Swamp Grass During Fall


In my swamp.

Since I refer to New Orleans as swampville, I thought that it might be a good idea to show you some of the prettier views of fall in the swamp. I think this photograph fits that nicely.

If you want real wet and muddy swamp land I’ll have to take a little drive. That’s fine except almost every bit of water that is connected to the lake has alligators in it. Even Bayou St. John, which is the waterway that runs through a bit of Mid-City and is separated from houses by a street and a long grass strip, has them now.

I don’t remember them always being there or even in City Park. But, they started wandering into residential places after Hurricane Katrina.

There is a place in the park where one of our dogs liked to jump into the water and mud. She stunk to high heaven when she got home. She got a bath even though dogs like smelly stuff. I would not let her dive into that swamp today.

I have to wonder what happens when a gator decides to leave the water and explore land. The folks who live in that area will be calling The National Guard. Or, most likely, animal control.

You have to remember the history of New Orleans. The first settlers built on a ridge known today as The French Quarter. The land there is dry and fairly solid.

The so-called Sliver Along The River that was the 20% of the city that didn’t flood during Katrina is also on higher, more solid ground.

The rest of the city is reclaimed swampland. That belonged to Indigenous People (Celebrated yesterday, Monday) and wild creatures. It was alligator and snake land. And, just about anything else that wanted to bite you.

To my way of thinking, the return of alligators to places they haven’t been seen recently is another example of nature seeking stasis.

There seems to be a lot of examples of nature’s way these days. We’d better get to work if we don’t want to be the part of the earth that nature removes. 210,000 dead from the virus could be nothing.

Think about that.

Please.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Please remember this pandemic isn’t over yet. Look after each other.

Fall colors. That’s what this post is really about even though I side tracked myself into a swampy discussion.

This is the type of swamp that I can take the dogs to visit. Nothing there will hurt them or me.

If I decide to photograph the kind of swamp that people think of when the word swamp appears I won’t take a dog. Not any of them.

In one go I can photograph swamps and Spanish Moss. I’d better do that. Someone might want it.

This picture was easy to make. The light was open shade, one of the best kinds of light to make pictures like this. I pressed the button and I was done.

The only thing that I did in post production is add the border.

So.

Autumn on the swamp.

One more technical thing. I use an iMac as my main machine. It comes with a “magic mouse.” Batteries need changing every so often. You pop off a little back cover and out they come.

Apparently, when I changed them last time, I reseated the cover almost perfectly. Too perfectly. Now I can’t remove it, even using a micro screw driver to try to pop the button. If you have any ideas I’m all ears.

Meanwhile, I’m using a “magic trackpad.” I forgot all the finger motions, but YouTube has about a billion tutorials.

If you notice there is no photographer information on the picture. I have no clue how to drag and drop that with a trackpad.

First world Problems, I know.

Shady Grove


Testing.

This is the third time that I’ve tried designing this post. It doesn’t help to save your work because it is saved in some other format. So, you start over, And, over.

Some comments.

Anyone who has taken the time to reply to my WordPress-based rants has nothing good to say about the Block System.

I’m going to force myself into some whole new weird kind of design just to use it.

The picture.

I told you how I found the scene. I didn’t discuss development and processing.

First, let me assure that WordPress stepped all over the picture even though I compressed it properly. The colors were much more vibrant when I checked it on my monitor.

Not only was my goal to keep the picture vibrant, but I wanted to keep it tack sharp. It is that, I think.

More design.

More about the design. I created some strange kind of designers grid in my head. Hmmmm.

The picture was made yesterday morning, as usual, on a dog walk. She found the tree. I remembered my old school training and looked for the moss, which grows on the north side of a tree. It was there. Right where Ma Nature left it.

I suppose that there is an app for that now. Instead of learning the actual way to find north you just have to learn to turn on the app.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Years ago I was talking to a professor. He fancied himself to be a futurist. I believed at the time, and still believe that you should learn the basics, build a solid foundation and grow from there.

He said no. Why bother learn all of that when you can just jump in wherever the technology was at the time? Hmmm. He taught some kind of math. I was just photographing him for a newspaper story.

What did I know?

I know this. Sometimes I use the turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps. In order to do that you have to give Google access to all of your travels.

I don’t care. I’m not hiding from anyone.

Mostly, we travel to the grocery story and a few other places. At the end of the month Google emailed me an accounting of my trips. They said that I drove 26 miles. My car’s odometer said that I traveled 97 miles. My car has been accurate since I bought it.

Which one do you think that I’m going to trust?

Sandwiches and stuff.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Keep your distance. Wear your mask. Take care of each other. Take care of yourself. Enjoy every mayonnaise and tomato sandwich. This is the south after all.

.

Green Manalish


The greens of summer.

the greens of summer.

This is our greenest time of year. Between the rain and the dripping humidity, we have an outdoor greenhouse. Everything grows.

As we roll into August, the wet season dries out a bit. The hot weather really hits. Instead of the low 90s of July, the temperature rises into the high 90s and, maybe even into triple digits. That’s brutal. That’s also the time to lock down everything in hopes of mitigating CoVid-19 because most everybody closes their businesses. No tourist traffic. You can buy hotel rooms for a fraction of their normal price even in a good year.

Of course, you have to do what we do. Walk slow. Slouch around. Stay hydrated. And, walk in the shade.

That’s the secret.

Bars are closed. Music venues too. Most restaurants are closed for August even without the virus floating around. Small shops may also be closed. But, you can wander around without bumping into too many people. And, very few of us. Locals.

Yes. Please visit. We need your money. You need our vibe.

Green Manalish

Peter Green died this week. He was the founding guitar player of Fleetwood Mac well before they became poppy and very famous. He was scary good. He didn’t work for long enough to gain the kind of fame of Eric Clapton, Jimmy page or Jeff Beck, but he might well have been the best of them.l One of his songs was called Green Manalish. Understand now, y’all?

The Picture

I’ve been watching Live Oak sprouts growing in the swamp grass. Finally, I did something about it. You are looking at the result. It is surprisingly difficult to get green to pop out of another green. I’ve been noticing that on videos. The way those guys do it is to turn the green into something fluorescent. Looks silly. Green grass doesn’t glow.

Stay safe, Stay mighty. Enjoy all the green.

The Mysteries of a Walk


Above my pay grade.

Strange days.

Indeed. I bet you think you know what I’m going to write. Nope. Not that. It’s about nature.

See the flower?

What is it?

I found it on a walk. The stalk is very tall. It appears to be the flower of swamp grass, or Saw Grass, depending on where you live. It’s very common around here. Yet, I’ve never seen it flower. If you look closely, you see that there are some grass blades growing from it. They are the color of the flower. Pale yellow.

The Other Thing

I’m a little toasty. The virus, the financial state, Black Lives Matter, the reshaping of the country and the racist, lying man we call the president have burnt me to the darkest shade of toast.

So.

Enough.

I’m turning off the news. That means news and discussions of the subjects that I wrote about above. I’ll still read the newspapers that I read online. I’ll only read the sports and the arts sections. Baseball season is finally trying to start, albeit in a miniature season. I can hardly wait. However, there are already a number of players who are sick. There are two baseball players who are positive on my beloved New York Yankees.

I think what finally broke me was looking at pictures of Bourbon Street online via our local newspaper, The New Orleans Advocate & Times-Picayune & Gambit. The main party street in the Quarter was packed. Wall to wall people. The only masks that I saw where worn by a man and woman who appeared to be a couple.

I guess most of the so-called human beings don’t care.

If the virus continues to grow as it in just about everywhere in the country, there will be more death than we thought possible.

I read an academic-scientific study that was published today. If the numbers hold up, 6% of our total population will get sick. Of that aout 8% will die. Folks, that’s 2,000,000 people. That’s right, two million souls.

So.

I’m going to go about my business. Working, photographing, walking the dogs and so on. For sure, I’ll mask up. I’ll wash my hands. I’ll sanitize myself and others. I’ll keep my distance. But, I won’t allow myself to be deluged with never ending bad news. Oh yeah, I’m not about to eat in a restaurant – open aired or not.

Stay safe. You know what to do. Stay mighty. Enjoy every sandwich.

Leafing


In yellow.

Leaves.

Leaves that look sort of like fall. In the dog days of summer. After another rain storm. That’s the nature of things in Southeast Louisiana. It’s cool to see these little bits of color since most of the flowers are long gone. Some will come back again along about October when we have a second growing season. That is, assuming that we have a fairly normal fall season and the heat dissipates.

But, normal?

That’s the question. The unnamed storm that dumped between three and 10 inches of rain on the city in a few hours was not normal.

What was normal — the new normal — occurred in the hours after the rain fell. The event became politicized. Almost weaponized. Everybody blamed everybody else. Every kind of nonsense theory started to bloom. Thank God for social media and the internet. Or, not.

The truth is fairly simple.

Either the storm was a 100 year event which is what the old timers talk about. The real old timers. Like my neighbor who is 96 years old and remembers what her parents and grandparents told her about storms like this. It will happen again. But, not soon.

Or, it has something to do with climate change. If we don’t change our ways, it will happen again. Soon.

If I count the storm that flooded the Baton Rouge area last summer, causing billions of dollars of damage, I’d be inclined to think seriously about climate change. Soon. Very soon. Yes, that was 50 miles upriver. But, it’s still the same region.

Through the mud.

The pictures. Pictures that I saw along the way. While walking a dog or two or three. They find this stuff. Not me. I just go where they point me. Talk about robo-photography. Sheesh. Most of what you see, and hopefully like, in these pictures comes after the fact. The originals are somewhat flat and dull. I have a pretty clear vision of what they will turn into once I’m done with them. At least for this go around. I’m sure, like anything else, I’ll change my mind and how I see.

On top of things.