Friday, December 17, 2010

Fishing trip

Last Wednesday Dave and I drove up to Clinton, LA to our grandparent's camp. They own lots of land and the family members use it for hunting and fishing. The goal of our fishing trip was to break in our brand new baitcasting rod and reels that we bought at Cabelas. I wasn't expecting to catch anything because it was cold and windy and not a good day for fishing. We had been casting for about an hour when I caught a largemouth bass! I caught him on a white spinner bait and I'm guessing he weighted about 2-3 pounds. After the picture was taken, I threw him back in so he can grow big!

We didn't catch any more fish so we left around 1PM and headed to my grandparent's house. As soon as I got there, I showed them the picture of my fish. They said it was a pretty fish! I had nice color and was fat. Then, we sat around the fireplace, talked, drank hot tea and ate cookies.

After that, we walked outside to visit my uncle's donkeys.

They love to be petted and I think they wanted some food, but I didn't have anything for them to eat.

Dave and I petted them awhile, then walked around to the other side of the barn. The donkeys followed us! They look so cute here.

We left the donkeys behind and headed for the back porch. We sat in rocking chairs and watched goldfinches root around in leaf litter. They got close to us and I was able to snap a few pictures. I'm not sure what kind of bird is in the last picture. Maybe its a female goldfinch.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Over the Levee

I live in south Louisiana, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge. Saint Gabriel is a small town that sits across from the Mississippi River. We live on River Road. River Road is a very long road that follows the river as it winds its way down to the Gulf of Mexico. All along River Road is a levee that keeps the Mississippi River from flooding. Here are some pictures that I took this morning when I went for a walk up and over the levee and through the woods to the river.

The levee side that faces my house is nothing but grass, but the backside is solid concrete (for reinforcement).

Once you cross the levee, you will see a path that leads to the river.

I love cardinals. I spotted him while walking along the path and he stayed still long enough for me to snap his picture. He wasn't close to me...I had to use all of my digital zoom and most of my optical zoom! I also saw a female cardinal, but wasn't able to get a picture of her.

The cardinals were seen in the trees growing in this overflow pond. Every year the river floods (due to snow melt up north) and after the water recedes, a small pond is formed where the water wasn't able to drain out.

I'm not sure what kind of vine this is, but it was growing all around the pond.

Blackberry vines have pretty purple fall foliage.

The Mississippi River! Its very wide and deep here.

Fall color from sycamore trees. Sycamore trees are one of my favorite trees. I love how the bark peels off to reveal white wood underneath.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Its a cold day in south Louisiana....26 degrees this morning! The high is 55 and thats not too bad. When I walked outside this morning, there was a blanket of frost over the grass. I forgot to bring in some of my "not cold hardy" plants and I don't think they were able to survive the below freezing temps. I'm not too worried about them because they are easy to replace. I did remember to bring in my special plants, like plumeria, hibiscus, and a large jade plant. I keep them in the outside laundry room with the hot water heater and they are able to stay warm there. Thankfully, this cold snap is short lived and the temperature will be back in the high 60's by the end of the week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Its been a while since I've written a blog, mainly because not much has been happening. Garden plants are blooming some, but they are not near as pretty as they were in the spring. The one plant that looks nice is my dianthus. Here it is in bloom!

One of the reasons I haven't blogged much is that I spend most of my time working at Cabelas. As Christmas approaches, Cabelas extends store hours to ensure that every customer has the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts or buy something for themselves. That also means that employees have to work long hours.

Christmas time = really good sales. Dave and I took advantage of the doorbuster sale this morning and bought two scopes (on sale $15 regular $50) and two rod/reel combos with a baitcasting reel. Thats a very nice reel! The rods were around $45 each, which is a nice sale. I'm hoping to catch a nice sized largemouth bass with my new rod.

Dave and I will soon be visiting the state parks for a mini vacation. We will catch fish, walk the wooded trails and photograph wildlife. I'm hoping for a barred owl picture! Stay tuned for state park blog posts in the weeks following Christmas!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Every month, on the 15th, garden bloggers take pictures of whats blooming in their garden. Its called the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Here are pictures from my garden.

Turk's Cap

Purple Wandering Jew


Agastache 'Heatwave'

Coral Nymph Salvia

Indigo Spires Salvia

Autumn Sage (salvia)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Flowers

Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are one of my most dependable perennials. They mainly bloom in spring, then rest for summer, then put on a few blooms in fall. This picture is one of my fall blooms. I started growing purple coneflowers about 2 years ago. My friend Kiki gave me some of her coneflowers when she divided them. Now I have plenty of coneflowers! I'm going to divide mine and give some to my aunt Kathy for Thanksgiving.

Here is a picture of my mums. They have more flowers on them than the last time I posted about them. I really like the color (deep red/maroon). The color is a bit washed out from the sunlight.

This is a picture of a seed head on my Gaillardia.

I love my Agastache 'Heatwave'. It has tons of flowers and the bees love it. I posted about this plant a few months ago, when I bought it from Lowe's. Its done well since then. I have two other kinds of Agastache (Ava and Acapulco Salmon/Pink). I bought those from High Country Gardens, a mail order nursery. They are growing well, but a little too small to photograph now. If you want to attract hummingbirds, plant Agastache!

This is my Turks Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii). This plant started as a cutting from LSU and I've been growing it for a few years. It has unusual flowers....they hang down towards the ground! This is a good plant for light shade and hummingbirds like this plant.

I'll close with a picture of my dog Max. Whenever I'm out in the garden, he follows me around and tries to eat bees. Of course, the bees are too fast and he never eats them. Every now and then a bee will sting him on the nose, but he doesn't learn to leave the bees alone.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Plants

Today I went to our local plant nursery (Louisiana Nursery) and picked up a handful of clearance plants. I saw plenty of nice pansies and snapdragons, but didn't get any. I don't care too much for annuals; I usually only buy perennials.

This is a pretty red Gaillardia or Blanket Flower, as some people call it.

David wanted to buy a hibiscus and we were surprised to see all tropicals 80% off! The nursery had tons of double hibiscus but didn't have many single hibiscus left. Finally, we found a pretty yellow hibiscus and were able to buy it for a couple dollars. I plan on repotting it in a big pot and leave it in the greenhouse until next spring.

These plants are Giant Cigar plants (Cuphea melvillea). One is for me and one is for David's mom. I gave her a Giant Cigar plant two years ago for Mother's Day and now I think she needs a new plant. I planted my plant in full sun and hopefully it will take off and bloom for the hummingbirds next spring.

This is a plant I've been wanting for a while. Its a tall growing dianthus. I think the tag said it was an Amazon Neon Cherry dianthus. The butterflies love this plant! Since they are blooming now, the nursery had tons of these. I picked one that had not bloomed yet so I can enjoy the flowers at my house.

Here is another plant I love: Shasta Daisy 'Alaska'. This is a reliable perennial that can be divided and shared with friends. It loves full sun.

Dave loves the shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana) and it was on clearance for $1.00! It looks sickly so I'm hoping a little fertilizer will help it out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Garden happenings

I love Coral Nymph Salvia! When I look at this plant from my kitchen window, it looks like a pink cloud! It has tons of flowers and the bees love them. It has bloomed non stop since I planted it in early summer.

The above picture is a seed pod of Butterfly Ginger. I've never had any of my Butterfly Gingers produce seed, so this was an interesting sight!

The above is my mum that I bought and planted at least a month ago. I bought it with tons of unopened flower buds and expected it to bloom shortly. I was wrong. Its been at least a month and the flowers are just now opening. I think the temperature had to drop a little for the mums to bloom. I love the color! Its a deep red/maroon.

Cosmos are one of the super plants in my flower bed. They bloom constantly and don't require any additional water (other than rain). The flowers last for several days and then produce seeds. I've been taking the seeds and spreading them in my neighbors abandoned garden! I'm hoping to make that entire forgotten garden full of cosmos!

Pink impatiens brighten up my back patio. They bloom all the time and don't need any maintenance.

Here is an updated picture of my volunteer coleus. I'd say its about one foot tall.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oak Alley Plantation

This weekend was the Oak Alley Fall Festival at the Oak Alley plantation in Vacherie, LA. The festival features arts and crafts from mostly local vendors. The vendors bring handmade jewelery, paintings, crafts, and food.

Here is a picture of the plantation. It has an alley made by Live Oak trees planted in two long rows. These oaks are huge and are over a hundred years old.

This is one of the oak trees that make up the alley way. Can you see Dave at the bottom of the trunk? I wanted him to be in the picture to give you a sense of how big the oaks are.

This is a close up of the front of Oak Alley. Its such a beautiful place!

Side view of the front. You can tour the inside of Oak Alley, but it is expensive and they don't allow pictures inside. The ladies that give the tour dress up in clothes that people from the 1800's wore. You can see some of them in this picture.

I love this picture! Live Oaks are huge trees with long draping branches. This picture shows how the tree grows up, then, when it is very old, the branches drape to the ground.

Here is Dave kneeling down by trunk of a live oak. This tree is very old!

Here is what I bought at the festival:

I love Louisiana swamp pictures.

This is a very special picture because it is made from MUD! Can you believe that? The artist travels around Louisiana and collects different types of mud (all mud had its own unique color) and he uses mud to paint with!! The white parts of the picture are unpainted canvas.

I love black and white paintings! This is a swamp scene and thats why I love it. There is a houseboat in the background and two people on small boats collecting moss.

This is my most unique purchase: a crab shell painted in LSU colors. Its a Christmas ornament! I couldn't pass it up. This is a Christmas present for my in laws. They are huge LSU fans. They've had season tickets for 20 years and never miss a game. I know they will love it!