Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bayou Gardens Open House

I was just going to attend the open house because we have not been here during this event in the past.

I showed up early...I offered to help set up and stayed at this station the rest of the day.

Here, Michelle is showing me how to wax camellias. The visitors are allowed to pick one camellia and bring it back to us to wax. It does not preserve them forever unfortunately. They can last up to two weeks.
There were tours offered or you could just stroll on your own.

This is Diane leading this tour where she also talks about the history of this place.
The lovely ladies from the Northshore Camellia Club were there to greet and recruit.

I enjoyed meeting them. Paula is on the left of the picture. She was a delight, and was very interested in our lifestyle. Through the window you can see there were camellias for sale.

This is just a few of the many beautiful flowers that were named.

And there was a camellia expert there to answer all your questions about them.

This is one of my perfection. It was also the easiest to wax.

This is one I waxed for myself. It is beautiful. We shall see how long it lasts.

This was the favorite of all...Frank Houser. It was also the biggest.

I really enjoyed being here for this event and learned more about the beautiful camellias we have around here in our backyard!!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Painting, Painting, & More Painting

Our days have been filled with paint jobs.

This is one of four  places we need to paint for handicap parking on the refuge.

We had to clean the surface the best we could. The template they had for us to use did not fit so I just did it freehand.

We ran out of painters tape, so we just pulled up and reused what we had...bummer.

I really thought the blue should have been darker, but this is what they had and the can said handicap blue.

We now have three rolls of painters tape for the next three places.

 Now we need to paint this fire extinguisher box. The door fell off. We need to make a new door...not enough time today...another volunteer cut out  the door leaving an opening for the plexi-glass to be placed inside.

We finished up on that project today. Will have to show the finished shot later.

Wallace is doing the prep work here, removing the loose paint on the fountain before we paint it. fill it with water and turn on the pump. But wait, can I paint that green turtle gray? I think it is distracting.

Got the okay today.

We will be putting in a solar panel just for the fountain.

Wallace is now painting one of two airboats that need the non skid paint. He did a great job with that messy stuff. Now they want him to paint another one.

We are now through with the paint jobs.

We have a lot more to share with all our goings on. I am just hoping I can keep my patience with this new Windows 10.

Until next time...


Monday, February 22, 2016

Windows 10 Fun

Please bear with us while we try to figure out what in the heck to do.

We still don't know how to get our photos onto the blog.

This is a test to see if this works.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Few Different Tasks

Every month we have a work-play day here at the refuge.

People who show up get split up into groups and go out to help with the grounds. After the work, the Friends group serves a light lunch and then canoe trips are offered (play). The volunteers are in charge of a group.

We went right to work trimming, pulling vines out of the plants, then piling the cuttings to be picked up.

Some people were very good about asking before doing...I like that.

But then there is Michael, a very good worker who loved to pull down the vines!!!
I had to keep an eye on him as he cut down a camellia tree before I could stop him. Other than that, he was great. Vines are fun to tug on until they release. Look at the size of that one.

Over at Bayou Sauvage refuge, I have been finding a lot of drug paraphernalia. The bottom of a soda can where the drugs were burned and two syringes above that hidden in the grass. We have found syringes in the trash can too. Several glass tubes as well. I learn about some of this by watching Cops on tv. We are told to leave it lay and let LE officers know about it.

We have had some graffiti at several locations lately. This I was able to remove with sanitizer. At another place, I found red paint on the back of one of the trash cans. The next week I painted over that with brown paint we had left over from having to paint over more graffiti on one of the interp panels on our boardwalk!!!

I have been noticing a lot of this kind of web lately. Does anyone know what kind of spider makes this kind? I have never seen one quite like this.

Another one of our tasks is to keep the fountain clean.

I thought we could clean up this statue and Wallace got a lot of junk off of it, but it did not do what I wanted. We do what we can though.

Yeah, I finally found a Harbor Freight. I had been wanting this little I have one.

We were treated to a tour of Bayou Sauvage by the refuge manager, Shelly. It was an all day affair. It is always great to learn more about the places we volunteer.

The Christmas trees are collected by the city and stored here where we use them out in the bayou to help with erosion.
They are bundled up and taken by helicopter and dropped where they can be used.

The template was too small, so I went freehand.

This is only one of several we will be refreshing.

We did not have enough painters tape...had to make do. It sure helps when you want a nice straight line.

Boy was I sore for the next few days after this!!!

We were proud of the way this project turned out. 

We will put in a request for more tape!!!

I thought this was worth a photo. A redfish painted in a fleur-de-lis design, a symbol that is used a lot in Louisiana.

We are now caught up with our latest doings.

Until next time...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mardi Gras

We drove into Slidell to have lunch...hey look, I think there is going to be a parade.

Little did I know, there are parades in several of the towns...and many of them, until the culmination of the "real" Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, February 9th. Hey, I'm learning!!!

I mentioned King Cake in the last post, but I want to expound on it. King Cakes are a tradition...they start selling them in December and you can buy them up until Mardi Gras ends. They have a religious connotation representing the three kings at the birth of Jesus Christ. They are formed to make a circle, the crown, with gem-like sugar crystals sprinkled on top in the three colors of Mardi Gras. There is a plastic baby that gets placed inside the cake (Christ child), and whoever gets that piece of cake brings the next years cake for the party. The three colors are purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power). These are the official colors since 1872. They were the family colors of the Russian Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich Romanoff.

 Rex (King of Carnival), presides over day parades. This is King Dionysis XXXI.

 Mardi Gras...the Greatest Free Show on Earth."
It is a celebration period before fasting season of Lent.

This is where we stationed ourselves...on the corner of Gause and Front street. A really great place because our exit was EASY.

I thought this horse was beautiful.

You will notice the mask. Everyone on the float is supposed to wear a mask and they are known as the Krewe (crew). You pay for membership to be a part of the krewe and they each pay for all the beads etc. they throw...known as throws.

Footballs were being thrown and I asked Wallace to catch one for our grandson, Joaquin. He was successful.

I was trying to catch all three colors of Mardi Gras and finally came up with all three colors.

The white pearls are supposed to be a rare catch and I even have one of those.

Notice this one..."PIMP."

I asked for this one from the float and caught it.

We stood for 5 hours and had a blast.

I always thought of Mardi Gras as a one nighter where everyone got drunk and had brawls. There is a lot of tradition tied to this celebration that we have learned, just passing down a few to you.

Until next time...