly at the window in the middle of the night. The next morning- there were a few tracks outside in the pea gravel, twice the size of our dog's paws. Here is a photo of one with our dog's track barely visible next to it. It is heavier than he is and he weighs 120 lbs. It also has long claws- so it is not a cat, as the big cat tracks have paw marks without signs of the claws. It is my understanding that it could be a grey or possibly a red wolf, but it is not a coyote, as they are much smaller and lighter. To find out more about the wolf in America-click on the title above. The sound file sounds alot like the howls that we hear on occasion in winter. I'll keep you posted if I see more.



We think that the
local elementary school
has put together the
best collection of
scarecrows that we
have ever seen...


Marie Pavie

Marie Pavie is in her third year in our garden and she is finally making progress.Here is a photo of her most recent blooms.

Passiflora Vitifolia

Our newest and most beautiful passion flower finally bloomed-
It is bright red. I can't wait to taste the fruit!


Guess the Gourd!

This "volunteer" gourd showed up in our garden and we let it grow.
now it's time to "Guess the Gourd!" Do you know what kind it is?
it has small paperwhite blooms, and large leaves.
We have never grown any gourds and it just showed up in our garden
among the chives and onions!?!

Lycoris radiata

These lillies are blooming now. some people call them Hurricane lillies,
my Grandmother called them "naked ladies" because they bloomed without their leaves, which grow up later.

Find out more here at


“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”

Looks like we are in for some "weather" as the ants are building up their nests here on the hill at 157 feet above sea level. The white cranes are nesting up here too.
So-I checked the weather website and found a tropical storm may form and pass over the gulf this week. The ants know. What are the ants doing in your neighborhood this week?


The beautiful
white clematis
that we thought was
totally destroyed
by the free ranging
chickens has returned
in full bloom.


Beautiful Buteo lineatus

This morning,
when I arrived at
my office,
A large,
red shouldered hawk
landed in the big old
live oak tree
outside our building.
He paused and ate something,
then posed and looked around.
As I left my car-
he called and circled
over head twice and
flew west over the
sycamore tree.


The bees knees

This morning when
we went out early
to walk the dog
and feed and water
the animals-
We heard lots
and lots of buzzing!
We looked down and
noticed that all the
bumble-bees were
buzzing and landing
on the grass
all over the
front yard.
I photographed
them and with the
aid of a close up
camera lens and a
closer look,
you can see that
they are gathering
the pollen
from the little
purple blooms
on the grass.
They are so small
that it is hard
to see the purple
grass blossoms-
but the bees see them!-
The large yellow dots
on the side of the
bees knees are
round balls of
pollen that
the bees have
Imagine that!

What if we had to store our lunch and dinner on the back of our knees until we could get it home to eat it?


Crawfish chimney

This is one
of the smallest
crawfish chimneys
that I have ever seen.
It was freshly made
at 6:00am
You can see
how small it is
compared to my
on the left
and the St. Augustine
grass on the right.



I went to a
hummingbird festival
this past weekend
and they were
banding the tiny birds.
Here is one of a
bird being banded.
The numbers are
down due to
loss of habitat.
They arrive in
our area to breed
in March and leave
in October. Basically
Mardi Gras to All Saints .
The males leave in July-
although some stay
through the winter.

So keep your feeders full all year if you want to support them.
They feed on sugar and water and basically fatten up for a ong flight south to the Yucatan and South Central Mexico and Central America. If you want to make your own feed-mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts very warm water and mix well.
Change the feeders often and clean thoroughly.


Not a bear- coyotes!

OK- so we found out that it most probably was
not a bear- which are very rare in our area,
but coyotes that got our chickens and ducks.


Feel the Love - bugs!

It is THAT time of year again.
Love bug season.
(Plecia nearctica)
In their quest for courtship
they cover everything,
moving or not.
Almost always
in clusters of pairs.
I have to admit,
I do feel a bit sorry for the
one who are alone...

go here for some lovely love bug poetry


and here to learn more about these bizzare flies




This is a photo of the "rain-beaux" that we saw over lake Pontchartrain
on the 2nd anniversary of Katrina.


This is a picture of the really starving kitten that showed up after Katrina.
She wouln't let us get near her- and she was so messed up.
It took some time- but we made friends with her and took her to the vet.
She is still skiddish, except for around our dog. She loves our dog.
She is much healthier and we hope happier.
We named her Lakeview.


Ursus americanus luteolus ?

Since Katrina, 60% of the natural tree canopy in our area has been destroyed.
As a result, animals have also had to adapt.
Recently we lost some of our free ranging chickens.
They vanished one night and left only their feathers behind at the bottom of the hill.
We also had signs of a really very large animal breaking limbs on shrubs and low branches,
and breaking native plants at about hip high- especially around the chicken coops.
The dog will not go down the hill anymore near the katrina debris piles.
We thought - is it the panther we saw before the storm?
The bobcat? a really large racoon?
Then we found some really unusual droppings near where they
vanished. Tubular very large scat with lots of seed and grains and very dark with some black hair in it.

we did some image research and found that it suggested that
we may have a bear in the area.
Bears are omnivores and we have blackberries, bluberries, muscadines and pears for it to eat, as well as small deer.
We have recently penned our birds to protect from whatever predator is in the area.

to learn more about the Louisiana Black bear



Yesterday afternoon
the whole block was excited
about a visit from "Turbo"

a rare Gopher Tortoise
"Gopherus poliphemus"

their burrows can be
up to 42 feet long !

They eats things like
grass, berries,
flowers and mushrooms.

To learn more go to: