Opinions »

Come see the Rodney Dangerfield of plants

Come see the Rodney Dangerfield of plants

Editor February 28, 2015 Comments Off

Gallberry (Ilex glabra) is the Rodney Dangerfield of Camp Salmen’s plants. It’s a fairly nondescript, knee-high, shrub that occurs everywhere in Camp Salmen’s forest — especially along trails we’ve cut through the woods. Because

Read More »
The frogs of winter

The frogs of winter

Editor February 24, 2015 Comments Off

Except for a little recent brush clearing in one corner, the old, shallow clay pit between Camp Salmen’s main parking lot and the park’s office building is hidden behind a wall of vegetation. The

Read More »
The beautiful gift of life – Baby Jordan

The beautiful gift of life – Baby Jordan

Editor February 22, 2015 Comments Off

A new life. Is there anything more captivating? Amazing? So beautiful? As an acknowledged low-key guy emotionally, I felt all those things and more when grandchild number six entered this world last week. Yes,

Read More »
Enjoying the sweet sounds of the Redwing Blackbird

Enjoying the sweet sounds of the Redwing Blackbird

Editor February 17, 2015 Comments Off

One of the loveliest sounds you hear out in the empty, expansive marshes down Bayou Liberty is the sweet, trilling song of the Redwing Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). While the invisible wind rustles the tall

Read More »
Valentine’s Day has taken quite a turn since my younger days

Valentine’s Day has taken quite a turn since my younger days

Editor February 15, 2015 Comments Off

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Yay, romance! Or maybe–boo, romance? I’ve been in both categories at varying points in my life, and during this particular season–the season in which I have four small children at

Read More »
Christmasberry is here to stay

Christmasberry is here to stay

Editor February 5, 2015 Comments Off

Among the plants at Camp Salmen that are not part of the original forest but instead, showed up during the last century as an invasive species from the Orient, is the Christmasberry (Coral ardisia).

Read More »
Public prayer event will always be welcome

Public prayer event will always be welcome

Editor February 4, 2015 Comments Off

There was a very interesting gathering last Friday morning in Slidell that included almost every mayor from St. Tammany Parish, in addition to Parish President Pat Brister. It was Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan’s 3rd

Read More »
I’m realizing my child has friends even with his different situation

I’m realizing my child has friends even with his different situation

Editor January 28, 2015 Comments Off

This past weekend we threw a birthday party for my oldest at a local party place filled with all different kinds of bounce houses. Five minutes into the party, he deemed it, “the best

Read More »
Son celebrates one year wedding anniversary

Son celebrates one year wedding anniversary

Editor January 22, 2015 Comments Off

Another big anniversary was recently celebrated in my family. No, it wasn’t mine—although my wife and I have a BIG one coming up this summer when we celebrate 40 years together. This one was

Read More »
Cypress trees beware

Cypress trees beware

Editor January 22, 2015 Comments Off

You can tell there are Beaver (Castor canadensis) at Camp Salmen by the pointy stumps and sticks from the small trees they’ve gnawed. Humans almost always use saws. Beavers supposedly do this to gather

Read More »
Talking to my kids about race is the only way it will get better

Talking to my kids about race is the only way it will get better

Editor January 21, 2015 Comments Off

We were eating Sunday lunch when my 7-year-old daughter reminded me, “We don’t have school tomorrow.” “Right,” I said. “Martin Luther King Day.” Later in the meal I asked her if they talked about

Read More »
An experiment with the Longleaf Pine

An experiment with the Longleaf Pine

Editor January 18, 2015 Comments Off

Just inside Camp Salmen’s entrance on the right is the Pine Savannah Boardwalk (also known as the Pitcher Plant Boardwalk). It circles around the beginnings of a two-acre experiment to approximate the forest type

Read More »
Not ready for my middle child to go to kindergarten

Not ready for my middle child to go to kindergarten

Editor January 18, 2015 Comments Off

It’s preschool registration time, and I’m stressing my 4-year-old. To register for another year of PreK, or head toward kindergarten in the fall? It’s Mark, my third-born, the middlest of my middles. He’s an

Read More »
Brad Stuart was a special young man at SHS

Brad Stuart was a special young man at SHS

Editor January 16, 2015 Comments Off

I received an e-mail last week that really made my day. During my early years in the newspaper business back in the 70s I was the sports editor for the Slidell Sentry-News. A young

Read More »
Time for my annual New Year’s purge, which is so necessary

Time for my annual New Year’s purge, which is so necessary

Editor January 10, 2015 Comments Off

There’s something about the New Year that makes me want to get rid of everything I own. Immediately on the heels of Christmas, New Year’s Day generally finds me knee-deep in holiday decor, toys

Read More »
There is more park to enjoy at Camp Salmen

There is more park to enjoy at Camp Salmen

Editor January 10, 2015 Comments Off

When the weather is right, one of the most satisfying tasks at Camp Salmen Nature Park is to literally create more park for people to enjoy. This is done by clearing brush along some

Read More »
Ronnie Kole is quite a special man

Ronnie Kole is quite a special man

Editor January 8, 2015 Comments Off

I’ve written my share of stories about Ronnie Kole, the famed New Orleans pianist, who has lived in St. Tammany Parish now for many years, and is mentioned in the same sentence with people

Read More »
I really thought there would be hover boards by this age

I really thought there would be hover boards by this age

Editor December 30, 2014 Comments Off

You know how you go through life, and you’re the Young Person–maybe the youngest of your friends or coworkers or whatever. And you say obnoxious things like, “Wow, I was in second grade when

Read More »
Do not mess with the Thistle

Do not mess with the Thistle

Editor December 30, 2014 Comments Off

The worst part of winter is yet to come. The herbaceous plants (those without woody stems) are busy withering away, yet a brand new, plump, juicy Spiny Thistle (Cirisium horridulum) has popped up out

Read More »
Taking a look back and moving toward the future

Taking a look back and moving toward the future

Editor December 30, 2014 Comments Off

Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2015? I think we say that every year, don’t we? “Oh, my gosh, it’s already 2010…2011…2012?” And on and on, but there is something about time

Read More »