Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Red River Natural Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana

A while back they opened up the Red River Natural Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City LA (here's the  link to the Red River Natural Wildlife Refuge ) .  I had been wanting to go there to see it but never got around to doing it until Monday.  I went with my husband and we had a fun time there.  We did not know what to expect.  When we got there since it was a national holiday the building was closed but the park was open so we decide to walk the trails.  Trouble was we didn't see a map and this was the first time there so we had no idea where we were going.  Its not a popular spot yet and we only saw one other family there fishing while we were there.  We walked and figured we had gone about two miles before we headed home.  It's in the south and the heat and humidity were starting to get to us, fortunately there was a nice breeze that made it tolerable.

They have a nice building and I wished I could have gone in to see the exhibits.
As we were leaving we did find a map of the area.  I'm including it here so if I ever go there again I can look it up on my cell phone.

The map was just a map and really didn't explain much of the area at all.  The refuge is around an oxbow lake called Lake Caroline.  It does get to the Red River  but we never got all the way over to the red river.
We didn't know what to expect and were pleased with all the birds and butterflies we saw.  The trouble was they were very hard to take pictures of. So mostly we just enjoyed walking the  trails and taking pictures of the flora that was present. This area had a lot of turtles but they all went into the water when they heard us getting near.
 I'm not to sure what this flower is.  It look like it could be a hollyhock or morning glory.
 The clover was in bloom.

I just really liked these yellow flowers but they've had me stumped as to what they could be.   I thought of buttercup but they aren't rounded as a buttercup, but looking up buttercup they suggested Marsh Marigold  - but that only has 5 pedals so I didn't think it would be that.  There is also sagebrush buttercup but the leaves don't work.   They may be related to St John's Wort but again the number of pedals is wrong.  So now I just guess I have to keep on looking to try to figure it out.

 Another bush in bloom but I wasn't to sure what it was. Its most likely Queen Ann's Lace but I'm not sure.
 It was nice to see the elderberry bushes having the blooms on them.
Lake Caroline, Red River National Wildlife Refuge
 We came upon a field that was nothing but these Bull thistles (here's the link to Wikipedia on Bull_thistle.)   They were so pretty yet so thorny it made it hard to get close too. I was just glad the path was already blazed and we didn't have to go through it and make the trail. 
Bull Thisle
 They were very tall and we were surprised at how big they were.  We are normally used to seeing them about ankle high.  These were over our head.  I got this one so you could see the scale.  My husband is 6ft tall and they were taller than him.

They were still pretty to see and the butterflies loved them.  We watched all sorts of butterflies flying about but really couldn't get a picture of them.

Bull Thistle
 What really got to me was how these things caught so much with there thorns
 And here's a close up of one of the leaves so you could see the spikes on it.
Bull Thistle
  Here's a shot of the field with the Bossier city water tower in the background.
A field of Bull Thistles
  Here's another picture of the Lake.
Lake Caroline, Red River Natural Wildlife Refuge
  We did see some turtles that quickly swam off when they heard us.  And we did see some other things like this lady bug. (I did think I had it in better focus but I was using my cell phone camera and was please I got the images I did get. It is out of focus, and I apologize.)

And I did get this one picture of a butterfly.
 And we did see some evidence of wildlife like these tracks in the path going to the lake.  I think they may be raccoons but it could also be a Nutria rat or a beaver.   I live on a bayou in this area and have seen all of those in my backyard and know they are abundant in the area.

While we were walking we did see a rabbit run across the path and we could see an area where wildlife had been going from an area of heavy overgrowth down to the water. We wondered what all was hidden in that area that we weren't seeing. 

Most of the time we were walking in the sun but there were sometimes when we would get into a forested area like this one.  It was such an oasis from the sun. It was on top of an old levee and just had a totally different feel to it from the rest of the area.   It was so peaceful and beautiful - it gave you a feeling like you were in a natural cathedral.  This picture just does not do it justice.
Path along the Red River National Wildlife Refuge, Bossier City.

Now that I have the map I look forward to visiting it again

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peaches are ready.

I was driving around yesterday and was surprised to see Peaches are for sale already in this area.  In this area Ruston is famous for their peaches- they are so sweet and juicy and can't be beat in taste.

Earlier in the year I took some pictures of the peach tree in my neighborhood that always has the prettiest, delicate blossoms on it.  I was going to post them but never got around to doing it.  Well when I saw that sign for peaches for sale I thought I better get by it to see how they are doing.  I couldn't believe one had already fallen to the ground and was ready to be eaten by the squirrels.
Peach blossoms
I just thought they were so pretty against that blue blue sky.
Peach blossoms

closeup of peach blossoms

I was happy to see the bees were already out and were doing their thing.
bee and peach blossom

 a bee doing its thing in a peach blossom
Since the bees were so busy I figured for sure there would be peaches later.  I started to watch the tree but then we had a couple of below freezing days and I thought the peaches would be ruined for this year.  The weather did stunt them but they still kept on growing.
 Most of the peaches are still pretty small but they are getting some color to them..
Peaches almost ready to be picked (5-29-2013)

 This one looked like it war ready to be picked and there was one already on the ground.
  Here's some more that are still growing. 
 I took this picture but the flash went off and I didn't think it would turn out. 
 I started to adjust the camera and accidentally got onto cartoon mode.  I liked the effect and decided to keep it.

 Last year I liked watching the peaches too. Here's the link with everything's peachy done on June 13, 2013 .  It looks like they were ready about the same time and they were the blossoms were blooming around the same time too.  

My Crepe Myrtles are starting to bloom

I always like to take note of when my crepe myrtles start to bloom.   Two days ago I noticed one starting to bloom on my trees in my back yard. So today I thought I'd go get a picture of them.
here they are.

crepe myrtle blooming (5-30-2013)
 Here's what they look liked with it not zoomed in on them.

One of the things I'm always trying to remember is what these crepe myrtles  are called.  The other day I came across the label that was on the trees when they were planted.
I'm going to include them so I have it for myself.

What really got to me is these shrubs/trees were only suppose to get to be 10 feet tall.  My are a whole lot taller than that.  They were planted next to a 6 foot fence and you can't even see the fence they are so tall.  It doesn't matter much to me because it just gives me more to see and enjoy. I do love the color of them and how they look when they are in full bloom.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

U.S.S. Cairo, Vicksburg National Military Park

On June 16, 2012 I went to the Vicksburg National Military Park  and inside the park was a museum and main exhibit for the USS Cairo an old iron clad boat. The pictures I took inside the museum of the artifacts recovered from the ship did not turn out but the ones outside did so those are the ones that will be here.
 I loved the way the lines were with the ship and thought it very artistic in design.  I took a lot of photos and decided I had to many to be included in my blog post about Vicksburg and it should have a post all of its own.  Here it is.
 I thought even the covering was artistic too.
 I'm just going to let the images speak for themselves.
U S S Cairo, Vicksburg MS

USS Cairo, Vicksburg MS


The ship was sunk during the war between the states.  What I can write about it does not do it justice so I'm just going to send you to the Wikipedia link here on the USS_Cairo.