Chicks and Tomatoes

When it rains it pours.  This weekend my tomato production went from 5 pounds to about 15 pounds per day and I hatched 15 chicks in my incubator. I am using an incubator because currently I have a rooster less hen house, at least for one more month.  I have an Araucana cockerel who will reach maturity in about a month. I am getting 5 to 8 unfertile eggs per day, so I borrowed some fertile eggs from two friends.  One has a flock of Araucanas and the other a flock of mixed breed yard birds.  So the fifteen that hatched are white, tan, buff, black, and the black and grey aracanas.  Yesterday I photographed these young chicks.  The light colored ones photograph best.

Last year my tomatoes were too thick so I planted 5 per row instead of 6 per row.  Guess what...they are still too thick.  The heirloom varieties I have just keep on going like the Energizer bunny.  I am not afraid to crawl under the vines to pick, so it is not all that bad.

The blueberries down the road are coming in also.  It’s a healthy time in the kitchen at our house.  We also have a crop of lemon cucumbers, bell and fool you peppers, okra, squash and many herbs. The cucumbers look like a lemon and taste like a cucumber.  The fool you peppers look like a jalapeƱo and taste like a spicy bell pepper.  All is good.


Winter White-tail

Special June Print of the Month: Winter White-tail

About this print:
Early on a foggy winter morning a large White-tail Buck looks toward a camouflaged CC on hearing the click of a Nikon shutter.

Purchase yours today: HERE

Looking for a Father's Day gift? 

I'll be signing books at Bowie's Outfitters from 10 am to 1 pm this SATURDAY June 18th, so stop by and pick one up for the special father in your life. 

Bowie's Outfitters 8630 Perkins Road (225) 766-1200


High Water in the Atchafalaya

It’s a hot day with big beautiful cumulus clouds.  Very humid, the water is brown but not heavily silted as I start in the Classic Bayou Canal, a place I have paddled and motored 300 times.  It is 12 plus feet deep; I have seen it dry.   Sycamore, persimmon, willow and pepper vine close it into a tight jungle of vegetation, so different than the 70s.   The birds are varied and full of song.  At one point I smell a rotting animal.  I am sure some have drowned.  On I idle slowly, a blue dragonfly lands on my bare foot.   I stop listen and think of all the days like this, peaceful – and very quiet in its own way and alone. 
The wind is cooling; the deep green of the tree tops sway slightly. As I see a beaver resting on a floating bald cypress log, I know the terrestrial wildlife that did not move out in time is having a hard life. The birds and aquatic life on the other hand dance with joy. A beaver is an aquatic creature, swimming and building dams, but when the water goes over its den too quickly for him to rebuild higher…life is different.  I move closer and get good shots and see this dazed look on its face. He is confused with no dark hole to crawl into during the daylight hours.

A little later I come on to a patch of land 21 feet by 15 feet and see the backs of two armadillos protruding from the dirt.  I stop and photograph them while four more come crawling out of a hole that is not much more than a depression.  The water table is about 10 inches down, so they cannot dig proper holes.  Lucky for them the insects are kind of trapped here too.  Food!

After dark, I was just falling asleep on a friend’s small houseboat.  It was a fairly primitive craft, but was mosquito proof.  I heard a human-like voice and something bumped the boat.  I leaped out of bed and after getting no reply to “Whose there!” I shine my light out into Bloody Bayou and see something that looked kind of white and swimming.  It came toward me and the white was actually tan.  It was a White-tailed Deer, a doe and she was swimming like an Olympic athlete.  She came right up to the boat.  Looked like she wanted to climb aboard, but the deck was too high.  I thought for a minute that she might want me to lift her up on deck, but I knew that would turn into a real mess.

I first met the Atchafalaya in the high water years of 1973-75.  It was fun remembering those great days when I could paddle about everywhere and today I could again.  The water is already dropping.  The system is getting a good flushing of fresh water.  The terrestrial animals will bounce back and the Basin remains as my favorite place in the whole world and a gem in Louisiana’s portfolio.