Started out by spending three hours sitting under the live oaks outside of CC’s Coffee on Esplanade. Passed the time reading the Sunday NY Times, and watching the people. Extremely relaxing–if only every Sunday could be spent like that.
Then, we went into the Quarter to grab some sandwiches and drinks and head to Audubon Park for the much anticipated visit to what we fondly refer to as “Egret Island.” Spent hours there watching the bird colonies (egrets, herons and ibises) in bird condos filling the trees across the river. Many nests with all ranges of young, from nest builders to just hatched to fledglings.
A great egret came along the shore as we were feeding ducks and turtles and stood fishing less than a foot away from us! He was there for about 15 minutes, attracted to the fish that were feeding off the bread.
A number of times he stretched his neck out and off to an angle, looking for fish, then all of a sudden, he would jump forward with his wings out and pounce into the water to catch a fish. Each time he would flutter back to his original spot on the shore at our feet.
A short time after he left, a black capped night heron did the same, standing quite still, then walking back and forth in front of us, and then standing still again. More photos are here.
About six o’clock, we headed home by way of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz on Tchoupitoulas Street. A few days earlier, we’d heard on NPR about this New Orleans institution which has been serving shaved ice with homemade flavorings for 63 years. The shop had just recently announced that they were officially open for summer. Of course we had to visit and try the local favorite flavor, cream of nectar, a pink concoction that was sweet and indescribable. Once again, we met some very friendly locals while waiting in line (a two hour wait is not unheard of–luckily we were there on a short-lined afternoon). When we got to the front of the line and the owner learned we came all the way from Chicago we all got to talking as well. People down here are so genuinely friendly!