Furthermore, we saw several alligators, a barred owl, ibis, egrets, herons, frogs and lots of dragonflies, but we were amazed at how the spiders kept the preserve fairly bug-free. I didn't use any insect repellent, and didn't get a single bite.
One of the adults on our tour said she remembers trekking along nature trails as part of her summer trips as a young girl. Of course, I've insisted on my kids seeing the "natural" wonders as we travel as well as the theme parks and other tourist spots. While they were sometimes unenthusiastic, both of them have developed a great respect for the outdoors and for the wonders of nature.
If you're in New Orleans, visit the Barataria preserve. For information, visit www.nps.gov/jela/Baratariapreserve.htm.
Barbara Klingler of Charleston's West Side called to tell me her moonflower was blooming like crazy. I drove past, thinking it would be a couple of blossoms. Well, at last count there were 500 large white trumpetlike flowers on this rambling vine that has taken over Klingler's front porch and yard. It's just beautiful.
Thanks to my neighbor Martha Ferrell for planting a giant hibiscus along her fence. The plate-sized blossoms are brilliant pink, and every time I round the corner toward home, I see this plant and smile. She has a clematis that blooms along that same fence -- love that one, too!
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.