Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mardi Gras Weekend

There's something about the wild sound of the sirens and horn blasts from law enforcement that begin the parade. We are close enough to the parade route to hear them coming. It's exciting even if you don't go to the parade. I turn into a six-year-old kid when I hear the clink of the dubloons on the pavement. The daughter has had other things to do so I haven't gone to any parades this year.

I was working out in the yard yesterday afternoon when I heard the sirens, then the drums from the bands come closer for the Children's Parade. We had to get the live oak tree leaves piled up before the rain so we didn't go. The live oaks drop their leaves in spring, not fall. Just in time to grind up and re-charge our compost pile.

I was thinking about going to last night's parade, but a rain storm/cold front came through right at start time. I never found out if they canceled or just started late; I never heard the sirens. When I left home last night to pick up the girl gang at the ice rink, there was lots of trash in the streets but I don't know if it was all from the afternoon parade or from both parades.

The husband went to the L'Anse LeJeune Mardi Gras to play music in the band wagon. It was drawn by two young Clydesdale horses. In previous years, there were some seasoned Belgians drawing the wagon, who could pull it without jerking. This year, the young horses started pulling with a jerk every time. The husband had fun but it was a very long cold day. I don't have pictures of this year since I didn't go with him, but here's a shot of him playing the guitar from last year.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Krewe Des Chiens Parade

Yesterday was the Krewe des Chiens parade to benefit the Humane Society and Animal Aid. The daughter and her girl gang were in it - one of the gang members has a little toy dog they entered in the parade. Lafayette's Mardi Gras parades start two weekends before Mardi Gras Day this year so there are lots of chances to see one. Plus, the barricades are in place early and blocking traffic.

Here is a picture of the daughter slinging me some beads. Most people were nice and didn't throw any at me since I had my camera in front of my face.

I'm working on sizing some more parade pics and putting them on Picasa. This might take me a while because my space is limited, and the original size of the pics is large.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Azaleas Blooming a Month Early

Yes, the warm winter we've had has pushed the azaleas into bloom a month early. But, they are mostly sneaking into bloom instead of bursting like they do most years. Some years, we get the flower show during Easter week, when Easter is early. Anyway, there are enough stragglers that we should still have some color in early March.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Crazy January Temperatures

No wonder the flowers can't decide whether to bloom or not. Look at this chart of temps for January.

Quick and Dirty GIS Project

I have been in the GIS lab most of the day today, trying to finish the maps for our review project. So here's mine with my base imagery, point, line, and polygon layers. I still have lots to learn about map layout and cartography. I have trouble making things show up and look nice at the same time.

We each got a random location - Bangor, Maine was one of the easy ones. Now I have to write a paper that incorporates my process and the other map images I created. It's due next Monday.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Daffodils are up!

My early daffodils have started blooming - there are 4 or five of them. They are scattered in the bed and are not very photogenic but they are nice spots of yellow. My Ice Follies are not blooming yet.

The Japanese magnolias are blooming all over town. I haven't taken pictures of them because every tree I see has lost its nice symmetry - I think the hurricane winds of Gustav and Ike last fall broke their limbs. Their flowers are beautiful but the trees are lopsided.

The short spells of cold followed by warm have fooled many azaleas - they are starting to creep into bloom. Most years, they burst into bloom at one time for a couple of weeks, usually in March. For those of you up north, the large evergreen shrubs are covered by so many blooms that you can't see the green of the leaves. Lafayette looks like a Monet painting when they are all in bloom. They come in white, pink, lavender, fuchsia, coral, and red. I'm seeing some color in almost all the azaleas in my neighborhood.

Here's a closeup of my azaleas from 2008.