Nature

Home Nature

Weekend at the family pasture and woodlands

Alone time in nature has the effect of recharging emotions and grounding you to reality. You can absorb some of the calm energy that the natural world emits. A forest is a great monastery. It’s still and silent but you seem to come out of it a lot wiser.

I regularly explore the woods on the family land. I spent this weekend out there and I feel completely revitalized. Found lots of interesting flora, some salamanders, beetles, grubs, spiders, and one snake.

Also managed to total my bike. Apparently riding through uncharted woods is a good way to snap your drivetrain. Mountain bike on the wishlist.

Bones and oddities // Booth update and new finds

Beergarten setup

praise the dead

 

 

 

 

Praise the dead. Life’s a yawn before the long nap.

Photography of Louisiana

Louisiana Wildlife and Natural World

Macro photography is a great way to marvel at the smaller parts of creation.

thistles

Each year Louisiana Spring fills our fields with thousands of tall-standing thistle flowers, each with their own blend of purple and violet, attracting dozens of insect species.

thistle flowers louisiana wildlife

These vibrant pink and purple thistle flowers attract bees, ladybugs, and other insects every springtime.

thistle flower and lady bug

A lady bug exploring a thistle.

wisteria vine
Blooming

A blooming Wisteria vine is a favorite of the honey bee.

spring plants in louisiana

Spring flora prepare to seed and germinate as the first warmth arrives in South Louisiana.

wild rabbits in louisiana

An infant wild rabbit hiding in the underbrush.

Photographer Comment: I found this baby rabbit on a nature hike while looking to photograph wild rabbits running off as I walked through their territory. This was the only goober I found and I held him for a little bit before putting him safely back in his nest in the underbrush.

A hawk roams the skies over a cow pasture in Maurice, Louisiana.

Haunted & Abandoned Buildings in Louisiana


Nature adopts what we abandon – as is her sacred right. Eventually pulling it back into her Earth as dust through ancient alchemy.

The 20+ year abandoned school was quiet, but didn’t feel empty. Filled with the Ghosts of the old souls who once  walked the halls, eager/bent on being remembered

Louisiana Culture

Zachary Richard is a pinnacle of Louisiana music culture.

Zachary Richard photos. Old house photos. Festivals. etc

The Engineering group at ULL built a Formula SAE racecar with a 650cc motorcycle engine and other donated parts.

The Cajun Heartland State Fair is a long tradition in Lafayette, Louisiana in the Cajun Dome parking lot known as Cajun Field. These photos were taken in a long exposure, capturing the moving light of the attractions and creating a ghostly, empty feeling for the participants.

cajun heartland state fair
cajun heartland state fair
cajun heartland state fair

Cajun Heartland State Fair long exposure photos

Photos of Louisiana’s Night Sky & Nightscapes

breaux bridge sky photography

Wispy evening clouds over the sunset paint a skyscape over the Cargill Salt Mine in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

louisiana long exposure star trails kisatchie national forest kincaid

Wise old pine trees contemplate a starry night over Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest at the Indian Creek campground. As the Earth rotates along her axis, the stars appear to move across the sky. After capturing over an hour of light, that movement appears as the star trails you see here.

Ever notice how trees never feel like strangers?

louisiana pecan island milky way photos astrophotography

The winter milky way over a family camp in Pecan Island, bordering the swamp lands leading to the Gulf of Mexico. Pecan Island ranks very well on dark sky maps offering some of the best stargazing in the South. While the exposure time was increased to bring out more of the sky, what you see is more aligned with how God intended Creation to be admired without light pollution.

  • NOTES:
  • cargill landscape / skyscape
  • ULL formula 1 car with sunset
  • close up thistles
  • alligator in pecan island / zoo
  • BEST star trail photos
  • milky way photos
  • abandoned photos (gas station, catholic school, eunice factory, homes, etc)
  • hawk and wildlife photos

Natural Culture: February finds

Had a good amount of finds in February, and also started cleaning and organizing old finds. Here’s some things about halfway through the cleaning process.

Cat vertebrae

 

 

Coyote teeth, cow teeth, & hawk talons
Coyote teeth, cow teeth, & hawk talons

Cow teeth
Cow teeth

Coyote jaws, coyote teeth, hawk talons, hawk beak shed
Coyote jaws, coyote teeth, hawk talons, hawk beak shed

hawk skull
hawk skull

hawk skull
hawk skull

Sold one of these ram sheds at the February Artwalk.

ram shed
ram shed

This one will be a nice smaller skull once it’s cleaned.

 

 

 

Raccoon(?) skull with a .22 hole in the forehead. Found it like this
Raccoon(?) skull with a .22 hole in the forehead. Found it like this

 

New find thanks to Carli who pointed it out to me. Full deer carcass.

deer carcass
deer carcass

Deer carcass. Find thanks to Carli! Had to look around to find the skull
Deer carcass. Find thanks to Carli! Had to look around to find the skull

Sold most of this at Artwalk this month.

cow jaw, coyote jaw, bones
cow jaw, coyote jaw, bones

 

 

 

me at artwalk
me at artwalk

 

Found a dog wandering on the Youngsville highway, so she joined me at the pasture until I could find someone to take care of her.

wasps nest
wasps nest

 

Happy to acquire this acrylic pour from Art by MIchelle at Artwalk.

 

art by michelle
art by michelle

 

Always running into Carli and Devon.

 

carli and devon
carli and devon

japanese magnolia in bloom
japanese magnolia in bloom

japanese magnolia in bloom
japanese magnolia in bloom

Comite Park Trail in Baton Rouge

Located on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Comite Park Trail is a great place for intermediate mountain biking. Hiking is fun, but you may be stepping out of the way of bikers and swatting at horse flies. Definitely bring bug spray!

Overall this was a very fun trail, but I would have preferred to bring a mountain bike than to go hiking here. If you’re looking for hiking, I suggest driving 30 minutes further to Clark Creek in Tunica Hills.

Pros

  • Great for mountain biking
  • Well-maintained trails
  • Mostly in the shade of thick tree canopies

Cons

  • Expect horse flies to nip at your heels
  • Must hike a good ways before finding sand bars
  • Overgrown woods leave little room for off-trail exploration

Tree Snake

Mushrooms

 

 

First Spring camping trip with friends at Indian Creek, Louisiana

 

As the Earth rotates along her axis, the stars appear to move across the sky. After capturing over an hour of light, that movement appears as the star trails you see here.


My friend asked me to write about my experience out there to make the photo more magical. So I wrote a surreal one and another version that is far more accurate about my time out there.

Laying under a young spring sky with a cool northern blanket. Nothing between us and the great primal spirits of the cosmos. Their teach us ancient wisdom in silent languages.. We lay under a young spring sky with a cool northern blanket.
until wakened by the new dawn

Honest Version:
The campfire warms my face. Until the wind is scorn and burns my face with ash. I move my chair, but I cannot escape it. The smoke chokes me, and burns my eyes. Somewhere in the distance a child screams. A car passes by and I’m blinded by headlights. I rub my eyes and I see light spots. Dizzy, I stand. I need to lay down. Flailing, I fall from my hammock and plop onto the ground. It is dirty. Something is piercing my arm but I cannot see it.

I lay down to sleep beneath the infinite stars. A root of a tree feeds on water and nutrients in the soil as it pushes into my diaphragm. The night is perfect. I jump up in a panic when i realize I’ve lost my keys. I search for them frantically through the unkept grass and pine cones. Oh here they are they slipped out when I fell from the hammock. I forget that my camera is still on. I go and turn it off. I swat a bug. Fin.

Spelunking for Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls is a 145 foot waterfall about 1,120 feet underground inside the caverns of Lookout Mountain. To see it, you need to spelunk deep into the Ruby Falls Cave in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I really love looking at stalactites and stalagmites are pretty amazing to think about. How incredibly gradual the process is for these formations to occur. The drip drop of limestone deposits built up over millions of years and now here I am with a camera to witness it. Pretty cool to stop and think about it.

Exploring a cave is pretty eerie. Cold and wet, the terrain is completely unnatural from what we’ve evolved to navigate. It’s a thrilling and rewarding experience.

Finally, at the end of our journey through Ruby Falls Cave we finally found the 145 foot underground waterfall — Ruby Falls. It’s lit up by multi-color lights fading into arrays of colors like red, blue, pink and green.

The wildlife of Lake Martin, Louisiana

I was able to take a much needed kayak trip on my birthday. It was very fun and just what I needed at the time. Here’s some of the creatures I met out there.

Osprey

I always love to find hawks and eagles and other birds of prey, so I was very excited when I found this pair of osprey. 

These osprey or “river hawks” are birds of prey that prefer to nest near bodies of water. I was interested to learn that they’re monogamous and mate for life. This osprey family is guarding their nest in the middle of Lake Martin. I hung out with them for a while hoping to catch a photo of them hunting or taking flight, but today they were taking a staycation at the nest.

 

osprey lake martin
A male osprey watches over his nest with his mate nearby

Female osprey in her nest

This male and female osprey are mated for life

Osprey nest at the top of a cypress tree in Lake Martin

American Alligator

A young alligator sunbathing on a log in the middle of Lake Martin

Most of these alligators were juveniles, but they were relatively friendly as they let me get very close to take photos. 

You would swear some of these young gators are gloating. Or maybe they’re just interested in getting a better look at this weird floating mammal.

We legit have some dinosaurs in our swamp yall!

Great White Herons

The Great Egrets, commonly known as Great White Harons, like to nest around bodies of water where they stalk shallow waters hunting for fish, frogs, and small reptiles. They are creatures of habit and can be reliably found in the cypress forest on the south end of Lake Martin.

Red-Winged Blackbird

A male red-winged blackbird hunting a dragonfly at Lake Martin

These red-winged blackbirds can be seen everywhere in South Louisiana. This time of year you will often find multiple males chasing after a female.

The male can be distinguished by its vibrant red wings, while the female is often a solid grey or black. 

Cardinal

It needs no introduction. The Cardinal is a common and beautiful bird. 

Anhinga

Some people call them snakebirds. Anhinga sometimes put on a show where they spread their wings in the wind. I read their wings work as solar panels to help regulate body temperature. What a bunch of weirdos.

They have long furry necks and black and white accented wings. Like most Acadians, they love to eat seafood.

Other photos from Lake Martin

Mushrooms eat away at this dead tree in Lake Martin

This tree is turning into a massive fungi!

A glimpse of the peaceful waters in the cypress forests of Lake Martin


Contact me to inquire about purchasing prints of any of my photography!
hunterltrahan@gmail.com

New Orleans Audobon Aquarium


Contact me to inquire about purchasing prints of any of my photography!
hunterltrahan@gmail.com