Monday, March 31, 2014

Louisiana: The Coozie Collection


Coozies, Louisiana



When I moved to Lafayette, I kinda knew I'd collect some beads. Had no idea about the coozies.

I don't think I've ever owned a coozie in my life (not these style, anyway), but I've only been in Lousiana for four months, and I already have TWELVE.

In New Mexico, I kept a tally of tarantulas and sonic booms. Looks like in Louisiana I'll be counting coozies. I'll keep track on the right side bar.


Brooke & Ron - If you're out there and you want your coozie back, give me a holler.  I found it in St. Martinville. 
 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Louisiana: Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette


Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette, Louisiana.



The Holi Festival in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Before. It was rather sedate. 


Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette, Louisiana.


And after. Not so sedate.

Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette, Louisiana.





It was pure childlike pleasure.

Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette, Louisiana.



There was dancing before the color flew.









A beautiful day for a beautiful festival that celebrates the coming of spring.


Holi Festival 2014, Girard Park, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Makes me think of other spring rites, such as Bayrami in Vakhtangisi  and Gardabani.


A slide show:


#30

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Louisiana: Boudin



Boudin from Eunice Superette, Eunice, Louisiana.


Boudin. A traditional southern Louisiana food.

You pronounce it: boo' - dan.

Sometimes called cajun sausage.

Mixture of rice, seasonings, onion, pepper, and (traditionally) pork (including liver) - stuffed in a casing, which is a fancy way of saying "pig intestines."


Boudin from Eunice Superette, Eunice, Louisiana.



Ya gotcher tamale trail in Mississippi. There's the search for the perfect chiles rellenos in New Mexico.




I like the demonstration of boudin-making in the above video, but I respectfully disagree with the maker's disdain of organ meats in favor of "good cuts" of meat to make boudin. A better cut of meat changes the flavor of the boudin; it doesn't necessarily make it better. And as a prosaic food stuff, it seems more true to the boudin spirit to stick with the original meat sources. 

Louisiana has its boudin trail. In fact, it has at least three: the Cajun Boudin Trail (affiliated with Boudin Link below), the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail, and the Southern Boudin Trail. Most of the boudin purveyors on these trails are meat markets. However, there's also a wide fan base for "gas station boudin."

The Boudin Link has a long list of boudin rated by "Dr. Boudin."

I ate my first boudin at the Eunice Superette in March. Tasty.



The Boudin Festival is coming up soon in Scott, Louisiana, the alleged boudin capital of the world. Pretty good chance I'll be there.

Boudin Festival 2014, Scott, Louisiana. Source: Louisiana Boudin Festival






Friday, March 28, 2014

Louisiana: State Road 3083


Louisiana's pretty state road 3083:

Louisiana state road 3083. November 2013. 

Louisiana state road 3083. November 2013. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Louisiana: Cypremort Point State Park



Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana


In early spring, Cypremort Point State Park is a serene place to be.

There's virtually no one there.




It's on a spit between Vermilion Bay and Shark Bayou.


Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana


You can see the aftermath of mortal combat.

Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana


Lovely park rental cabins on tall posts, which have a view of the bay and the bayou, and their own boat slips.


Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana


Federal wetlands abut the park.


Cypremort Point State Park, Louisiana


I thought this large specimen in the groundskeeper's cart was from a savage creature. In a sense, it was, but it wasn't fauna, it was flora. Some sort of palm.

Alas, no camping in this park. But it's an easy hour drive from Lafayette, so it makes for a good day trip if you're not going to rent a cabin.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Somewhere in Louisiana


What do you do when presented with something like this?




I think the only thing you can do is shake your head and leave it alone. Which I'm guessing is what hundreds of users before me must have also done. 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Abbeville, Louisiana: Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana


The interior of Abbeville's Saint Mary Magdalen Church is a visual feast.

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana



Lush jewel tones. Pascal pastels. Gold leaf. Zodiacal-blues. Alabaster-like carvings.

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana


The leaded-glass and stained windows tell some stories I'm not familiar with.

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana


 I sure like that parquet floor in the window above.

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana

 
The relative grandeur of the church in this small town bespeaks a lot of money invested in it by the community.

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana


The pews are somber, quiet, amidst the surrounding color.  


St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, Louisiana





Saturday, March 15, 2014

Louisiana: "Kaw, that's a big one!"

 
Kaw, that’s a big one!” said 59-year-old Danny “Eagle” Edgar.

“That’s a man,” agreed 56-year-old Clay Switzer.

“Boy, he really is big,” hissed Harry “Hop” Dugas, who at 47 is the baby of the group.

“It’s got eyes like an alligator,” murmured Edgar in wonderment.

Tense excitement bled through the three men’s Cajun accents. What could have had them, with nearly 150 combined years of life in the woods and on the water, so excited? Were they perched on a rickety bamboo machan, hunting a man-eating tiger? Were they perched in the flying bridge of an offshore boat, gawking at the massive bulk of a great white shark?

Neither.
 

Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.

A friend and I went to the Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival in St. Martinville today.

Some kick-ass music, good food, gorgeous day along the river, and, and, and ..... holy swamp gas! Gigantic bullfrogs!

Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.


Who knew frogs got so big?!

Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.

 
I was so fascinated by these creatures, I had to go back a second time during the course of the festival, just to gawk some more.


Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.


I understand about the frog legs for eating, but what happens to the rest of the bullfrog's body? Returned to the water for recycling? Used as bait for fishing? Given the popularity of frog legs in southern Louisiana, we're talking about a lot of skin and guts here.


Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.




Interesting articles about bullfrogs and frog hunting: 



Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.


 My mother and a brother are coming to visit next week. Maybe we'll try some frog legs.


Bullfrogs, Acadian Heritage Memorial, St. Martinville, Louisiana.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Abbeville, Louisiana: Steen's Sugar


Steen's Sugar, Abbeville, Louisiana


You know how a shot of alcohol or caffeine can hit you right away? I didn't know that sugar - make that pure cane syrup - can pack a similar wallop.


Steen's Sugar, Abbeville, Louisiana


The Abbeville visitor center docent gave me a spoonful to try. Hoo-doggies.

Steen's Sugar, Abbeville, Louisiana


My friend and I would have enjoyed going on a tour of Steen's Sugar Mill in town, but it was closed.

Steen's Sugar, Abbeville, Louisiana


I like its commercial art.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Lafayette: 2nd Saturday Artwalk: February 2014: The Addendum



In Theater 810. I think. 2nd Saturday Artwalk, February 2014. Lafayette, Louisiana.

February 2014 was my third 2nd Saturday Art Walk. Each has had a different flavor.  In February Art Walk, there were many more participants than in December and January (here, here, and here), likely due to the milder temperature than had been the case in the earlier months. There was also greater diversity in age.


2nd Saturday Artwalk, February 2014. Lafayette, Louisiana.


 The studio above was closed during the Art Walk, but its untidy contents invited the eye. 



2nd Saturday Artwalk, February 2014. Lafayette, Louisiana.


I returned to Whoojoo's to see if my glasses - which I lost at the last Art Walk - had turned up here. No, they hadn't, but I liked the little arrangement of satsumis, candles, and (off-camera) toy ducks on a table.


2nd Saturday Artwalk, February 2014. Lafayette, Louisiana.


The Lafayette Science Museum exhibited the draft comprehensive plan for Lafayette within, and outside a kindly sponsor underwrote free jambalaya, which you can see in this enormous black cauldron. 'twas good, too.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jennings, Louisiana: A Walk on Cary Avenue


North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana



After the Squeezebox Shootout, and after a scrumptious BBQ pork sandwich, there was time to kill before Jennings' pre-Mardi Gras Parade began.



North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana



I took a walk on North Cary Avenue, which runs parallel to North Main Street.


North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana



Magnolias bloomed.



North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana


The sky reminded me of New Mexico.


North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana


There was a pleasing mix of architecture. There was also evidence of some diversity in economic strata.

North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana

The public library anchored one corner.

North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana


I don't know which attracted me more to this view - the studly palm or the flamboyant clouds: 

North Cary Avenue, Jennings, Louisiana


 Most of the porches had rocking chairs or swings on them.

A pleasant walk. 

Here's a slide show:



#30


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jennings, Louisiana: Squeezebox Shootout

Squeezebox Shootout 2014, Jennings, Louisiana


The weekend preceding Mardi Gras is prime timeline real estate. So many things happening in Southern Louisiana, so difficult to choose.

For the Saturday before Mardi Gras, I had originally planned to go to Baton Rouge for the famous, satirical Spanish Town Parade.

But when I saw that the small town of Jennings was hosting a cajun accordion contest - the Squeezebox Shootout - along with a parade, and music, I changed my plans.

Strand Theater, Jennings, Louisiana



When I arrived at the Strand Theater for the accordion competition, the event had already started, and it was a packed house. But I saw empty space down by the stage where I could stand and hopefully take some good pics, so I walked on down there..... and damned if a woman in the second row didn't offer me an empty seat (a rarity!) right next to her! And damned if it didn't turn out that she had been the very individual who got the first Squeezebox Shooutout off the ground! Or as she put it - gave birth.


Junior division contestant. I loved how she moved her leg. Squeezebox Shootout, Jennings, Louisiana.


Sometimes I just wonder at the good luck I so often enjoy. I couldn't have had a better seat in the entire theater.



This is Bubba. He has a lot of natural presence. Junior division. Squeezebox Shootout, Jennings, Louisiana. If I'm not mistaken, he's the great-grandson of Iry LeJeune, Cajun songwriter and musician of great renown.


He didn't win, but I think for overall entertainment utils, my fave was professional musician, Wilson Savoy, of the Pine Leaf Boys. He put his whole body and expression into his playing. Below are his accordion and foot:




I tried to capture a still of him and his tapping foot, but I was only moderately successful:



There was a lot of talent at the competition. A slideshow below:



#30