Three Different Days

Life is different and exciting for a natural history photographer. Take three days last week. On Thursday I was in my bateau (cajun flat boat) cruising the bayous in Terrebonne Parish looking for eagles, then on Friday I was in my backyard taking pictures of my chicks that had hatched 12 days earlier and finally on the weekend I was in New Orleans photographing parades for a project on the good things of Louisiana.

I left Bayou Black Marina for my eagle search dressed warmly as it's always colder in a boat moving over the 60-degree water. The multitude of herons, egrets, ibis, coots, moorhens and anhinga that were here during the Eagle Expo were gone to mate and build their nest in rookeries. The eagles were still here. I saw 22 adults and 7 immature on a 50-mile boat tour. During that boat ride I found 6 nests I had not seen before. The eagle recovery plan is working well here in Louisiana.

On February 18 I hatched nine Araucana chicks in my incubator, the eggs came from my friends, the Roland’s, who live down the road from my house. The eggs are blue so when these grow up I will be adding beautiful blue eggs to the beige, brown and white I now get. The chicks make great photo subjects also. Right now I have 21 eggs in the incubator, which should hatch this Thursday. This is a mixed batch. I collected eggs from friends that have a number of different varieties. I’ll post pictures of all the different looks when they hatch.

After putting my Araucana chicks back in the brooder, I headed out to New Orleans to photograph some parades, especially the second line walking parades. My good friend Al McDuff told me about the Red Beans and Rice Walking Parade and that was my main goal. The crew met at Port and Royal Street at 1 PM and soon gathered to about 100 members dressed in costumes decorated in red beans, rice and other colored beans.

Some were very elaborate and beautifully done. As they walked, danced and jived down Royal Street, many Marti Gras revelers joined the route. In all I shot 1,400 photographs in three days of Mardi Gras. The digital world makes my shutter finger more active. This girl’s bean decorated mask was one of my favorites.

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