This morning I noticed a hand-painted sign near the road at a little old man’s house just up the road, so I whipped in and bought 9 beautiful, home-grown tomatoes for $3.50, and he threw in the fresh-picked “Improved Celeste” figs as lagniappe (lan-yap = “something extra”), and I couldn’t wait to get home and make me a ‘mater sammich for lunch. Can you believe that I never had a fresh tomato sandwich until just a few years ago?
I was on a spring birding trip on Grand Isle where I met some lovely ladies who taught me a lot about the birds we were seeing. Later, they invited me back to their hostess’s camp where she served delicious tomato sandwiches on whole wheat with fresh, ripe Creole tomoatoes and Veganaise, a new-fangled healthy mayo I had also never eaten before. Well, I fell in love with this sandwich. I mean, who knew? I guess it’s like a BLT without the B, right? And honestly? It’s just as tasty without all the fat and guilt of the B. Okay, back to today . . .
Well, full-blown summer is almost here, but it’s already the busy season down the bayou for all things having to do with warm weather and water. Since I’ve been so busy doing all the things that require my actual presence, this post seems a little overdue. Because I don’t have any jaw-dropping photos to share of something earth shattering I’ve come across in my journeys and no photos of big fishes, how about I just fill you in on a few of the things that have been going on the past month. Maybe I’ll just hit the high points?
June 1 was a landmark day in the lives of two of our sons. Termite, the youngest, started “Tankerman’s School” in New Orelans. He’s been working as a tugboat deckhand since last August and is now working his way up the ladder, just like his two older brothers have done. He finished his classes, passed all 3 tests, including fire-fighting, and now waits for four weeks to receive his U.S. Coast Guard Tankerman’s License.
Meanwhile, Miah transitioned from school to work by starting his first day at Cajun Confections, making and packaging all sorts of south Louisiana- themed chocolate goodies. He has just completed his second week, and so far he seems to like it and has only had a couple minor hiccups in the process. I’m hoping he sticks with it, but if this isn’t the gig for him, I do have a Plan B in mind!
So, in the past month I’ve been on four fishing trips, four wetland tours, and two crabbing trips. I’ve gone to four meetings and been on two conference calls. I’ve done one episode of Hunt Fish Talk radio show, written a full-length magazine article, written a $5,000 grant, and worked over 20 hours at my part-time job as Ex. Director of Keep Terrebonne Beautiful. I’ve maintained Facebook pages for 3 groups, plus all the other stuff that goes with running a household and three businesses, including making 54 beds at Camp Dularge in less than a month. Oh, wait, I went to lunch with a girlfriend three times, two of which required a 90 minute drive, round trip. I cooked a big pot roast meal for the whole family one night, plus we all went out for hibachi one night to celebrate the end of school for Miah. Whew!
On our last crabbing trip, Termite and his girlfriend, Coco, and I caught an ice-chest full of crabs, as you see in the photo above. Four dozen of those were nice enough to hit the boiling pot, and man were they sweet. Three dozen were bait crab that I put in the freezer to use on an upcoming fishing trip next weekend. I’m teaching two ladies from the big city how to fish for reds about four different ways. Cracked crab on the bottom is one of those ways, and I sure hope it pays off. And yes, y’all, I will be careful handling those blue crab when I bait the hooks, because Lord knows I don’t want to catch that Vibrio Vulnificus again. No, cher, I absolutely, positively do not. By the way, Coco is now BW approved! Isn’t she lovely? And pretty inside, too!
Lastly, in the past month, I’ve taken over 400 photos of everything from people on tour to plants, gators, birds, and boats; uploaded them to hard drive, labeled and categorized. I’ll just stick a sampling of them in a gallery for you to enjoy. Also, in my water journeys so far this month I’ve identified another beautiful aquatic that I’ve been calling Alligator Grass all this time. Well, it’s not gator grass, it’s called Primrose Willow, and what a beauty it is. It’s one of the yellow flowers in the gallery.
The American Lotus are in bloom right now, and that is my featured article for the August issue of Country Roads Magazine. The article explains the meaning of Graine a Voler, the Cajun name for this multi-purpose aquatic, and explains its many uses, past and present. You’ll see some of those leaves in the photo gallery as well. Notice how the rainwater magnifies the veins in the leaves!
Enjoy the photos and then let me know in the comment section what you’ve been up to. Then, go make yourself a ‘mater sammich and let me know just how good it was. I’ll even allow you to use REAL mayo! Before you know it, it will be time to make fig preserves. I’m going to try something new this year!!!
PS Would you believe this post took me over three hours to complete? I had to go through a lot of photos to pick the ones I wanted to share with you!