Splendor In the Spillway


We have here some overly photoshopped snaps (forgive me, it’s a learning curve thing; I was playing around with ‘camera raw’ and ‘luminance’ and, well, it’s definitely a different look;) I took the other day while driving through the Spillway. It’s always interesting to see how high the water is getting in the spring.

Perhpas I’ve got a low threshold of excitement in my life.

More info on the Bonnet Carre Spillway here and here.

The Spillway

C’mon, admit it. It’s interesting!

splashes of water

Most of the spillway has concrete walls this high. The river is right at this level at the moment, you can see water splashing over the top and down the middle where this board is missing. Behind you can see a sliver of a large blue and red ship that’s out in the river.

flowing waters

Towards both sides of the spillway the concrete is lower, and the river is already flowing in through the wooden planks. It’s a lot more water than it looks like.

an embarrasingly overly photoshopped photo

I don’t know what I was thinking while I was playing with photoshop. And I don’t know what convinced me I had the time to play with photoshop.

But, we see here the water flowing towards the road, where it goes under in small rivulets.

raging waters

Small rivulets that pack a mean punch. I’ve seen guys on the other side of the road where these come out, holding fishing nets to catch some of the many, many fish that flow downriver each year and end up swimming through the spillway. It’s unbelievable how many fish they get doing that. Stunning, I tell you!

The dirt roads into the interior are starting to be closed off. These birds don’t seem to mind a bit.

It can get dramatic.

These streams pick up some steam as they head over to the lake.

A big question after Katrina was, why they didn’t open the spillway to let the water flow out of the lake?

The lake is lower than the river! Otherwise the spillway wouldn’t work very well.

A splendid oak tree in the spillway. It's definitely a water oak.

A water oak… lovely and serene. The spillway’s a lively place. And it’s about to see a lot more water.

Oh, and here’re some great views from an experienced photographer:


Into the Garden

There’s a garden here at the Rectory which needs a bit of work.

the broad gallery

But before we get to that, gaze upon this for a moment or two.

This is a view over at Laura Plantation, which is always good for inspiration on any front. Isn’t that a great porch? And it’s just the gift shoppe.

Say a quick prayer will you?

Before pressure washing....

This is the garden which… needs a lot of work. I’m wondering how to swing a wooden wrap around porch.

After pressure washing...

A major thing I did was to pressure wash the entire area. Talk about a big help! (It took forever to pressure wash this, and my hands were stuck into claw shapes the next day at Masses, from holding the pressure nozzle valve for so long.)

Before that, the first thing I had done was to the right, where there is a cement pond (it’s very not like the Beverly Hillbilly’s cement pond.)

It was initially covered completely in ivy, which was cut away to a large degree. At first I thought it looked good to cut the ivy only up to the top. But it’s getting a new haircut tomorrow.

I didn’t even know there was a light fixture, or a small fountain, or a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, because it was so desperately overgrown. The pond had been covered with a screen to keep the leaves out, but within there are two water lilies still going strong.

stunning shot of a flourishing water lilly

Lots of possibilities, and lots of talk about roses. So, we’re getting some new roses going. White climbers for a small Mary garden which we’ll be getting to in the not too distant future.

made in the shade

And in the shady areas (there’s a surprising amount of sunlight,) I like this from Laura; ginger, taro, and coleus… The sugar kettle thrown in there is nice, but minus that and the taro I think we’ll still be fine.

the shed out back

This is rife with possibilities, I hear it was once covered in orchids. It was recently covered in mildew and dust, but now it’s covered in prayer, and perfectly clean.

getting there slowly...

The fans are being replaced; an aging Katrina casualty that has had to wait. Along with everything in the shed, there was no time in the months and years afterwards as it fell into neglect and everything else was dealt with.

the concrete garden

We won’t be making any structural changes, and there are a few challenges ahead with it…

Laura's pansies

But it’s all good. And it’ll get there… eventually.

An Ordered List

Since I’ve never used the ‘Ordered List’ feature of html, and I’ve noticed that other bloggers use it regularly, I broke down and decided to use it for a brief update here on my website where content is definitely not king. (Jesus Christ is king, and that’s enough for me.)

An Ordered List
  1. I’m officially assigned to St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Metairie. I love it here.
  2. I’m officially moved in, except for an antique piano which still needs to be moved. I even decided to go ahead and unpack my boxes and settle in. I was always leary of doing that at Our Lady of the Lake, but I’ll be writing a book about that and there’s no need to go into here on my well ordered list. (And actually I’m not really writing a book about that, it’s a joke for heavens sake! I … er… hello? Hello?) But I used to joke with Parishioners that I had never unpacked after Katrina. I finally did unpack and, well… here I am.
  3. I’ve rediscovered the word ‘diet’.
  4. I’ve rediscovered the word ‘exercise’.
  5. My brother was back in the hospital for Easter, and is doing very well now. Please say a prayer for him and his family if you have a moment and are so inclined.
  6. On Holy Saturday I had to walk around the levee and along the woods by the River looking for him. It’s a long story and probably a bit much for an ordered list (an ordered list in html only means that is has numbers…), but it also helped focus on the Passion of Christ.
  7. I had a great Easter, thank you.
  8. I stayed up all night last night to watch the Beatification of John Paul II,
  9. The garden outside the Rectory is a huge project, but is also a very enjoyable past time. It’s not in maintenance mode yet, as it’s still coming out of neglect mode. Pressure washing was a great help, and lots of herbs to follow.
  10. I rediscovered the word diet. Did I mention that already?
  11. While I was staying up to watch the Beatification of John Paul II, I braised some short ribs. The initial browning in the broiler set off our amazingly sensitive smoke alarm which goes off every other day, and the keypad to turn off the smoke alarm was nowhere to be found as someone (not me!) had knocked it off the wall last week and it was out being repaired. The whole fire department showed up. You talk about good natured hilarious men, one of them was telling me his girlfriend uses the smoke alarm as a kitchen timer.
  12. For some reason I’m very sleepy.
  13. Divine Mercy .. it’s amazing.
The Rev. Kenneth Allen