Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Shopping Done



The fish is almost as big as the osprey!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Here Be Dragons!



I took this one yesterday while at the POW Camp Lake on the Tuxachanie Trail. The dragonfly was huge! It was about 4-50 inches and I was about 150 feet away. I was focusing on the eyes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fishers


All types of fishers were out the day I took this shot. Men, women, children, great blue heron all using various tools. All with one goal in mind: catching the big one!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tentative ID

I think this is a glossy ibis. I'm unsure because the bill doesn't appear to have the curve of an ibis. I checked my Audubon guide and photos through google. The closest match is the glossy ibis. Any suggestions as to what it could be?

Thanks ralph! It's a green-backed heron.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kremer Marine


Kremer Marine used to be a bustling business. Slips were rented to boat owners. But the main business was the repair of boats. Hurricane Katrina decimated it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Traffic Jam!

Today I was happy to be in the midst of a traffic jam! No! I'm not crazy! It has been 626 days since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Katrina destroyed the Bay St. Louis bridge. Today, that vital link on Highway 90 reopened. Bigger and better!

From Pass Christian, rounding the curve on Highway 90 that leads to the bridge, I got my first glimpse of the new bridge. I had goose bumps from joy. I was driving in traffic while taking these and had not been able to roll my window down at this point.



There is still a lot of work to be done as evidenced by the cranes. Only two lanes are open at present. The other two lanes are expected to be completed by November of this year.



The drivers behind me were very patient and didn't blow horns while I stopped to take the pictures. Everyone seemed to have smiles just from driving on the bridge.



This bridge is much higher than the previous one. The height should protect it from damaging waves in future hurricanes.




I called family and friends when I reached the top of the bridge. After traveling a couple of miles in 45 minutes, Bay St. Louis could be seen.

Highlights


Around noon, the sun highlights objects and gives them a glow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Note of Thanks

I am honored to have been nominated in Best Photo/Graphic blog category in the Jewish & Israeli Blog Awards. And I'm thankful for all those who voted so that I made it to the final rounds. I'm grateful to those who have voted in the final round. Thank you! Thank you!

The committee members have put in a lot of time and effort to bring the JIB's to fruition. I thank them for all their hard work and dedication.

The most rewarding part for me has been finding some other bloggers. It has been a pleasure to see the beautiful photographs of Sara With No H, Planet Israel,and Letters of Thought.

Mental Blog and Mystical Paths are two blogs I came across due to the JIB's and have become daily reads.

D'Iberville


A lot of the pictures I've posted are from the small town of D'Iberville MS. It gets its name from the Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d'Iberville, a French explorer who landed in the Biloxi/D'Iberville are in 1699 and established a settlement. In 1702 after a hurricane, most of the settlement moved to the site of the French Quarter in New Orleans. But many remained in D'Iberville.

D'Iberville is a small town, around 5,000 people call it home. About 50-60% of its homes and businesses were either destroyed or heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. It is making a remarkable recovery thanks in large part to Mayor Rusty Quave.

Fountain Pier is enjoyed by many and features a two-story shelter in which people can gather to have family outings or to observe Biloxi Back Bay. I took this shot from the second story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minnows


There were hundreds of minnows feeding off of Urie Pier in Gulfport when I took this shot. I wasn't sure if it would come out because the glare on the water was intense. I was pleasantly surprised.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Taken for Granted


There were so many things that I took for granted before Hurricane Katrina decimated the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One was the beauty that once existed. Another was scenes from childhood would always be there.

When my Dad was first stationed at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, one of the first things I saw was the Broadwater Marina in Biloxi. The boats that used to moor there were beautiful but the marina itself was a feast for the eyes. Elegant curves of white concrete used to provide cover for the boats cozily moored. The cover seemed to echo the gentle white caps of the surf.

But as with so many sights my eyes once glanced upon, Hurricane Katrina destroyed it.

The concrete supports and the pilings are all gone now. The debris has been cleared and plans are for a casino resort to be built.

Things change all the time. But words and pictures cannot convey the overwhelming changes Hurricane Katrina made to the landscape of Mississippi cities such as Gulfport, Biloxi, Long Beach, and so many others.

In 8 hours, Hurricane Katrina wiped out almost 300 years of history. Homes built in the early 1800's no longer grace Highway 90. Live oaks over 300 years old were mowed over like tinder.

But we'll persevere. Homes and business will be built better and stronger and we'll rebuild together.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Silhouettes II


One question frequently pops up from visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after all the scars of Hurricane Katrina's destruction is seen: Why do you stay? It is hard to imagine how beautiful the place I call home used to be. There are scars of buildings, homes, and wildlife habitat all around. But the scars are being healed. As with all things, it will take time.

The wildlife habitat was the first thing to recover. The multitude of birds, flowers, live oak trees, and other flora and fauna are showing an array of creation this year.

I like this picture. The silhouette of the Great Blue Heron is shown along with the silhouette of an osprey nest. The osprey used the same nest last year.

This is one of the reasons I want to live here. The main reason is the people. After Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Coastal communities pulled together and all of us truly became neighbors. I think the proudest moments were in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, Chabad, and so many others came in, neighbors refused help and pointed them to other neighbors who were in more dire straits. They would say so and so needs more help than I do and would point out the houses to go to.

If a neighbor needed candles, neighbors shared. If a neighbor needed water, neighbors shared. If a neighbor needed food, it was shared. Neighbors looked out for one another on each street and potential looters were watched until they left the area.

There were no barriers of skin color, religion, or politics. We were all neighbors stretching 66 miles from Moss Point to Lakeshore.

The sense of community was strong before Hurricane Katrina ravaged my hometown of Gulfport. Katrina just made the sense of community stronger. Our synagogue was heavily damaged and is too costly to repair. A Methodist church has been letting us use a meeting hall for our services. Hopefully, by this time next year our new shul will have been built.

Many of our congregants homes were destroyed or heavily damaged. Many Jewish groups such as The Jewish Center, Hillel, United Jewish Communities are helping us to rebuild our homes, our shul, and our lives.

Community is what has kept me here for 38 years, community will keep here for a while longer. But Israel beckons.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Blossoms Have Appeared



Shir Hashirim

For behold, the winter has passed; the rain is over and gone.

The blossoms have appeared in the land, the time of singing has arrived, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Casting


Casting a fish net is an art form. The net forms a graceful arc against the blue of the water.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Boat Winch


Kremer Marina in Gulfport suffered major damage from Hurricane Katrina. The owners sold to the property to Gulfport and Gulfport is developing the area into a very nice park. But the damaged piers have yet to be torn down. This boat winch was on a section that was still intact.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Remnants


The Causeway Pier in Biloxi used to feature a pier that skirted the marshes. Hurricane Katrina ripped it apart and this is one of the remnants. Soon, it will be repaired and people can once again enjoy fishing, walking, or gazing at the wildlife that abounds in Biloxi's Back Bay.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yellow Crowned


I enjoy spotting the yellow crowned night heron. They are beautiful but shy birds. I spotted this while at Fountain Pier in D'Iberville.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Lady of the Sea



The Polite Sea

By the polite sea I rest,
Engaging in attention
And words. By the sea
I lay, by the sea I pray,
Dropping my elbows and words
Onto her sand.

By the amorous sea
I dream. And dream. And dream.
I love the sea. I love the sea.
She is quiet and polite
Tenderly allowing me permission
To be.

Masiela Lusha

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sit a Spell


This little bait shop is close to where I work. The chairs provide a good view of Biloxi's Back Bay. I had fun with Photo Shop. I solarized it and liked how it turned out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Live Oaks of Mississippi



The live oaks along the Mississippi Gulf Coast are making a strong comeback after Hurricane Katrina. The one pictured above is in D'Iberville. The Spanish moss is starting to grow back on the limbs.

MSNBC is the only United States media that I'm aware of that is doing monthly updates on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and its struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. The latest installment from the Rising From the Ruin highlights the rebound of our beautiful oaks.

As they come back, we comeback. As they struggle to survive in trying times, we struggle in trying times. As they rebound, so do we.