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:

Night Visitors

The "night visitors"
left tracks on our windows.
The long fingers resemble
human hands-
but are in fact from
"Procyon lotor" or
Rocky Racoon and pals.
and yes-
they left other calling cards as well.
to learn more go to


Sunny our Buff Rooster

This is "Sunny".
He is our Buff Orpington Rooster.
The original Orpington was developed in 1886.
He has a really akward crow, but he is on time at daybreak.
Unless of course the newspaper delivery man has his brights on-
Then he will crow at 4:00am.
He is very protective of his " girls" ,
but sweet to us and does not bother the cats,
dog, geese or ducks.
He will also come when you call.
We got him some buff orpington hens too.
They are our "golden girls". Here is a photo of one of them.


We also have ducks.
We bought two mallards and they actually belong to my niece who named them Daisy and Emerson.
We also purchased what we thought were 6 blue Swedish ducks, and I think they are either Black Swede/ Cayuga or Mallard combinations. They have crested plumes and are showing signs of being more green than deep blue or black.
We love them though. They are sweetly skittish, and will come when you call, although not too close, and they LOVE to frolic in the water. Frolic is the word. They are the most comical birds in the yard. The females have the loudest quack. You always know where they are.The male quacks are more like muttering. They love to dabble and have already dug more holes in the yard than our dog ever will. But they keep the slugs and snails out of our garden.

Embden Geese

The second set of geese that we bought are Embden. The Embden goose is also known as the Bremen or L'oie d'Emden in France/Belgium. They are bright white and have deep blue eyes- IF you can get close enough to see them. They love to stretch out in arabesques in the sun after their breakfast and a dip in the water.
Although they are definitely sweeter than the older geese, they have picked up some bad habits, and they can get pretty loud. hey come when you call them and are curious if you grunt and whinny like they do, but are still pretty skittish.
Their feathers make lovely quills.


We have geese.
The first two geese that we aquired were sold as African Geese, but we think that they are actually Brown Chinese Geese, since they have a knob, but no dewlap. They are supposedly a cross between the white Chinese goose and a wild swan and the breed was first recognized in 1874.
They are VERY mean.
They are also VERY LOUD.They sound like a stepped-on clarinet.
But they are also VERY beautiful. They do "arabesques" quite regularly and they keep the grass fairly trimmed.


Star Party

People who like to learn about and observe the constellations-
and watch for falling stars during meteor showers
often gather to share the experience and call it a "Star Party"

The Perseids Meteor shower this weekend is best viewed during the new moon.
We have little light pollution here so we are going to try to have our first little
Star Party and try and view the Perseids this Saturday and Sunday.

no matter where you live, there are Star Parties ahpppening near you.
Find out more by contacting your local Astronomy Society
For more information See NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory


and remember - when you see a falling star...

Make a wish!


Asian Pears

This year we had lots of cool weather so we actuall had a good year for the asian pear trees.
They are tart and really crisp and great for baking.
It's fun to watch the chickens jump straight up and try to eat the ones on the lower branches.
They were rather small to medium sized- but delicious.


We did not place the bird guard netting on our few blueberry bushes this year, but even with the wild birds and deer sharing with us- the additional sunshine due to the tree loss and the much needed rainstorms this spring helped to pruduce some nice medium size blueberries, which were great on cereal for breakfast.
I never collected enough at one time for canning, or for a pie, but what few we did get, were not too bad.

Wild Blackberries

Because we did not cut all of the yard at all in the last two years,
The wild blackberries have thrived.
The deer know this too.
But we did manage to get some before they did.
As a result of the success with wild blackberries,
we have decided to continue to allow the brambles to grow in certain areas of the yard.
Two varieties did well.
The sweet early dewberries, plum and watery, with lots of juice and very large,
and the smaller drier, but intensely sweeter smaller deerberries.
The thornless variety that I planted 3 years ago has not done well at all.


This year we were more successful in growing tomoatoes.
We planted small plants from the local feed store;
Better Boy, Creole tomatoe, Beefsteak and roma.
Despite some early setbacks caused by two small voracious catepillars,
we did ok.
We will definitely try tomatoes again.
The spinach seedlings set, but that and the Baby Bok choi
got gobbled by the free range chickens!
Welcome to das Blau Haus -the Blue House.
This blog is about our house and all the things that happen in and around it.