Monday, December 9, 2013

Bilbo drank beer from a Go-Cup

            So you thought that lovely old Hobbit in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books was from Middle Earth, eh?
            Think again.
            Recent evidence reveals Bilbo Baggins, the star of “The Hobbit” and a minor character in “The Lord of the Rings” hailed from the Bayou State. Now, where exactly in Louisiana Bilbo lived is still unclear.
            We’re found a Bilbo Street in Lake Charles, in Louisiana’s southwest corner. Even more shocking — but perhaps appropo — is the Bilbo Baggins Pub in Bossier City, just east of Shreveport.
            When you think about it, hobbits hailing from Louisiana makes sense. Usually peace-loving people who only want to eat, drink and tell funny stories. Yeah, I can see Bilbo and Frodo strolling through the Shire with a go-cup alright. They probably even have little parades as well, throwing useless crap made in China from tiny ponies. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Breakfast with wintering Texans

            The holidays aren’t just about Santa on Galveston Island. On this Texan barrier island south of Houston, the holidays have gone to the birds.
            Every year Galveston offers a “Breakfast with the Sandhill Cranes” to observe the tall birds in their natural habitat. This year, the event happens from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, 2013, at Moody Gardens Golf Course.
Credit: Barbara Rabek
            First, there’s a breakfast and presentation about sandhill crane behavior, then a tour of the island’s West End where the birds hang out. Keanna Leonard, education director at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska, will present a mini-workshop titled “The Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes,” designed for beginners and experienced birders alike.
            “They (the island’s cranes) are absolutely stunning, standing 3 1/2-feet  to 4-feet tall with a little red cap,” said Julie Ann Brown, executive director of the Galveston Island Nature TourismCouncil.
            Sounds like they’re in the holiday spirit for sure.
            And there’s more to this avian event, Brown added.
            “After breakfast and the presentation, all participants will be invited to go on a ‘crane crawl’ to visit previously scouted crane ‘hotspots’ on the island’s West End,” she said. “We’ll have experienced birders with spotting scopes at each site on hand to answer questions. Participants can meander in any order and at their own pace to view the ‘wintering Texans.’ It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season!”
            Upcoming events include the Sea Turtle Saturday and Sea Turtle Saturday for Kids on Feb. 8, 2014, and FeatherFest 2014, an all-inclusive bird event April 10-13, 2014. For more information on any of these events, visit www.GalvestonNatureTourism.org.