Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quick trip to south Louisiana

We had our Fall break at Wilkes and had a four day weekend so I decided to go visit my son. Flew into New Orleans, rented a car, and was off. 

Weather was warm - in the upper 80's but not uncomfortable (easy to say driving in an air conditioned car). Went up to Southeastern Louisiana University and met up with one of my old professors and had a nice tour of the new biology building. Picked up some live oak acorns and they've already yielded some weevil larvae, which we'll barcode to species and will probably share the DNA for population studies. 

Did some birdwatching and picked up a few good birds but nothing specific to the area except some white ibis at 70 mph on the road. Still it was great to get out in the swamps and look around. 

Green anole

Bayou as seen from HWY 51 - the road that sits under 55. Slower road with much better views of the marshes and swamps

Tons of dragonflies - I suspect lots of migrating dragonflies

Gulf frittilary (?)

Little blue heron at the Joyce WMA

Magnolia warbler

Monarch butterfly - lots of them were around

Pileated woodpecker - not an Ivory-billed 
Stayed in Donaldsonville the first night in a place between two refineries. It sucked. So I stayed the next night in Gonzales, LA - same town as my son.  This place was one of a dozen or so hotels and outlet stores. Oh well. Next time, I'll go some research and try and find and maybe find a little B&B.

The thing that had the biggest impact on me was seeing the result of the Flood of 2016. Remember that? I didn't until I drove through the area around Gonzales and Denham Springs. One commercial referenced 60,000 homes lost. It was incredible and awful. People's lives pushed to the curb.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

The passing of a great conservationist you never heard of

The latest Ornithological Societies of North America newsletter had an obituary of Luc Hoffman.  

"a member of AOU and Honorary Fellow since 2004, COS since 1952, WB since 1983 and WOS since 1955, passed away at the age of 93 on 21 July 2016 at his home in the Camargue wetlands of southeastern France.  He served as director of Wetlands International, vice-president of IUCN and BirdLife. He was the driving force behind the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and was also a co-founder of World Wildlife Fund.  His love for birds led him to secure incredible gains for conservation."

His Wikipedia entry is here

His institute is here