Soggy Spring

Apparently we’re experiencing one of the wettest Aprils on record. I made numerous attempts at constructing the framework for my potager/kitchen garden, but nature had other plans – like washing away the four dumptruck loads of soil I had delivered, and raining so hard my tomato plants (still in pots) split in half. So this week, after enduring tornadoes and the blackest late-morning skies I’ve ever seen, I decided to stop making plans and just do whatever I could with the time (or weather) I was given.

11am view from my door. #nolaweather #lowercoastnola

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Part of that was observing the numerous birds that swooped in between monsoons to hunt for food. I know so very little about birds, and it’s my weakest area as an amateur naturalist. I got to meet the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Nyctanassa violacea, which I’m told is the same bird Cajuns call a “Gros-Bec”.

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The heavy rains also brought in the snakes (reptiles need high ground too!). This was a docile little Rat Snake, Pantherophis obsoleta, hiding next to my potted plants by the back door. Since they eat rodents I am more than happy to have them hanging around the house. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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Finally, the few dry weekend mornings I’ve had this spring were spent like this. Today is one of those perfect 70 degrees and sunny days (the forecast is showing a sunny week ahead too, but I’m understandably skeptical). So I’m finally going to jump in the garden and see what’s still possible to grow this season. Right now!

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Wetland Garden

This is where my garden is about to be installed. I had dump trucks scheduled to deliver soil this week but cancelled the order due to heavy rains. I’ve considered alternatives to a traditional garden, like filling flat boats with soil and using them as giant planter boxes…

Or I could grow rice. Or crawfish.

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Early Spring

Since winter wasn’t too bad this year the signs of spring appeared in late January with bursts of clover and yellow wildflowers. All throughout February the patches grew larger, undeterred by winter’s weak attempts to get below 40 degree here. By Mardi Gras my blueberry bush was full of flowers…

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And the yard was full of these… 

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In other news, someone down the highway is building a structure that appears to be expecting snow.

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Got a visit from the neighbors across the street too. I’ve never been this close to a bull before, but I pondered that literally grabbing the bull by the horns and bull shit seem like a bad idea all around. 

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Finally, I do venture into “the city” almost every day (that treacherous trek of twenty minutes), and sometimes I even stop to indulge in things like espresso. I’m slightly obsessed with coffee. No, really.

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Speaking of Mardi Gras, I did attend a few parades. Reluctantly. The kids made me. 

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Our Neighbor Percy

Our neighbor Percy loves to give rides to kids. He’s really sweet and sometimes he and his stablemate Marlon come hang out and nibble the clover. You can book a ride with him at Good Horse LLC.

First Horse Ride

Suiting up for the ride.

First Horse Ride

Now that’s a happy 5-year-old.

First Horse Ride

And this is a happy 7-year-old.

Side note: I discovered that photographing kids with low-brimmed helmets on their heads is difficult indeed. These are the only shots I managed to get without big shadows on their eyes. Ah well, still learning!

First Horse Ride

Of course, afterwards they asked me if they could get a horse. You know, like “can we get a puppy.” *gasp* No, I’ll stick to gardening. We’ll be doing all our horse riding at Mr Percy’s house.

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Winter Walks

We take a lot of walks when the weather’s like this. (Also, honey, I think the kids are mocking us.)

Winter Afternoon Levee Stroll

Lower Coast farms…

Delacroix Road

Our neighbors are so quiet. This guy especially.

My Neighbor

This is sitting on the river batture. It’s only visible in winter when the underbrush is dead.

Abandoned on Mississippi River Batture

Fancy a swim? This is on Patterson Road. Not sure what it was. Attached buildings look commercial.

Abandoned on Patterson Road

Moo. This is across the street from my house. These guys are loud.

Cow Pasture on Patterson Road

Thought of Prairie des Femmes when I took this pic.

Mary

Spring is near. The Red Maples say so.

Red Maple in January

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Finally, my dear Q found this on his run yesterday. It’s on the river side of Patterson Rd (the river road). Wonder if this fixer-upper is for sale.

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