Thursday, May 31, 2007

Decor, decor, decor

One of my favorite homes. Now it is, I mean. I pass this home on the way to work each morning and never noticed, that is, until we were out walking one night. Cars just move to fast to get all the rich detail. I love all the trim work, the gingerbread, and the presentation. Looks though as though they quit decorating when they ran out of places to put ornamentation.

--steve buser

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Curiosity captures the cat?

I guess you could look at this photo a couple of ways. 1. The cat is content to sit at the window and satisfy her curiosity in the safety and splendor of her abode. Curiosity will not kill this cat.
2. Curiosity overwhelms her, but trapped in a prison of glass, she imagines the worlds she could explore, if only she could find escape from this dungeon of lace.

What's your take on this one?

-- steve buser

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prize pose

I was surprised at how unafraid this squirrel was when I walked outside and saw him eating acorns that had fallen from the oak tree. He stood up and took notice of me but then went back to his banquet. I went inside and grabbed my camera. That didn't even csare him off, so I went closer and sat on a bench. He was almost delirious in his nutty feast, bouncing around the yard like a rabbit.

He kept alert to what I was doing. That lasted about 10 minutes, which, I guess, was all the staying-in-high-alert he could handle and he scampered to the trunk of a nearby tree. About 10 minutes later, he was back digging the acorns out of the grass and chomping down. Suddenly he finds this -- I'm not sure why this is such a treasure. He grabbed it in his mouth and bounced across the yard like a little kid skipping. (I've see him run across the yard before when a dog scares him -- so this was definitely not a run-for-safety scamper). He bounds over into a tree in the neighoring yard and stands there showing his prize off.

I'm surprised he did not the rules. This tree is definitely off limits. A mocking bird comes at him with a vengance, pecking at him as he scurried around the tree trying to get away. Funny thing, she wasn't in this tree. She sets up shop in a tree about 40 feet away -- I guess it was a better watchtower. Eventually the squirrel jumped off the trunk and again bounced across the yard, until the bird gave up -- satisfied he was clear of her nest.

He then scampered up the oak in my yard and off into the aerial highway -- the interstate "limbway" of the neighborhood.

Monday, May 28, 2007

This seat taken?

This was taken down by the Algiers ferry that crosses the Mississippi River from the Central Business District at the foot of Canal Street. There was a prety stiff wind coming down the river, so this seagull was gliding in for a spot. When he go close, the to gulls on the right raised their heads a started squawking at him. He hung there for about 20 seconds before deciding he was going to take that flack. He just lift his wings enough to catch a little more air and zoom off to the rear.

I noticed the birds stand facing the wind. Appears to be a stability thing. Notice the wind tugging out a few of the feathers on the birds on the right because they lifted their beaks. They are constantly adjusting as the wind gusts go up and down. Sideways to the wind wouldn't be as aerodynamic and they would have to use a lot more energy just stand. In addition, they wouldn't be a ready to lift off, if some danger came up.

--steve buser

Stone cold dames

A late night walk, a day or so ago, and I came across these cold ladies in the yard of an auction house. Antiques are a big part of the New Orleans economy. In fact, Magazine Street, which mostly escaped the wrath of Katrina, has turned into a bustling thorough fare with dozens of antique shows and dozens more art galleries. I drove it just yesterday, I saw about 7 empty store fronts along the whole street -- 4 of those had just been renovated or were being renovated. One of the others was a recent fire. I'll have to explore that on this blog one of these days.

--steve buser

Friday, May 25, 2007

A blazing blades

Another shot from waiting on the sunset the other day. Looks like I shot it with a flash, but this is just ambient light. The sun was going low but shooting its last rays deep through the leaves. The green leaves we call monkey grass, don't know what the other are called.

--steve buser

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sun catcher

Sunset at the lagoon in Audubon Park.

The Spanish Moss catches the last rays of the day. These rootless plants hang from the Live Oak trees -- because they are rootless and depend on the air and rainfall for nutrients, they are a good indicator of the air quality.

In the old days, Spanish Moss seemed to be dying out in the city and you had to look for it in swamps and other remote places. But it seems to be back. It propagates by fragments being blown from tree to tree. I am sure that Hurricane Katrina did a good bit of that propagation. Where is this? Open this file in Google Earth.

-- steve buser

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The spring flowers around here have just about sprung their time out. Time for the summer flowers to take hold. Even as I say this, a get a strong wift of honeysuckle. The aroma fills your naval cavities with its distinctive sweetness. The weather has been in the mid-80's -- about as springish as you are going to get here.

-- steve buser

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Window work

Seems like since the hurricane you run into workmen doing those "little" maintenance task you never noticed before. Here, a workman re-caulks the windows on a highrise building to keep it weather tight. The slant of the window allows the other large buildings in the area to "look on."

--steve buser

Monday, May 21, 2007

Death defying

Publish Post
Despite suffering from drought on its tip, this leaf boldly shows its colors. I was sitting outside this weekend with the camera when the setting sun started putting on a light show through the foliage. I believe dusk is a camera's play time. But it takes sitting still, being observant and letting the photos suggest themselves.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to go to work if all this resplendent color was blazing around us all the time?

--steve buser

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The fun just keeps on coming

New Orleans is a great port to take a cruise from. Kill two stones with one bird. Spend a night or two in the "City that Care Forgot" -- puts you in the mood for fun to come.

We took a cruise from here in early November to the Yucatan peninsula. Eye candy everywhere. Just a whole lot of fun.

Here the Norwegian Sun slides out of her berth just up river from the Crescent City Connection Bridge and heads down the Mississippi River. She'll be entering the Gulf of Mexico about midnight.

--steve buser

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Birds of a feather

A Great Egret shows off his flying skills but gets upstaged by a high flying jet passing overhead. The scene is the rookery at Audubon Park. It's one of my favorite places -- serene and contemplative.

--steve buser

Friday, May 18, 2007


Okay, you're walking through Audubon Park and you see a young boy sitting next to one of the spraying fish. He's running his fingers through the stream. Good shot. Take it an move on.

But wait, you were a kid before. This story is about to get more interesting. There is no way this young explorer is not going to get up on that fish.

He wanders around and sits on the tail. Looks over at his mom -- she's just looking away! He climbs up a little further. Then further still. Then, "what the heck?", Go for it! He scoots all the way up and leans out where he can really have fun. Stop the spray, push it to the left, the right.

You knew this picture was coming, so you hung around. How did you know it was going to come? Because there's still a little kid in you.

Here's to your inner-kid. Hope he/she has fun today.

--steve buser

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spring left

I thought I should give a least a passing notice to spring having made its way into our lives. Even though the calendar says we have a month of spring left, in New Orleans summer crowds upon us in late May -- pools are open, summer sports begin, a/c's moan to a start and the humidity leaves a vapory blur on the horizon.

Perhaps a quote is in order
" A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. " ~James Dent from

--steve buser

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sun leak

This is the saxophone player in Irma Thomas' band at the concert this weekend. His hat has definitely sprung a sun leak. Kind of let's you know how hot it was. Most of the crowd was under the trees, but Irma and The Professionals definitely got toasted.

--steve buser

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's a walk in the park

The circuit at Audubon Park is a favorite for exercizers doing their constitutional. The spreading Live Oak trees mute the sun and give it that New Orleans feel. The track is actually split in two for walkers on one side and bikers on the other. My wife and I love to bike around it. On the opposite side of the track from here is the rookery -- kind of a little treat for having been a good boy and done your daily excercise

--steve buser

Monday, May 14, 2007

Second line time

"It's time to get out you handkerchief or a napkin, or a shirt, or anything white." Grammy winning soul singer Irma Thomas tells the crowd. "If you're not from here we're going to teach you a New Orleans tradition -- time to second line."

This was the annual Mother's Day Irma Thomas concert at the Audubon Zoo. I already gave a link a couple days ago to a site with information on what second lining is all about, so I won't go into that again. I will go into this -- Irma showed why she is a crowd favorite as she took request and visited with the crowd. Favorites like "It's Raining in My Heart" got the crowd excited. But when the beat starts and she belows out the beginning of a old standard medly, "I just got over" the second line starts and white waving hankies filled the crowd.

True New Orleans stuff.

In the background on the stage, is an aspiring young twelve-year-old, who asked for the opportunity to sing with the "Soul Queen of New Orleans." She proved a good understudy, but Irma had to give extra lessons on how to wave the hanky and put the backfield in motion.

--steve buser

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Schedules were tight for Mother' Day this week so we decided to take my mother-in-law out last night (Saturday). It was a wonderful evening at Copeland's, even though it was a long wait because they were obviously overwhelmed. (Where we were --Google Earth)

This picture was from afterwards. From the left is Karen (my wife's sister), Winnie (my mother-in-law), Maryanne (my wife's sister) and my wonderful wife Linda.

Thanks for letting me honor these. Hope your Mother's Day is full of warm feelings.

--steve buser

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chase the wind

Caught this shot the other day on the Lakefront in Mandeville. This guy is running along the breakwater (I doubled him up -- sometimes reality just misses a few things). Seems to be chasing the sailboat in the background. Way back in the background is the Causeway across the lake (23+ miles long.) If you look about 1/4 of the way from the left side of the picture, you can see a car crossing the bridge.

One thing you've got to know about this breakwater at the Mandeville harbor is that there is no way to get to it without swimming out to it. And as you can see, it's quite a climb up. Not sure how he got up there.

Hope you have success chasing your dreams today.

--steve buser

Friday, May 11, 2007

Missing the action?

Harrah's Casino in downtown New Orleans is bright and full of activity. But a lone SUV in the office building parking lot across the street suggests someone is missing the party.

The bright casino is a lynch pin at the foot of Canal Street -- nearby the convention center, the docks for the river cruisers, several hotels and more -- a tourist's delight.

You know something. Maybe the SUV is parked here because they are over at Harrah's.
Working late vs over at Harrah's -- the interpretation you chose may tell more about you than the picture

--steve buser

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Square deal

Last night it was YLC 's Wednesday at the Square presented by Hancock Bank. Great music, crowds, great food and libations. It was the Radiators last night (top left) but the series has 24 bands over 12 Wednesdays ending on June 20. Thought I would give a better feel for the fun with a montage.

On the right top is a photo from three weeks ago. Local favorite Irma Thomas treated the crowd to some of her new tunes. When the sun went down, she broke into some of her old favorites. -- that immediately brought out the white handkerchiefs and everyone started "second lining." Wish I could have captured some of that on film (okay electronic circuitry), but the light was just to weak.

If your not "of" New Orleans, check this link to learn about the "second line" and get some real New Orleans culture.

--steve buser

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ducking the shadows

Catching the last rays of the sun on the lagoon at Audubon Park, these two ducks sit serenely in the pollen covered water casting off shadows.

--steve buser

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Can your fly?

The terrestrial -bound duo seem to be in awe of an egret. This is at the Audubon Park rookery which can keep a photographer occupied for hours. The rookery is an island in the Audubon Park lagoon which circles around the park. Stay still for long enough and the ducks, geese and squirels will come right up to you.

--steve buser

Monday, May 7, 2007

Firm Deadline

We were across the lake in Mandeville yesterday visiting relatives. I got the task of driving the truck back from the restaurant while my wife and her sister road the bikes along the lakefront. So when I saw this pair fishing in the sunset I pulled over and took the opportunity for a shot for the blog.

My wife grew up in Mandeville when it was a sleepy village of less than 2,000. Now it is very urbanized. But, the lakefront has kept its character. A great place for jogging, biking, fishing, even swimming -- about 20 years ago the lake was so polluted you would want to swim --that was caused by sewer dumping into canals then into the lake and dredging for clam shells. But today the lake is nearly back to its pristine beauty.

--steve buser

Sunday, May 6, 2007


I missed the New Orleans Jazz Festival because we were out of town and other commitments. But just to take note of the event, probably the most notable on the music calender here, I post this picture from the French Quarter Festival of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots.

As it turns out they were on the stage for the Jazz Fest. I love their bluezy cajun swing -- blues with a little ching-a-chang from the squeeze box and that signature cajun washboard.

--steve buser

Saturday, May 5, 2007

ill liquid Sunshine

It poured down on New Orleans yesterday with more than 4 inches of rain in most spots and up to 8 inches in some. I shot this from my office window when a particular strong band was coming through. For a few minutes it was as black as midnight at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Some street flooding, but for the most part, we pulled through okay. Just one of those Spring days when you want to stay inside.

At sunset, I caught these little saucer shaped clouds. I suppose some meteorologist can explain them -- may just be the way the rays of sunset only catch the bottom of the clouds, but the seemed very refreshing after a day of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings.

--steve buser

Friday, May 4, 2007

Moon wall

At dusk, a moon and wall draw closer together in downtown New Orleans. I caught this picture walking back to my car from one of the Wednesday night concerts in the square.

--steve buser

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fatter legs needed

They are widening the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi -- notorious for its tight travel lanes. But to hold the extra lanes and all that extra weight, they have to add more mass to the columns that hold up the bridge. The crews have started that work by building what looks like a cage around the supports. These will eventually be the steel support inside of the tons of new concrete.

--steve buser

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sundown melody ..

The sunset seems to use the windows of the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans as keys to play a sunset melody... The building sits across from Lafayette Square, home to Wednesday's at the Square, featuring local musical artist each week.

--steve buser

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Let the crawfish boil

If there is one thing that defines New Orleans more than anything it's a hot, steaming pot of boiled crawfish. The outdoor table is prepared by covering it with newspaper and the crawfish are pouted out along it. Everyone gathers round and the feasting and partying begin. It's a New Orleans tradition that goes with other fresh seafood delights -- raw or fried oysters, crabs and a softshell crabs, and fresh fish.

But it is the spices that make the difference. Crab boil is an example -- you can get this essential ingredient for crawfish and crab boils from dozens of local sources -- Zatarain's, for instance. Or make your own. Notice that there are few extras in the pots, new potatoes, lemons, garlic cloves, and sausage are all common.

--steve buser