Sunday, November 30, 2008

The distraction is the attraction.

Sitting at the Café du Monde restaurant on Decatur Street  across from Jackson Square in New Orleans, we were listening to a two-person street performers' ensemble play old jazz and pop classics.   The pair included a trombone player and a drummer.    It was great entertainment.  This shot of the drummer is into the darkening shadows in the late afternoon with the sun reflecting up from the rain-splashed sidewalk. 

Toward the end of one song, the drummer got in one of those lazy afternoon dazes and was totally distracted from his work.   He quickly snapped back for the next song.  But is was a day of wonderful distractions, seeping in the steamy, rain-passed French Quarter atmosphere.

--steve buser

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cafe au lait by twilight

Everybody thinks about having a coffee au lait (with chickory) and beignets for breakfast or lunch down in the French Quarter of New Orleans, but the action continues into the night. We were down in the Quarter yesterday just wondering around and on the way back to the car, I caught this picture of the New Orleans landmark. It was packed. Come to think of it. It might be a better time to sit and just watch the action pass by because of all the lights of the night.

--steve buser

Friday, November 28, 2008

Papa and Nanny outlast the competition

We had the grand kids this week for several days -- a very tiring task, trying to keep up with their font of energy.  But this time, I think papa and nanny won.  This is Sophie at the end of their stay.  This is after she took a two hour nap in our bedroom.  She woke up, made it to the couch and took another hour and half nap.

Of course, after they left, we slept about 10 hours.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day was full of blessings.

--steve buser

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tree trimming time

I have been a little lax about posting this week. We had the grandkids for the week and the time just flew by. Here, Sullivan helped us decorate the Christmas tree (I know it is early, but we took advantage of the opportunity to let them help.) The tree looks great, but there is a high concentration of ornaments at the three foot level. Go figure.

--steve buser

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great Egret takes a new tack at fishing

Our Great Egret from yesterday suddenly changed his tactics. Instead of standing straight to look for fish, he suddenly started leaning his head way over to the side -- further that what you see here, but I did not get a good picture of that. Then, when he spotted his meal, he would take a sideways jab into the water, somewhat parrellel to the water's surface. The tactic proofed worthwhile. He got plenty to eat.

Obviously our 4-foot bird with about 5-foot wing span, is not the bird brain I took him for. I bet his has a bunch of other fishing tricks up his sleeve.

By the way, thanks for coming back from yesterday to check this out.

--steve buser

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Great Egret shows off fishing skills

Heading down the I-10 I spotted this Great Egret fishining in some dark waters at the ponds edge. He was making a pretty good go of it. You know Egrets have those very long necks -- maybe a couple feet or more. (This bird's wing span seemed about 4 or 5 feet in width and he looked about 4 feet from head to tail. ) It makes a pretty good fishing tool. You just thrust it out and down in the water when you see a fish and whamo! you've got food. In the picture below our hero enjoys the fruits... er, make that ... fish of his catch. He picked up about six fish while I was watching. This is all as you expected. What came next is what surprised me. I tell you what. Give me some time to get those pictures ready and you come back tomorrow, for "the rest of the story."


--steve buser

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Skywatch -- The sun surrenders

One night, heading back across Lake Pontchartrain. Linda was driving. I took the opportunity just to play with the camera. This was one of the pictures that came from it. A bright but mellowing sun, surrendering the sky for the night.

Make sure you check out all the other Friday Skywatch photos from around the world.



--steve buser

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So here's what I am wondering about. You know birds -- free and able to soar anywhere they want. No boundaries, nothing can hold them back (maybe bad weather) Any tree a potential next. Any shore a home.

This Ring-billed Gull was among a group that spent each day in the parking lot of the local shopping center. Who knows where they went at night, but each day, rain or shine they would sit in the parking lot for hours.

Now I don't know about you, but me? I would not pick a parking lot to hang into if I had wings to get me to a sea shore.

Guess dumb decisions ain't just a human thing.

--steve buser

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Papa watch this"

One more shot from yesterday's scene at The Trace in Mandeville, a suburb of New Orleans. This is my brother-in-law Tommy with his granddaughter, Kristin, sitting listening to the music.

I thought it was just a tender "granpa" moment that I wanted to share with you.

--steve buser

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuned, tuned in, "tune"ing

A few weeks back we were over at the Trace in Mandeville (just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans). The train used to run through here and the track has been converted to a bike and walking trail that is well used and which winds through most of the Parish ("county" for the rest of y'all). In the middle of Mandeville, they have set up the Trace to look like an old train station. Saturday's are a kind of artist market and a market for eating goodies. They usually have some entertainment. This Saturday, for reason I cannot explain, the crowd was sparse. These two guys did amazing oldie music. I really didn't shoot this shot to use on the blog, but the more I looked at it back in my office, I decided it had a message, though I can't really define it. Can't even give you the group's name.

Just stare at in (double click to enlarge it) for a while. See if it talks to you.

--steve buser

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grace is in the eye of camera

You know how those airplanes shoot out of the airport and then make a sharp turn to avoid making a lot of noise over a residential area. That's kind of what the Great Egret on the left is doing. After taking off, he is trying to bank away from the dock and out over the water. Of course, noise is not an issue for this 10-foot-wing-span bird -- they move as noiselessly through the air as a feather moves down a stream.

The fellow on the right however, is trying to look as graceful as he can, clinging to a boom. I suppose he can't hang on by facing perpendicular to the pipe because it its too slippery to hold on to. So he chooses the parallel method, bending both knees out to try to get some opposible pressure to keep him up. Luckily it was near night fall with little wind.

The Photo is from the area of Des Allemands -- a community Southeast of New Orleans in the bayou country.

--steve buser

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Magazine street -- even a sprinkle of essentials

Today we finish our shopping on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. It's time to go back home and admire our shopping prowess. I just wanted to finish with another favorite shop of mine that I have never been in. I just love the red accents and the white color. The real purpose though is to show you that there are useful shops, too, on Magazine Street. There is a drugstore, hardware store, several restaurants and more. But, hey, you're not going to travel from New York or Minnesota to go to a drugstore. So we concentrated on the fun shopping stuff.

One last link to the Magazine Street merchants website. Check it out.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Curtain exchange

This is one of my favorite stores on Magazine Street. I have never been in it. I just love the gracious porch (I have a thing for porches) and the name of the place. When I first saw it, I thought why would any store exchange new curtains for old? But I think that is just the clever sounding name that draws you in. In any case, this is an example of the many stores, boutiques and galleries that line Magazine Street as it winds through Uptown parallel to the Mississippi River n New Orleans.

--steve buser

Friday, November 14, 2008

Balloon bypasser

It's Skywatch Friday. This was a few days back. A balloon came sailing by. Whimsical it was. Must be an omen of a smiley, happy day.

Check the Skywatch Friday site for a host of other photos that examine the theme "sky."

--steve buser

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Buxom beauty bumptiously buttresses beverages and booty

How about a little different way to show off your bounty?

Our piece de resistance today is a photo of this busty beauty we saw in the window at Miss Spratt's ( I believe) on Magazine Street. Imagine this to place your hors d'oevre tray on for a cocktail party -- it would set the tone for the evening. Nothing like showing your stuff. This photo is another treasure from our window shopping expedition down Magazine Street in New Orleans.

--steve buser

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting a deal on a dealer's digs

Another photo from our Magazine Street window shopping tour. These dealer digs seem a perfect treasure for that party you are planning next week.

--steve buser

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dragons

More Magazine Street shopping today. How about a pair of dragons from the Private Collection. They are something that ought to convince your guests that you are someone to be reckoned with. (Excuse me -- sentence ending in a preposition. No No. Do over. "They are something that ougt to convince your guest that you are someone with whome to be reckoned.")

You are now getting the idea that the 3 or 4 miles of Magazine Street is a real treasure store of shops, boutiques, galleries and the like.

--steve buser

Monday, November 10, 2008

We resume trucking down Magazine Street

We never did get to finish our shopping trip to Magazine Street, so let me show you some of the must-have's I found. Like these truck -- how long has it been when you played with a truck made of metal and with a hydraulic lift. Talk about a treasure.

There's more. We'll get back to our Magazine street window tour tomorrow. I promise you the three miles of shops, galleries, boutiques will turn up some real treasures.


--steve buser

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mom mangles meal from feathery fathers

A mom duck (front center) fights for the food -- and gets it. A young child was throwing bread to these wood ducks creating an explosion of ducks and splashes of water wherever a piece landed. This time, the mom won.

--steve buser

Friday, November 7, 2008

Galloping grace

Grace under pressure. Heard that one?

I came up over this mound at the spillway out to the west of New Orleans a few weeks back and this egret and I came almost eye to eye. When you're carrying a wingspan of a dozen feet, it is always better to get a forewarning that something is coming. Surprises are not good. That's because these big birds take a bit of energy to get up into the air. Though I knew he was moving as quickly as he could -- it's neck stuck straight out and he flapped mighty gust of winds down at the surface of the water -- he was slow to get any real speed. It all looked so graceful. So slow motion. So much grace under pressure.

Then he was airborne and swooped around in a large arc, settling around 300 feet away in the high grasses. Gracefully.

Hey, this is a SkyWatch Friday Post. Click THIS LINK to see other SkyWatch Friday posts

--steve buser

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Auduboners act out aerial artistry

I guess it should not have surprised me to see an Ibis zoom through the sky on a slow descent to it's roost for the night. It's just that I had never seen one from so far below. I had only seen them take short chip shots across a water hazard or the like, usually to get away from me.

But this was the Audubon Park rookery, as sun down was slowly turning down the dimmer. What were near-empty trees just a half an hour ago, were filling up as Ibis, ducks and egrets came zooming in to claim their spot on the branches that had not been damaged by Gustav.

Some slid across the sky alone, like this guy. But most came in waves, picking up friends as they traced the wend of the lagoon toward the rookery island. The waves would drop to the deck near a stand of their friends on branches along the lagoon, and then zoom back up to strafing height. As they then performed a slow descent toward the island and would spot the reflection off my lens, they would do a quick roll, dive quickly toward the inky water and zip around the far side of the island and into the safety of the trees.

It is hard to shoot in that dwindling light, but I had no idea how much activity went on at dusk. I stayed way too long -- into the mosquito hour.

--steve buser

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bayou Des Allemands fills birders needs

Bayou Des Allemands is a birder's paradise. The bayou flow from Lac Des Allemands through the town of Des Allemand and into Lake Salvador. I pulled off at Des Allemand and cross back over the Old Spanish Trail bridge, winding my way over the rail road tracks to Up the Bayou Road. (Down the Bayou Road looks like a good birding spot, also, but I didn't have time this trip.)

Along the road, houses on one side and the bayou and fishing piers were lines on the other side.

Large Great Egrets and Blue Herons gracefully swept down the bayou from one perch to another as night fill began to descend. This Great Egret seem curious as to what I was doing, but not curious enough to hang around. He looked as though he were announcing the imminent arrival of the moon.

The moist smell of the bayou and the cool are of a passing warm front made a perfect time to sit by the side of the road and shoot.

It is a time of day when the birds return to their roost, bellies full and in no particular hurry.

--steve buser

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Memory-filled and faded books (Theme Day)

The Theme for November 1 is "Books" This photo is a collection of our old photo albums laid out under a window. These memory filled pages have yellow with time and the colors of photos have morphed into that yellow-ish pale that over takes them with time. Hopefully we have fared better than our memories.

--steve buser

Take a look at how some other very creative City Daily Photo bloggers have mastered this them today

American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Aurora, South Africa by shelagh, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bali, Indonesia by Anak Dokan, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bangkok, Thailand by UberSand, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Ilse, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boulder (CO), USA by A Sterling World, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Chandler (AZ), USA by PattheAZRealtor, Chapel Hill (NC), USA by missleah, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Chateaubriant, France by trieulet, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Evry, France by Olivier, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Gliwice, Poland by prado&fio, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by PPusa, Herne Bay, Great Britain by Han, Lil n Caz, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Honningsvag, Norway by J., Islip (NY), USA by Bettye, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by Susie of Arabia, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Karwar, India by Yogesh, Knoxville (TN), USA by Knoxville Girl, Knoxville (TN), USA by hope, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas 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