Porch Ponderings

I set out Sunday to build a porch.

Over the past few years, as those of you who read this dribble regularly will recall, the carpenter bees have been epidemic in my yard. They have bored into and carved their little tunnels through the front porch and it had begun to sag and appear completely in surrender.

Well, as you are also aware, I have been threatening to rebuild it for a couple years now, but of course, I usually go creek fishing instead. This philosophy was forced to change last week when we realized the porch was divorcing the house and heading south.

I had been saving some big cypress beams for several years for just such a project, so Sunday morning I got to work.

Now, I decided something early on in the planning stages of all this: I was going to put the frame of my new porch together traditionally, i.e., what’s called “timber frame.”

Essentially, this involves mortise and tenon joints between the beams. For the uninitiated, you cut one end of a beam down to a sort of square peg, cut a hole broadside of the other beam, and insert the peg (tenon) into . . . → Read More: Porch Ponderings


The water that captivated me this weekend was not raging and engorging the landscape around it. It was low and thin, shadowy, emasculated from drought but still alive with motion.

It is partially spring-fed; it was cold, as was the air when we arrived, 53 degrees. It would not get above 65 all day, and a brisk north wind sent shivers up my spine from time to time.

Coppery-colored due to the tannins in the surrounding vegetation, the little creek still moved swiftly across the steeper gradients in the hills, more sluggish along the flat runs. There were long, now dingy-white sandbars on which grass had sprouted, testament to how long they had been exposed to the sun and air.

But all was magical and beautiful. The slump in my shoulders, the bend in my back both straightened. There is solace here. There is a chin-deep comfort along these high bluffs and whetstone-surfaced rocks.

Three men with fly rods, two the same age, both more than two decades the seniors of the third. Wouldn’t figure there’d be much commonality between them, but for the fly rods. Though instruments of angling, their visible exclamation of the bond they . . . → Read More: Respite


What has happened down here is the wind have changed

Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain

Rained real hard and rained for a real long time

Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana –


They’re tyrin’ to wash us away

They’re tryin’ to wash us away

(Randy Newman)

I would not want to be in the shoes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers right now.

You know I have been critical of the Corps over the handling of previous disasters, including the barge still overturned in the Charenton Navigation and Drainage Canal. But this is different.

At some point, decades ago, the powers-that-be made a decision: They would engineer flood control measures to prevent another Mississippi River flood like the one in 1927 to save New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Today, the Corps must decide when to enact those measures and flood somebody else. It’s a matter of numbers, and economics. Let Baton Rouge and New Orleans flood and you’re dealing with about two million people. Save them, and you flood nearly 30,000 in the Morganza Spillway. Farmland, fisheries, oil infrastructure also would be devastated.

What to do?

It’s . . . → Read More: Louisiana

The Old Man

Old Man River has awakened, and shown he’s not as feeble and weary as many supposed.

We all are on pins and needles. When the Morganza Spillway is opened, a tremendous amount of water will come down the Atchafalaya River and exit at Morgan City. Low lying areas will suffer back flooding. Whether or not the levees hold is a matter of prayer.

That old river can’t be conquered. We are all just praying that we won’t lose the war this time around. Maybe a battle, but not the war.

We’ve all heard the scenario: Eventually, the Mississippi River will switch back to its old channel, the Atchafalaya River. Massive devestation will occur.

It may not be in our lifetimes. Our children may suffer it.

The foolishness of man. We build homes and farms and cities on fault lines and flood plains. When nature challenges our stupidity, we try to control it. Just as you can’t stitch together a geologic fault, you can’t channel a river the size of the Mississppi. Not for long, anyway.

So we wait, and we pray.

Sometime early this year, a black bear was captured from the Glencoe-Sorrel area. It had become a . . . → Read More: The Old Man


I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.

Goyathlay, “one who yawns,” was born June 16, 1829 to Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache nation in New Mexico.

In March 1858, Mexican military attacked and killed his wife, children and mother. The grief and rage made Goyathlay embark on a war of revenge against Mexico and, eventually, the United States.

He was given the nickname Geronimo by the Mexicans and became one of the greatest warriors among the indigenous people of North America.

Though often referred to as a chief, he was not. He was a warrior, and a magical one at that. Reports from the time indicate he could “walk without leaving tracks; the abilities now known as telekinesis and telepathy; and the ability to survive gunshot (rifle/musket, pistol, and shotgun). Geronimo was wounded numerous times by both bullets and buckshot, but survived. Apache men chose to follow him of their own free will, and offered first-hand eye-witness testimony regarding his many powers.” (Wikipedia)

Geronimo evaded Mexican and U.S. troops for many years, making war on . . . → Read More: Goyathlay

Let’s get this straight…

This is Geronimo. A fierce defender of his homeland, and against the murder of his people.

He is nothing like Osama bin Laden.

We are NOT amused.