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Savannah Gems

Fried Green Tomatoes – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!

High School Jazz Bands On the Riverwalk!!

Skidaway Island State Park!!!

God Bless the Great State of Georgia, and those damned northern carpetbaggers Union Camps throwing the State a bone, otherwise all of Skidaway Island would be one big  exclusive gated ‘I’ve Got Mine, the Rest of You Stay Away’ community.

As in The Landings

Sundae Cafe On Tybee Island!!!!

Tybee Island was a disappointment – crowded, no-parking intimidation, and a charge every where you turned around.

One HUGE reason to go back, a store-front restaurant in a small collection of every day shops:

Sundae Cafe at Tybee.

We stumbled across the Sundae Cafe while attempting to escape the beach bound crowds while trying to get some good eats before we beat feet off the island.

Sundae Cafe gets the award for the best restaurant meal, the best restaurant food of our entire end-of-November-to-end-of-April road trip.

We had lunch: great salads, filling salads with a local, a southern flair. (Those fried green tomatoes once again!)

SkIO and the UGA Marine Extension!!!!!

Again the Great State of Georgia saved a piece of Skidaway Island from the developer’s D4 Cat blade.

Great facility. An easy bike ride (except when it rains) from Skidaway Island State Park.

A very friendly place, a very kid-friendly place. Families. Put this on your list.

An ongoing down pour after we arrived kept us off the much recommended nature trail. Next time!

Turtles before the storm.

Tomorrow:  Historic Savannah

31 Mar 2012

Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

More On-the-Road Quirkiness

Historic Savannah Is a Gem

Saved From Sherman and Then Saved Again From ‘Development’

Savannah May Win the Award For the Favorite New-To-Us Locale On This Trip

The Gents of Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

An Ex-Pat New Englander, “Plymouth, New Hampshire Born and Bred”, Come To Savannah To Make Candy

The Application of Color and Flavor – Lo and Behold : Raspberry Taffy

 A Ninety-Eight Year Old Machine – Measures, Cuts and Wraps

29 Mar 2012

Springfest 2012 – Sunday Classics

Verlon Thompson and Guy Clark

Classic and Timeless

Enough Said

The Rain and Pain Kept the Big Dawg and Cameras in the Tin Tent Saturday

Sunday was a Classic

Thank You Springfest

26 Mar 2012

Gimme That Good Ol’ Single Condenser Mic – Red June at Springfest 2012

Good Clean Fun All the Way From Asheville ~ Red June

Lots of Interplay and Exchange Around the Mic

Great Acoustic Music ~ Great Musicians

26 Mar 2012

Springfest 2012 – Day 2 Image Potpourri

24 Mar 2012

Springfest 2012 – Thursday’s Image Cream

The Two-Man Gentleman Band

Musicianship and Showmanship

A Stage Presence and Connection With the Audience

Reconfigured Smother’s Brothers If You Will

As if that wasn’t tasy enough, try some Hot Buttered Rum!

😉

24 Mar 2012

Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – Eastern Entrance – Folkston, Georgia

This side of the Refuge is the main entrance, the site of the admin offices and the maintenance facility. The Feds have a huge presence here while the western entrance and Stephen C Foster State Park was purview of the Georgia State folks. The Refuge burnt recently, both sides, with the 2011 fire originating with a lightning strike at Honey Island near the State Park. The eastern side of the Refuge lost its boardwalk to the fire but seems to have rebounded. The western side of the Refuge seemed to be dominated by the Suwanee River which drains 90% of the water from the swamp. Lots of river channels and river current heading for the Suwanee. The St Mary’s River on the southeastern side takes the other 10%. The eastern side is home to green swamp prairies. All the water in the swamp comes out of the sky.

Okefenokee Pastimes, just across the road from the Refuge entrance, is a great place to stay. Check it out. Nice people, nice property – felt like a neighborhood.

20 Mar 2012

Okefenokee Swamp NWR – Swallowtails to Thistles

With no killing frosts this winter the mosquitoes here are just about the size of the swallowtail butterflies.

The swallowtails to the roadside thistle is amazing, a veritable feeding frenzy.

A winged herbivorial feeding frenzy?

“Butterflies and moths belong to the second largest order of insects (next to beetles) with approximately 170,000 specis worldwide. All have two pair of wings covered with overlapping layers of fine scales. They feed by uncoiling a long feeding-tube (proboscis) and sucking nutrients from flowers, puddles,etc. When not in use, the tube is coiled under the head.

The two groups differ in several ways. Butterflies are active by day, brightly colored, have a thin body, rest with their wings held erect over the back, and have thin antennae that thicken at the tip. Moths are active at night, most are dull in color, have a stout body, rest with their wings folded tent-like over the back,and have antennae that are usually thicker and often furry.” Golden Guides: Butterflies and Moths

The 2011 Honey Island wildfire, just now extinguishing itself,  left scars on the land, especially within the western side of the swamp. Green palmetto rebirth is making itself known among the semi-burnt pine prairies .

Tomorrow the eastern side, the Folkston, Georgia side, of the Okefenokee Swamp NWR.

16 Mar 2012

Okefenokee Swamp NWR – Stephen C. Foster Georgia State Park

Okefenokee Swamp NWR

Stephen C. Foster State Park, Georgia

Parched and dry, burnt over and scarred – needing some rain. Needing lots of rain to be right again.

Ten inches of rain.

The Okefenokee Swamp will never be the same in most of the locals’  lifetimes.

Started burning April of last year. Maybe its done now or just smolderin’ somewhere deep, waiting.

It’s not like it hasn’t burnt before: 1954 (maybe 2007) being the last times.

What man has not taken, this fire did. Lots of old cypress trees and spanish moss gone. Blackened stumps and hollow trunks left.

“Large fires in the swamp run in a 20-30 year cycle. Intense fires sometimes create prairies and occasionally deep lakes. Dates of large fires in the Okefenokee are : 1844, 1860, 1910, 1932, 1954. No major fire has occurred since the construction of the Suwannee River Sill.”

?!?!?

“The Suwannee River Sill was constructed in the early 1960s to retain higher water levels in the swamp during droughts, thus reducing the probability and severity of fire. Fire has played a major role in the evolution of the swamp by setting back plant succession and preventing the conversion of marsh areas to swamp forest. The long term effect of the Sill and reduced fire potential during low water is not known at this time.”

With the 2011 – 2012 fire now highlighted and added to the list!

Folks that have been here in years prior, especially local folk, are shocked, shaking their heads, dumbfounded.

“A mix of geological events, environmental variables, and human impact has shaped the character of the Okefenokee Swamp.”

Bird populations seem  way down: wading birds and the raptors.  Their prey species and habitat seemingly impacted by the fire.

Georgia State Bird: Mosquitoes are in good form; no killing frost here this winter. Lots of flying biting insects.

Alligators and butterflies seem none the worse for the wear: the ‘gators seem concentrated,  less wet habitat and prey.

14 Mar 2012

The Game of Cricket ~ Northern Florida ~ Lake City

Travel to Lake City, Florida to shoot Junior Rodeo and end up shooting the sub-continent Indian community of this area playing the game of Cricket over their weekend.

Different worlds.

Simply put:

Eleven players per team.

A bowler, two batsmen (opposing team) and a wicket keeper on a pitch in the exact center of a circular field. The remaining nine players are strategically positioned in the field of play.

All of the circular field is in play.

The bowler attempts to strike the wicket or ‘stumps’ with a hard covered round ball with a single stitched seam.

The batsman’s play is both defensive and offensive; protecting the ‘stumps’ while attempting to hit the ball with a flat bat.

A hit ball that leaves the field of play on the fly is a ‘6’. Six runs.

A hit ball that leaves the field of play on the ground is a ‘4’. Four runs.

Runs may be scored in on routine hits as well. Lots of runs are scored.

A batter is out if the bowler strikes the wicket or if his batted ball is caught within the field of play on the fly.

There are other rules and game concepts  but this is what I retained from my first Cricket experience.

Another simple overview of  Cricket.

More information on the sport of Cricket.

An interesting comparison of Cricket and Baseball.

The shared history of Cricket and Baseball: slide show format.

No matter the name or the origin of the particular ball-and-bat sport the appreciation of the long ball by the long ball hitter is still very much the same.

😉

The Brits left their form of government and the sports of cricket and rugby in those countries that they colonized: What happened to America and the sport of cricket?

A way interesting game, a new to me game. After a rudimentary overview of the game concepts all involved said I should be shooting the batsmen as opposed to the bowler.

After sorting and processing images I would have to disagree; both batsman and bowler are way image worthy.

Feel free to copy Cricket images from this web site. They have been resized and are 72 ppi.

Contact Steve McKinney at Big Dawg Images by e-mail (mckfam@ncia.net) to request full size image files suitable for printing (300 ppi).

In person strong recommendation: Read the Robert Arnett book: India Unveiled

12 Mar 2012

Delacroix Island Blue Crab Fishery

Blue Crabs

Caught, sorted, iced, packed and shipped out of  the open-air facility that is Tino Mosen’s Seafood of  Delacroix, Louisiana.

Destined for the seafood restaurant trade of Baltimore, Maryland in a day or two.

America, appreciate your blue crab feast.  Lots of labor, effort and resources go into putting that dish on the restaurant table.

Boats, big and small, traps and bait, skyrocketing fuel, time, long days, backbreaking work, effort and skill: two or three men.

Unloading, icing, sorting and grading, packing, cooling, packing, stacking and loading by order and then the paperwork: two men.

Loading and trucking, at least twice, skyrocketing fuel again: Louisiana to Maryland. The fish market in Baltimore. Into the seafood chef’s kitchen  and on to your palate.

Once shrimp season comes round  this cycle will happen all over again in the evening; daylight for crabs and night time for shrimp.

Delacroix Island, Louisiana, south and east of New Orleans. Now below the flood-wall, along the bayou where it looks and feels like the land ought to be covered by water every now and then.

Washed and scrubbed by the Gulf every now and then. Not if but when.

Prior to Katrina a couple hundred families lived and worked the water out of Delacroix.

Now …  maybe twenty full time families in Delacroix and everybody else that returned to work the water after the Katrina diaspora lives on the other side of the Caenarvon-Verret flood-wall.

Is the fishery rebounding or has it been knocked out by the double whammy of Katrina and the BP Spill?

Thank You : Russell Pratt & Phil Morales of  Tino Mones’ Seafoods

7 Mar 2012

St Bernard Parish Potpourri

NOLA’s crowds and old world seediness was lost on us this time around.

The aura of discovery was just not there.

We will return, it just will not be year after year.

Jackson Square and the crowd of Central Grocery Muffuletta Sandwhich pilgrims.

Spent my time exploring off the beaten path, above but mostly below the flood wall in St Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish.

Here’s to a speedy reopening of Rocky & Carlo’s.

Some random shoots, some grab shots.

Live Oaks – Chalmette National Cemetery

Live Oaks again – an arboreal tunnel.

Docville Farm and Pecan Grove

The Meraux Foundation

There is a story and the best of intentions here: good luck to Mr. Bill Haines in his endeavors.

Big sky over the Mississippi River ferry to Belle Chase

5 Mar 2012

Los Islenos – St Bernard Parish, Louisiana

A proud and distinct people still live south and east of New Orleans.

St Bernard Parish

Los Islenos

Not the French, not the Cajun but to quote, “Today, the Isleño communities of St. Bernard Parish survive as the last living vestige of Spanish Colonial Louisiana.

Living history.

One of four Canary Islander settlement communities around the periphery of colonial New Orleans settled by ‘volunteer’ settlers from the Spanish Canary Islands. The La Concepcion / San Bernado (St Bernard) Isleno community has best managed to maintain and preserve its culture and identity.

The Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society’s Museum, web site and active and supporting membership have survived Katrina’s devastation to continue to maintain and project the community’s culture and identity.

Direction from St Bernard State Park staff for photo ops in the vicinity had us off one day to Delacroix Island. In the process dead-ending due to unresolved Katrina roadway damage and end-of-the-roading twice in Delacroix and then again at Shell Beach. We saw a couple of references to an Isleno past, present and community. Riding the bikes along the Mississippi River levee down past English Turn (Plaquemines Parish) to the ferry we passed a restored and relocated Canary Islander’s homestead just beyond the park entrance. Intrigued I went and found the Islenos internet presence and headed out late one morning to the Bayou Road site. As luck, my luck, would have it, Bertin Bernard Esteves Jr was my docent of the day. My simple request that he talk to me about his people and heritage grew into lunch and most of the day.

Bertin Bernard Esteves, Jr : An interesting and knowledgeable man, free spirit, Marine, artist, and traveler.

Seek out Bertin or Dot Benge for your dose of interpretive history and culture, well and truly served up by enjoyable, expansive and friendly folk.

The Canary Island descendants, Los Islenos, in and around St Bernard Parish manage and maintain a beautiful museum complex on Bayou Road. The organization presents an annual heritage festival, their 37th this March 17 – 18, 2012. The connection between Los Islenos here and the Canary Islanders is strong. Everyone that I met over a marvelous lunch at the Museum Complex was eager to relate to me their visits to and connections with the land and people of the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands send folk representatives and citizens to the annual Isleno Fiesta here. Those limited slots are an honor that is vied for throughout the year.

The Museum Complex features a wonderfully inviting post-Katrina restored and rebuilt home that houses displays and office space. Beyond the initial building is another new post-Katrina structure that serves as a  community center, a place of and for gathering. Outside  and across is a food court if you will: an area of covered tables for food serving and gathering of peoples.

Beyond this one finds the restored Isleno homes, a trapper’s marsh abode, and a community tavern.

Bertin with great pride showed me his grandfather’s home which has been lovingly relocated, restored and updated with the intention of serving as a bed and breakfast facility.

(Sugar cane boiling iron pot for the sugar crystallization process and a water cistern)

The Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society’s Museum Complex on Bayou Road beyond the traffic light  at Guilroy’s in Poydras is worth the time and effort to find.

Much historical knowledge and insight awaits the traveler who explores off the beaten path. This is time and effort well spent. A quality experience provided by quality people.

Would that I could attend this year’s annual Fiesta, … next year!

3 Mar 2012