Archive for the ‘turtles’ Tag

09-06-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-4   Leave a comment

Our third day in NO was a special day for me because for most of my life I’ve wanted to ride an airboat through these Louisiana swamps.  We boarded a bus in the French Quarter which took us across the Mississippi River southeast into the bayous. Our destination was a bayou named Barataria where the pirate John Lafitte and his men helped Stonewall Jackson defeat the British at the battle of New Orleans.  A beautiful place filled with as much history as you could ever want.

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These boats are just as fast as you can imagine. It’s like flying on water.

We left the dock and proceeded into the bayou and the beauty of the place was breathtaking.  I could have spent an entire week just riding around taking pictures. The guide took us to a rather cool cemetery where the brother of Jean Lafitte is buried. As you can see all bodies are buried above ground here in Louisiana.

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This is the ultimate spooky graveyard.

I was especially interested in getting some wildlife pictures and I no sooner had that thought and BAM . . . we found a few gators.  They were almost as curious about us as we were about them. This guy came to visit after we pulled ashore to get a better look at him.

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Doesn’t he have the cutest smile?

We played around with them for a few minutes then it was back into some isolated logging channels where we ran into a couple of turtles sunning themselves on a log.

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I hated for this day to come to an end but I was able to take some truly wonderful photos.  This last photo is the one that will remind me of this trip for as long as I live.

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WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?

 

 

08-24-2014 Journal Entry–Swamp Stomp!   Leave a comment

What does beautiful weather and a lack of humidity mean to you? To me it means a day in the woods and swamps with my camera and a gallon of bug spray.  This summer hasn’t allowed me as much time as I’d like to roam around. We’ve been much too busy to take the time and I’m not at all happy about that. So today I decided to make time for a little of Mother Nature’s healing influences.

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I’ve been attempting this summer to collect as many photo’s as possible of the illusive dragonfly.  I packed up the car and made my way back to my favorite swamp for another attempt.  In years past there were a constant supply of dragonflies beginning in July and lasting until Labor Day.  This year has been quite a bit different possibly due to the higher than normal rainfall.  The number of dragonflies in the skies around our home has steadily increased over the last few weeks and I’m hoping for the best here in the swamp.

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As I arrived at the sanctuary I discovered a few vehicles parked around meaning other visitors in the area. Hopefully they’re here to pick black berries and aren’t stumbling around near the swamp scaring the wildlife away.  I cover myself in bug spray and head into the woods. The milkweed pods are in bloom in really large numbers this year. I’ve also noticed a much large number of thistle plants as well which always makes for interesting photographs.

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The closer I get to the swamp the more dragonflies I’m seeing and as I enter the swamp they’re everywhere.  I also notice that most of the ones I’m seeing are all the same color.  In a normal year I would see at least a dozen brightly colored variations but not today. 

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There are a few mallard ducks flying around but they refuse to sit still long enough for me to get a few photo’s.  They seem a little jumpy which could mean a few visitors had been in the area before my arrival.  I stumbled into an area with a large cluster of dragonflies so I stood perfectly still and waited for them to come around to check me out. This was my best picture of the day. This guy was a rather small specimen who’s actual size was only about an inch and a half long.

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Since the selection was somewhat limited I decided to move on to a secondary swamp located nearby that usually has large numbers of frogs and turtles.  I hope to find a little more activity there.  It’s unusually quiet today which can only mean previous visitors which for me isn’t a good thing. I arrive in the area and there’s no wildlife activity at all except for this stupid frog.  No dragonflies, one frog, and no turtles.  I decided to call it a day and began my trek back to my car.  It seems today was a wasted trip.

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As I made my way along the trail I came upon that group of visitors. They were all clustered around my favorite blackberry patch filling up their containers.  It appears a number of new people have stumbled onto the patch which translates to less berries for me and my better-half.  We’ll need to stop by in a few days and hopefully collect enough berries to make our usual batch of summer jam. 

We shall see.

06-17-2014 The Japanese, Turtles, and Muslims!   Leave a comment

I’ll start off to day talking about consumerism.  I didn’t realize just how much of a consumer I actually was until I began tracking my purchases and saving every receipt.  I’ve been doing that for years now and every so often as I’m entering that end-of-month information into a spreadsheet I’m forced to admit my somewhat excessive consumer issues. Once each month I find myself standing next to a trash can filled with receipts and that has to tell me something.

That being said as I was reading yesterday I discovered that in comparison I might not be as bad as I first thought.  I noticed that as bad as we American seem to be when it comes to crass consumerism the Japanese make us look like a bunch of amateurs.  Here’s a collection of tidbits on the Japanese and their quirky approach to retailing and consumption.

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“In Tokyo, Japan there are vending machines that dispense frozen meat, jewelry, and even dating information.”

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“A company in Kyoto, Japan, makes waterproof books for students who like to study in the bath.”

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“Kanebo, a cosmetic company in Japan, has developed a line of panty-hose that are embedded with vitamins and special scents that are released when worn.”

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I know you thought I was kidding, right!   Those crazy fun loving Japanese will merchandise and sell just about anything.

Next I’ll address a subject that has always fascinated me. Synchronicity!  I’ve firmly believed for most of my life that there are no such things as coincidences.  As a former extensively trained investigator it’s been proven time and time again to my satisfaction. Unfortunately there have been a few random times that "synchronicity" has reared it’s ugly head and I had no logical explanation.

Two days ago my better-half and I were taking a walk near our home when a passing motorist stopped to tell us about a large turtle she saw crossing the road. She was concerned it might be hit by a car and had turned around to check on it. I walked a short distance and found the turtle scrambling from the highway and helped him along in his travels to get off the road.

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We returned to our house and I sat down at the computer to check on a few things on-line.  On Facebook I found an entry from my step-daughters husband who was traveling for work and happened upon what else, a freaking turtle on the road. He posted a photograph of himself parked along a highway and assisting the rather large turtle to cross the road to avoid the dangers of oncoming traffic. 

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A synchronistic moment to be sure.  I’ve had a few other startling incidents like this during my life for which I have no reasonable answers or explanations.  Just saying.

Lastly, I finally finished the renovation of my wine-making area.  I’d been wanting to complete this job for years and finally was able to get it done.  It should make bottling and handling of my wine a much easier process than in the past.

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That’s all I have for today but I thought I’d pass along a few tidbits of wisdom from Jeff Foxworthy. In the Army we called this process “Knowing Your Enemy”. If this offends anyone out there just remember I’m just doing my part in adding a little humor to a humorless situation. So get over it.

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Have you ever wondered why it’s OK to make jokes about Catholics, the Pope, Jews, Christians, the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Chinese, the French (including French Canadians) etc., but its insensitive to make jokes about Muslims? We need to level the playing field for the sake of political correctness . . .

Jeff Foxworthy on Muslims

1.   If you refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor, you may be a Muslim.

2. If you own a $3,000 machine gun and a $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes, you may be a Muslim.

3. If you have more wives than teeth, you may be a Muslim.

4. If you wipe your butt with your bare hand but consider bacon to be unclean, you may be a Muslim.

5. If you think vests come in two styles: Bullet-proof and suicide,you may be a Muslim

6. If you can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared jihad against,you may be a Muslim.

7. If you consider television dangerous but routinely carry explosives in your clothing, you may be a Muslim.

8. If you were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs, you may be a Muslim.

9. If you have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four, you may be a Muslim.

10. If you find this offensive and don’t forward it, you may be a Muslim.

THERE YOU HAVE IT!

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