Some of you may have read my post from several months ago where I talked about being in New Orleans really early in the morning and how nice it is. Well, I had an interesting experience lat weekend. K made a friend at her job and we were supposed to go down to Houma last Saturday to meet the new friend and her husband for dinner. So, we went down early to do some shopping. K's friend called to finalize the plan for later that night and we mentioned that we were already in Houma(because there is nowhere to shop in Thibodaux). So her freind said that she and her husband had planned to go on a swanp tour and invited us to go with them. Well, K and I are spontaneous outdoors types so we agreed. We went down bayou black and across the intracoastal water wayinto some swamp whose name I forget. Our 65 year old guide turns down a smaller bayou and cuts off the engine. He then starts yelling, "BAAAAABYYYYY". "Come on baby". I'm thinkg that this guy is crazy but after calling for only 5 seconds we see two alligators swimming towards us. Now, I grew up in south Louisiana, but we never saw alligator really close. I remeber hearing about them in the pond at Joe Brown Park(N.O. East) and hearing about them in the lagoons at city park and remember seeing one way off in the distance in Moonraker Lake(Slidell). The only time I ever saw one up close was at the zoo and the alligator farm in Kissimmee Fl, but I was 8 when we went there. In the last 5 years I have seen more alligotrs than ever. When I worked for Abita Springs Water I saw gators regularly while driving across bridges in Lacombe. I even saw a small one(three or four feet) swimming in a ditch as I drove down the street. I also watch a lot of discovery channel and animal planet, especially the shows about gators and the big cats. So, i feel like I know a good deal about alligators. So, i wasn't nervous about the alligators swimming up to the side of the boat. Even though there cold dark eyes seemed to be penetrating my soul with every intention of devouring my flesh(I guess gators like italian food), I wasn't really nervous. Then-there's always a then- The guide drives the boat further down the bayou. At this point I'm expecting to hear banjo music. He parks the boat against a bank and proceeds with the calling of the gator. "BAAAAAAABYYYYYY", "Come on baby". Come on Jean, Come on Robert(French pronunciation - Ro-bear) and yes on of them did come. But instead of feeding the gator while it was in the water, he lured it up onto the bank which the boat was up against. The rail along the boat was about 6 inches higher than the bank and the gator was only about a foot or two from the boat. I'm thinking, "that gator can easily jump into this boat. So, the other people on the tour(Our friends are from Indiana) who were not with us were from San Diego, and they love there Budweiser select. These fools are jumping around the boat trying to get a better picture angle. meanwhile the gators looking nervous and the guide keeps calmly reminding these people not to make any sudden movements. Honestly, I was hoping one of the guys would slip out of the boat just to see what this 6-7 foot gator would do. But it didn't happen. It was the closest I've ever been to an alligator and even though it was only 6-7 feet it was still intimidating. It was a great experience. However, I made a point to avoid shaking the guides hand when we were done. He fed the gators raw chicken parts barehanded but didn't use any soap or hand sanitizer when he was fininshed.
We also got to see a bald eagle close up in the wild. This was the third or fourth time I've seen a bald eagle in the wild but never so close. It was an amazing site. It's easy to see why someone would use the eagle as A mascot or symbol. It is strong, graceful, powerful, and looks very dignified and stately.
I tell you this story because I don't know how many of you who live down here in south Louisiana have ever been on a swamp tour. Alot of the stuff the guide told us I already new and I was able to give extra info to our new friends from Indiana. I sometimes find myself falling out of love with Louisiana, last Saturday the love returned. There are some really great things about this state. From it's colorful characters to it's unique wildlife to it's diverse musical styles. There is a lot going on in this state and it's a beautiful thing. It's easy to get caught up in the negatives. Every once in a while it's good to let someone else show you around your own neighborhood. There may be things there that you never knew. Be a tourist, take a day off and see what your neck of the woods has to offer. Just remember to bring hand sanitizer
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This could be the weekend the LSU loses. Kentucky is playing well. They are at the top of the SEC East, and they want to stay there. There coming off a loss to South Carolina and are looking to take out there loss on todays opponent. Also, they can score points. So, what I'm saying is that this is a dangerous game for the tigers. But, LSU clearly has more talent than the wildcats and are also playing well. LSU should win, but, it's been a crazy season. My prediction is a 3 point game with the winner scoring the winning points with under a minute to go. then, like with the florida game, the other time starts to drive it fizzles out around mid field, or even more likely, in their desperation the throw an interception. Good luck to all the kitty cat teams today and as always-Roll Tide.
ps. Bama over ole miss by two touchdowns (I hate ole miss).
ps. Bama over ole miss by two touchdowns (I hate ole miss).
Sunday, October 07, 2007
So, I mentioned in a previous post that I did not own a single purple and gold shirt. I also stated that the only way I would get one is if the school I'm working at either started paying me (as in when I finish student teaching) or that they give me one. Well, they gave me one. I recently started working with the football team, mostly the freshmen team. The head coach(varsity) gave me both a shirt and a cap. The baseball coach provided me with an extra hat, one of the practice hats I believe. As a coach I don't have much responsability yet (since I joined on in the middle of the season) but I am steadily working my way up. At the first game (varsity) I was responsible for not getting in the way. That happens to be my specialty. This past friday, I recieved a very important promotion. With threatening skies stalking ominously above us, I was given the responsibilty of caring for the head coaches raincoat. Again I excelled. Just as the first drops began to fall, as the teams were warming up, the new young coach (that's me) sprinted across the field. Showing flashes of his glory days at Gorretti playground (in the East baby!), he dove below the water table and into the equipment bag. He was as a streak of lightning as the head coach recieved his protective covering at midfield before even the first drops had time to soak into his Nike Dri-fit shirt. The coach was dry, our heroes work was done. Minutes later the sprinkle ended and the jacket returned to its place in the equipment bag where it remained for the rest of the night. We lost the game, But I remain undefeated in my conquest of protecting the coach from the elements.
It looks like next week I'll be recieving another promotion as I make my way into the press box to work as a spotter for the defensive staff. With my trusty Bushnell binoculars in hand I am sure that not a wideout or flanker will pass un-noticed onto the field beneath me.
I'm not sure if I'm wearing purple and yellow or purple and gold in this picture. But, I will say that is probably the most comfortable shirt I own.