New Orleans is a city that embraces ghosts, pirates, VooDoo, the eerie, and the strange. Tonight the French Quarter fills with both locals and tourists dressed in their best costumes surrounded by scenes such as this one we captured earlier this evening. Happy Hauntings!
New Orleans cypress and palmetto forests are home to a variety of plants, animals and insects. This creepy looking fellow, in natural full Halloween colors, is a crab orb weaver spider. We found the busy worker at rest from spinning its web in between the branches of a cypress tree. Do you see the Jack-O-Latern like face mirrored on his back?
NOLA’S centuries old “Cities of the dead” strike curiosity in both those who visit and to those who call the city home. Constructed from brick and plaster whitewashed to fine imported Italian marble. Each serves as an eternal “house” constructed side by side forming the “streets” of the city. This tradition dates back to the early days of the NOLA and is owed to the French/Spanish heritage and partly do to our unfortunate situation of New Orleans sitting below sea level. Each cemetery can tell a story of its people and families, their heritage and customs, their wealth and power. This is a local landmark we treasure year round, a place of reverence, remembrance, and maybe a spirit or two.
Stories of Voodoo queens, vampires and ghost fill the history of New Orleans and inspire countless authors and artist. One famous author who calls New Orleans home is Anne Rice, the famous vampire author. At her home in the Garden District adorning the iron fence around her home you can spot what looks like miniature voodoo skulls. We thought this would be a great time to share this enigmatic picture with you.
This gargantuan spider sits in New Orleans City Park’s sculpture garden.The 10 foot tall sculpture is made of bronze, each leg stretching and bending as if in motion all connected to its twisted body. The artist, Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 and moved to the US shortly before WWII. She designed “the spider” during her mid-eighties and passed away at the age of 98 in 2010. We want to share the spooky side of NOLA with you as the days creep closer to Halloween.
A palatial mansion of Georgian architecture sits along Carrolton Ave. This grand building with its arcaded gallery running along the stretch of facade is home to the Notre Dame Seminary. Construction began in 1922 and the Seminary opened its doors to future priest in 1923. The chateau like home was added onto over the history as student numbers rose and now we have this grand anchor of the Catholic faith sitting on Carrolton and Earhardt Blvd.
This weekend is the WWII Airpower Expo at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The show gave us a chance to get up close to some of the most legendary warbirds from WWII, everything from P-51 “Mustangs” and SB2C “Hell Diver” to the mighty B-17 and B-29 “Superfortress”. With so much history and the presence of the local WWII vets in attendance the event was without question a magnificent show and left us awe struck at the presence of these titans.
Orchids are such delicate beauties we decided to share another with you. We thought these pink orchids are fitting since October is a month filled with pink, to bring awareness to breast cancer. Many of us have been touched by this cause in some way, whether you lost someone or know a survivor or you yourself have been diagnosed. These orchids from the botanical garden in New Orleans City Park immediately reminded us of the cause.
New Orleans is surrounded by swamps and lakes teeming with wildlife. As the city grew and the swamps turned into neighborhoods, many of the smaller creatures adapted to living in an urban landscape. One such creature is the “Gulf Coast Toad” which can be found throughout NOLA’s yards. Emerging at dusk to capture its meal in the cover of darkness then retreating during the day to the cool dirt under raised homes and cement slabs. This shot is of our own resident toad we stumbled upon under a stepping stone while working in the yard one day. While New Orleans may have tamed some of its wilderness, little bits still find their way into urban life.
Only in New Orleans can a once grand mansion have a notable and notorious history. The Xiques house at 521 Dauphine in the French Quarter was built for a wealthy spanish merchant in 1852. This homes colorful history saw it go from residence to sold at auction for $38 of owed taxes, then becoming the Spanish consulate by the 1870s. The most notorious state of this home came in the form of a gambling hall known as “The Lion”, deemed too unruly in a city filled with corruption, violence and out right decadence, and had to be shut down. What a feat in a city like NOLA and what an expansive history for a home that seems so out of place within the historic French Quarter.