Petting a sloth

Barn Hill Preserve – Louisiana

posted in: Fun Times | 0

Back in March we made the drive up to Ethel, Louisiana to visit Barn Hill Preserve. It’s not like other zoos, in that you really have to reserve your visit, and take a guided tour, as opposed to walking around on your own. Mostly, that’s because you’re going to be interacting with some of the animals.

Barn Hill is a free-flying Macaw rescue. so the first thing you’ll notice is that there will be colorful macaws at random spots, and they may even follow you around.

Posed Perfectly

Blue and Yellow Macaw

But, that’s not all. They’ll also spend quite a bit of time showing you all of the animals at the preserve, interacting with some of them, and of course, letting you hang out with the sloths like the photo above.

Of course, like anything involving animals, what experiences you get to have on any given day may vary on the animals moods. The guide won’t take any risks with angry or unruly animals hurting a guest. Still, it was an experience we will not soon forget.

Here’s a sample. There will be more photos in the coming weeks on the blog.



Tortoise in the Grass

Annual Look Back at My Photos – Best of 2018

posted in: Site News | 0

As we enter 2019, like I do every new year, I make it a point to go back to the previous year and pick out an album’s worth of my favorite photos that I took during the year. As always, the album tends to be a small reflection on the year that was, and 2018 was clearly a year of less travel, but plenty of local exploration of Louisiana and some surrounding states.

Avery Island – Bird City

posted in: Nature | 0

In addition to being the home of Tabasco, Avery Island, LA is also an egret sanctuary. Each Spring a colony of snowy egrets nests in a part of the island specifically designed for them. There, during this time of the year, you can see the egret babies and their mothers feeding and learning to fly on their own before the next migration.

The Garden tour, a self-driving tour around the gardens of Aviary Island offers you the chance to park and take a short walk to an observation platform where you have a great view on the wetlands that these snowy egrets will call home.

Bird City - Avery Island



Mama and Baby Egrets

Traditional Cajun Mardi Gras in Eunice, Louisiana

posted in: Fun Times | 1

All the costumes, colors, and chickens.

The Acadian (Cajun) tradition follows the medieval French Mardi Gras tradition of going farmhouse to farmhouse dressed in full costume so that you wouldn’t be recognized for whatever debauchery you got yourself into the day before Lent. Upon arrival the courirs would beg for food to use as the ingredients for a community meal held later that evening. (Gumbo in Louisiana, obviously.) This involves not just crawling prostrate but also dancing and singing for your charity. Mostly while also imbibing a lot. It also involves the Capitanne making the runners chase the chicken received from the farmhouse.

I put a couple of videos up on my Facebook profile, if you want to see the full effect, but I also wanted to share some photos that show how the traditional Mardi Gras celebrated in this part of Louisiana is quite different than what you’d experience in New Orleans, but still quite fun! (Click on the photo for a larger version)

The Capitanne Leads the Mardi Gras Releasing the Chicken!

He's got a Prize! Mardi Gras Saddle Essentials. Color and Empties

These Two are Plotting Sometimes You Need to Stand on Your Horse to See What's Happening

That's a Big Beer Hand Riders in Costume

This would make a good LSU game day outfit too Chicken Gumbo tonight!

Revelers as far as the Eye Can See Now that's a Party Bus

Can You Drive a Tractor With that Mask? The Parade Rolls On Again

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

posted in: Fun Times | 0

While we were in Columbus in early December visiting friends and family, one of those meetings took place at the fairgrounds, so we could all gather and see the Oho Chinese Lantern Festival. Not only did we get to enjoy the company of an adorable two-year old and her great parents, but we got to admire some serious artistry.


Dancing Girl

Big, Bold Lantern Display

All Lit Up For The Evening

I’ll have some more photos from this event on the blog in the upcoming weeks, but if you’re in Ohio, you have just a few more days to check it out.

Polynesian Cultural Center

posted in: History, Travel | 0

While we were in Hawaii earlier this year, we did take a tour of the Island, ending at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The Center is run by a branch campus of BYU, so these are all students teaching the culture and history of these cultures. These photos were all taken during the “parade” on boats through the center of the park.

It’s an interesting place, though obviously with the ties to BYU there is no alcohol during the luau dinner, so it might not be what you’re looking for in Hawaii, but I enjoyed the educational aspects as well as the great examples of cultural dance.

The Maori of New Zealand

The Maori of New Zealand


Fiji Warriors

Fiji Warriors

Hawaiian Hulu

Hawaiian Hulu



Tahitian Female Dancers Tell Stories With Their Hips

Tahitian Female Dancers Tell Stories With Their Hips

Migrating American White Pelicans

posted in: Nature | 0

Apparently, the lakes on the LSU campus are a popular place for migrating pelicans. It’s a yearly tradition for them to spend some time in Baton Rouge, and are a popular sight for photographers as well.

The day we set out to go see them, it was fairly windy and chilly, so while we saw packs of them flying overhead, our trip around the larger lake did not result in spotting the main group. I reasoned that the water might be a bit choppy for them out there, and they may be holed up in some more peaceful area.

Flying in Formation

Turns out, we should have just looked for the stopped cars.

The Pelicans Draw a Crowd

Yes, over on one of the smaller, and more peaceful, lakes. There they were!

Hanging Around


More Pelicans

I’ll have more from this trip around the lakes, of the pelicans as well as a number of other waterfowl who call the lakes home.