Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weird and wonderful

Dear Noah,

Summertime in Louisiana is full of bugs and some of the biggest and noisiest are the cicadas.  They start buzzing in late morning and don't turn it off until the sun goes down.  Sometimes they're so noisy you can hardly hear yourself talk!  They're pretty interesting insects.  The adults lay the egg in the ground and the eggs hatch and larvae grow underground.  When it's time, they make their way to the surface and climb up on a tree or a bush or even a house.  Then the cicada sheds it
s larva shell by splitting it down the back and emerging.  Its wings have to dry before it can fly.  This is a big bug -- bigger than your dad's thumb!  We only occasionally see them here -- they mostly stay high in the trees.  But today I saw a dead one and then I found the shell and that made me think of the time I put the shell on your shirt.  So I thought I'd show you some pictures of this weird and wonderful bug.

Kind of creepy and cool, huh?


Monday, September 2, 2013

A trip out to sea

Dear Noah,
I went out on a boat yesterday into the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico.  I was with some birding friends and we were looking for special birds...birds that don't like to come to land but only live in the ocean.  We didn't find too many.  But we saw some other cool stuff!
This is the view from the boat as we headed out as the sun was coming up
We saw a bunch of dolphins!
Some of them came right up to the boat and swam with us!
They were such fast swimmers!
Click below to see a video of them swimming
Dolphins running with the boat!
AND we saw sharks!  There were dead fish in the water from the shrimp boats and the birds and sharks were eating the fish.
This is what some of the dead fish looked like
This is a Magnificent Frigatebird.  It looks a lot like a Pteradactyl!
The shrimp boat had a lot of Frigatebirds hanging around, waiting for an easy meal!

These guys were hanging around looking for fish, too.  Do you know what kind of birds they are?

A beautiful sunset to end the day!

Love, Nanny

Our Zoo Visit

Dear Noah,

I was going through some pictures yesterday and I came across some from the time we went to the zoo the last time I visited you in California.

Riding the Merry Go Round on the back of an Eagle!
The baby goats didn't want to be brushed!

In the little door!

You had a hard time flying the plane the first time, but you got it the second time around!

Hi, Funny Bunny!

We road the Sky Ride!  Everything looked so tiny!

Gang of griaffes
Sad giraffe didn't get invited to the giraffe party

Stepping Stones!

Cool tasty treat!
Pop tart break
I need a little help here, Nanny!
Got it!

Love you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bug Apps!

Dear Noah,

I saw this today and thought you might like it.  Ask your momma to look them over and see if there are any apps she will install on the ipad for you.  They look like a lot of fun!

Tell me which one is your favorite if you try them!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Plants that eat bugs!

Dear Noah,

Last weekend and friend and I went to a very special place in Louisiana.  It's a place where the plants eat the insects instead of the insects eating the plants!

This is called the Pitcher Plant.  It grows tall, about as tall as your knee, and it grows like a tall, skinny cup.  It even holds water like a cup.  And it has sweet nectar under the hood at the top that insects like ants like to eat.  But when an ant or another kind of insect crawls on it, they fall into the cup of water and drown and the plants eats them up.

Think this fly might get eaten??

This next one is called Sundew.  There are different kinds of Sundew plants and this one is very tiny.  You could probably hold this whole group of plants in the palm of your hand.  Do you see how the leaves look like they have water on them?  That's actually sticky nectar, like honey, that attracts insects.  But if any insects tries to eat the nectar they get stuck and then the plant traps them and eats them.

 Here's a video of a Sundew in action!

These kinds of plants are called "carnivorous" plants.  "Carnivorous" means meat-eating.  I am carnivorous and you are, too!  But not very many plants are.  Most plants just eat nutrients found in the soil.

This is a famous kind of carnivorous plants.  It's called a Venus Fly-trap.  Here's a video of one eating a bee! 

Carnivorous plants are pretty cool, aren't they?  I'm just glad they aren't big like trees so they can't eat birds and animals and people!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dear Noah,

Have you caught any cool bugs to look at in your bug viewer?  I would like to see what you caught!

I saw some cool bugs this weekend.  Do you see them there on that wet stump?  I saw them while I was kayaking.  The bugs crawled up out of the water and then they crawled out of their shells and left their shells on the stump!  You can see one of the live ones there on the stump.  He has reddish eyes.  These are supposed to be dragonflies, but the don't look like any kind of dragonflies I ever saw!  How about you?  Here are a couple of cool dragonflies for you.  Do you have dragonflies in California?  What color are they?


Monday, July 29, 2013

Funny birds

Dear Noah,

I was looking through the pictures I took while I was kayaking yesterday and there were a couple that made me laugh.  I thought you might like them, too.  Pretty funny lookin' birds.

This is a Tri-colored Heron (also called a Louisiana Heron).  This is what he's supposed to look like:
But when he looks straight on you can't even see his bill and he looks all goggly-eyed.

This one was funny because he looks like he has a third leg...but he's pooping!  I thought that would make you laugh!  He is a Solitary Sandpiper (he likes to be alone).

Love you and miss you,


Sunday, July 28, 2013

The turtle that climbed a mountain

Dear Noah,

Today I went kayaking on the Blind River. I don't know why it's called that. Are there rivers that can see?

Anyway, I saw this little turtle up on top of this stump. 
He was pretty little, about the size of your hand. But he had somehow climbed up on top of that stump that was way bigger than he was. I was very impressed. How do you suppose he got up there?  Do you think somebody helped him?  Do you think he was scared up on top like that?  I don't think he was happy to see me. I think he was saying, "hey lady, it was hard work climbing all the way up here, don't make me jump off!" 

Have you ever held a turtle in your hand?  Sometimes they pee on you when they're scared, just like toads do. 

Hope you like this little guy!

Love, Nanny

Saturday, July 27, 2013



Dear Noah,
Saw this today and thought it was cute.  I like it when she pokes his nose and he squeaks!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Mr. and Mrs. Banana Spider

Dear Noah,

I wanted to introduce you to the Banana Spider.  It's a common spider here in Louisiana and we see a LOT of them in the summer time in the woods.  It's also called the Golden Silk spider because its web is golden in color.  Can you see that in this picture?

This picture has two spiders in it.  Which one do you think is the daddy (male) and which one the mommy (female)?  It might not be what you think!

It's pretty cool that spiders can spin webs out of their Spiderman :-)   Or I guess Spiderman is like a spider, since the spider came first!  Anyway, they can make this cool web stuff out of their body and they make a web but only the *inside* part is sticky!  It traps the insects that the spider will eat.  The outside part that connects the spider to the stuff around it is not sticky at all; it's just very strong!  How do they make two different kinds of web??  Pretty amazing stuff.

This picture is one of my favorites.  It's a picture of spiderwebs in the early early morning when the dew collected on the web and looks like diamond jewelry.  Pretty neat, huh?


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekend fun

Dear Nanny,

I wanted to show you some funny pictures from this weekend! My momma and I played with the hose yesterday and we all went to the beach today. I asked my daddy to bury me in the sand :)

Love, Noah