1. Briarwood Nature Preserve    Saline, Louisiana    August 2014

    Monday I had the pleasure of visiting Briarwood Nature Preserve. I was given a personal tour by preserve manager Richard Johnson. Mr. Johnson grew up at the preserve and returned after retirement. He and his wife joined Richard’s parents as conservationists and grounds-keepers. They have their work cut out for them, but their hard work has led to the preservation of many species of plants and trees that would otherwise be extinct.

    Briarwood is the home of Caroline Dormon, the first female employee of the US Dept. of Forestry, and a pioneer in the field of forestry. Dormon was also a cultural anthropologist, educator, and gifted artist. She developed educational curriculums to teach arboreal studies to grade school children and authored many books on plants (most of which she illustrated herself).

    Briarwood is off the beaten path, but certainly worth visiting. The site contains a trail that was one of the continents’ first “interstates.” This trail was the travel route for Native American tribes, buffalo and eventually Spanish explorers traveling northward from Mexico.

  2. lecoil:

    Duke Ellington - The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse

    (via all posters)


  3. Yet another reason for me to love my afternoon walks. Plus the color green is very soothing and healing.


  4. I know so many people who can’t wait for the McRib to come out - it is like Christmas to them, really. The only thing I would trust from McDonalds is the oatmeal, but I’m sure pretty soon we’ll learn there is something toxic in that too. If I had the skills and a house with a yard I would grow my own foods.

  5. St. Martin de Porres Chapel     Yucca House (Melrose Plantation)     Natchitoches Parish, LA     July 2014

    Since moving to central Louisiana in late winter, I’ve made several visits to Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches Parish. While the interpretive tours at this site leave much to be desired and often take on the romanticized sentiments of life in the good ole’ Gone With the Wind, smiling, sleepy, south (with blood on its mouth), I have an appreciation for the real history of the site and some of the individuals related to it (i.e. folk artist Clementine Hunter – who, unfortunately some of the tour guides refer to as a primitive artist).

    My most recent visit to the plantation was during one of the sites’ off days for a meeting. I got an opportunity to walk around with its facility manager and a few preservation colleagues. I was able to view, for the first time, a small chapel attached to the rear of Yucca House, one of the housing structures on the plantation complex. For some reason the small, modest chapel with its stark white-washed walls and pews, and statue of a humble St. Martin de Porres has captured my heart. I find it kind of like a “safe mental place” within the complex. I don’t know if my fondness is because it’s a sacred space or perhaps because it’s one of the few areas within the complex that cannot fall victim to misinterpretation. But, I love this little chapel - it is what it is…clearly and frankly. You cannot misconstrue its history or deny its purpose.

  6. NSU Campus     Natchitoches, LA     May 2014

  7. dynamicafrica:

    As we reported in June, US actor Don Cheadle has begun efforts to help fund his biopic project on Miles Davis. Now, a video has emerged that shows Cheadle in conversation with members of Davis’ family, and Cheadle playing the trumpet to channel his inner Miles.

    Miles Ahead, the title of the upcoming film, is five days away from ending its indiegogo campaign but has only met 65% of its goal.

  8. Happy Father’s Day!!!

    I am so grateful that I have my father, Mr. Henry Spann, in my life and that I know so many great fathers including my brother (right) and many of his friends, as well as my adopted dad Mr. Peter Corey. Here’s to real men!!!

    Craft Feast Expo Columbia, SC 2009