Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Visit to Louisiana and Mississippi

Margot and I went to Louisiana to visit Mike and Lauren last weekend. We had a great time. Margot worked on curtains for the nursery and I took pictures. This camellia is in their front yard.

Click to enlarge any of the pictures.

So is this one. Same bush. Spring is late this year - the trees were just starting to leaf out.

We took a drive along the coast to see how things are doing almost 5 years after the storm. This picture is actually in Louisiana just over the US 90 bridge. What do you think? Does the owner have a sense of humor or am I reading too much into it?

This is a new or rebuilt place in Lakeshore, MS right on the gulf. Notice how high the structures must be built now. Looks sort of funny to me. All Margot could think about was carrying the groceries up all those steps.

A lot of dead trees around. I guess the salt water killed them.

This is an old church along Lower Bay road in Hancock county - not far from the plant. I think it floated over from the other side of the road. Someone has spray painted "Do not remove - historic building" or something like that on it. Not sure what is going to happen to it but I'm sure the termites will get it eventually.

Some people para-surfing at Henderson Point. It was unusally cool for the middle of March in south Mississippi.

The are the shrimp boats in Pass Christian harbor. Not much has been rebuilt in the downtown area other than the harbor.

The next day Lauren and I went to Fort Pike. This place was built after the War of 1812 to provide defenses for New Orleans. Its cannons never fired a shot in anger. Named after the same guy as Pike's Peak in Colorado.

Fort Pike

This estate is across the Rigolets from the fort. It looks like the structure survived the hurricane but I imagine both floors were wiped clean by the high water and waves. The eye of the storm passed more or less directly over it.

Who says you have to have a pickup truck to be a fisherman. A brand new Towncar will work, too.

The boat is along US 90 in Louisiana. Most of the wreakage has been cleaned up. This is the exception rather than the rule.

The is a Great Egret. Lauren took this picture out of the car window on the way back from the fort. A car makes a pretty good blind. Just roll down the window and snap away.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Around New Orleans

On Monday, Margot and Lauren  sewed, Mike went to work and I took pictures. This series of pictures is from the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans. This is a Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret and juvenile White Ibis. The seem to be looking to see what's for dinner.

Never mind - let's try over here.

A couple more shots.


And another.

If you are getting tired of bird pictures you can scroll down to the French Quarter pictures.

These are American Coots. Mike says they don't taste very good.

I think this is a Tri-colored Heron.

A Great Egret.

No, I didn't put the same picture in twice. This is a Snowy Egret, I think. Can you spot the differences?

Red eared turtle. These things are all over.

The most photographed sight in New Orleans. This is St Louis Cathedral at Jackson square.


Here is a picture inside.

These guys are just outside the church. Lots of street musicians in New Orleans.

I liked the colors and textures although it is a little over exposed.

This guy is really, REALLY good. I can't remember his name but he has obviously studies with this guy.


Scroll down to the last video in the link below.

That's my $20 bill he is waving around. It later showed up inside a kiwi.

Art work at Jackson Square.

Margot and Lauren at Cafe du Monde. We weren't very hungry but we had beignets anyway.

The architecture is very interesting.

And finally a bird picture from New Orleans.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Madrid - Walking Tour

Arrived with my colleagues in Madrid about 5:30 and set off on a walking tour as soon as we checked into the hotel. Madrid is a city of 6 to 8 story buildings - very few skyscrapers. There are a lot of monuments and fountains as you might expect for a country with such a long history.

This is a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Plaza de Espana. Getting your picture next to a statue seems to be very popular the world over.

This is the Debod Temple - part of an ancient Egyptian temple that was to be covered when the Aswan dam was built. It was a gift from Egypt to Spain.

Lots of interesting architecture in Madrid.

This is a view of one end of the royal palace. The Spanish equivalent of Buckingham palace.

Another view.

Another other side.

The opposite end of the palace from the first view.

A church next to the palace.

Another church. I sort of lost track of where we were so I'm not sure of the significance of this one. Maybe I took the picture because I thought it looked neat.

Lots of curving streets and streets intersecting at odd angles. A map is required for first time visitors.

This is an old wet market that has been updated.

This is the view as we entered Plaza Mayor. It is just getting dark now and a little difficult to get good pictures. In the summer this place is very busy with outdoor restaurants. A little too cool the day we were there.

This building is also on Plaza Mayor.

We had a pre-dinner drink and snacks at this tapas bar on the Plaza Mayor. It was about 6:30 when we went in. Restaurants don't open until 8 or 9. We were routinely the first people in the restaurants when we showed up about 8:30.

Notice the Iberian hams hanging on the wall.

Later we walked back toward the hotel to have dinner. Here is another fountain and statue.

A lot of people on the street. A very vibrant city from what I could see.

This another tapas bar, I think. Notice all the hams hanging on the walls. Ham is a big deal in Spain. I just stuck my head in the door and took this shot as we walked by.

Another fountain near the hotel.

I can't believe I actually ate some of this appetizer. Those are artichokes and some sort of shell fish.