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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Tahitian Female Dancers Tell Stories With Their Hips
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.
Turns out, we should have just looked for the stopped cars.
Yes, over on one of the smaller, and more peaceful, lakes. There they were!
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.
A few photos from the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Perhaps the most disheartening part of our time in Hawaii was the young member of the Naval staff reminding us before the trip out to the memorial that it is a burial site, and to be respectful. Because I’m sure the need for that reminder is because too many people had not acted accordingly. This despite the list of the fallen….
Or the fact that the ship is still leaking oil: