Little Blue Heron

One of my favorite shore birds! I was pleasantly surprised to see one looking for lunch outside my office window. Little Blue Herons are common along coastal marsh areas and to many, may seem like just another heron. It can be tough when learning about birds to get them all straight.  Continue reading



A Ribbon Snake, a type of Garter Snake, made an appearance in my backyard today. My English Setter, Angie, was staring at something under a bush and all of a sudden she had the snake in her mouth! I almost had a heart attack and she let it go but it took everything I had to keep her away. They are not venomous but she did have a bloody nose. The snake had a little wound on its tail but it made out okay. Angie is fine too, thank God. 

We live on a bayou, so it’s common to have Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin here, which would have been a whole different story. I do not know my snakes well, so I asked a friend to be sure of the species. 

Non-venomous snakes are good to have in the yard. They are a sign of a healthy ecosystem and help control rodents. Just keep an eye out while you do your spring gardening!

Red Snapper Look-a-Like

On a recent fishing trip, we were going through our Red Snapper catch and noticed one was slightly darker than the rest.  When we looked closely, we found the fish had a few distinguishing marks. I was told it was a Blackfin Snapper, in the same genus as the Red Snapper.  Even more exciting, it has a higher catch limit and no season!  I found a really good article on these fish so I won’t rewrite what someone else has written well, so check it out at

As you can see, the Blackfin Snapper is definitely a different color, but when by itself it is easy to assume it’s a Red Snapper at a glance. Continue reading

Juvenile Mahi Mahi

You can find the most unlikely fish in Barataria Bay.  Just the other day we caught a Scrawled Filefish with a dip net, and today we caught this highly sought-after offshore fish! Just a baby version. Many juvenile species spend their younger years inshore before they move offshore to live and spawn. I had no idea that Mahi made it into the bay. They are amazing in that they are very fast growers. They will reach adult full size within a year or so. With such a high growth rate, I wonder at what size they move offshore and out of the bays? I will have to research it and get back to you, but until then, I hope you enjoy this little clip. 

Avocets on GI

How do you de-stress during your work day? I may have mentioned this before, but my favorite part of my day is running at lunchtime. And it’s not because I love running! It’s because when I get back, I feel ridiculously awesome and renewed… Ready to “start” the rest of my day.

It’s very strategic though… I eat a snack at just the right time so I’m not hungry or full before my run, and I always go at noon. If I try to put it off an hour, I get busy and it doesn’t happen. It is really important to stick to a routine sometimes. This helps me have no excuses. Continue reading