City Park, New Orleans - must visit!

In addition to doing a swamp tour, City Park in New Orleans is definitely a place I recommend visitors to check out, and riding the streetcars to City Park is definitely worth a try - for just $1.25 per trip!  After attending to a couple of presentations on Monday morning and making sure there weren't presentations in the afternoon that I was going to miss, I headed out to the City Park right afterwards.  Once again, this blogger also visited the City Park and she had a slightly different (positive) experience than mine.

City Park gate.

I like taking photos of maps and directories.

A bit of background on the park.  Hurricane Katrina had left many permanent marks on the city, and there are many signs post-Katrina detailing the works done afterwards by the city.

The streetcar I took to get there.

Inside the streetcar - very old-fashioned with wooden seats and window panels.

Interesting painting on the utility box.

One thing I enjoy the most about New Orleans is the gigantic moss-clad live oak trees (Quercus virginiana) throughout the city.

The first building at the end of the road is the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA).

What a beautiful building.  I'd imagine it would be really cool inside, unfortunately, I did not have much time or money to go inside.  Although it is free on Wednesdays, so I might take advantage of that if I ever go back (which I really hope I do).

Lotus right outside the museum.

Right next to the museum is the free Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.  After looking around, I think it might be one of best gems in New Orleans - all of the sculptures are really interesting and diverse, and there are many green spaces for people to enjoy the garden.  Unfortunately I arrived mid-day, so it was quite hot and uncomfortable (especially because I didn't eat any breakfast that day).

"Karma" by Do-Ho Suh is probably my favourite work in the garden, not only because it is huge (7 meters tall) but also because I am a firm believer of karma (a.k.a. whatever goes around comes around).  A bit more about the work and more photos can be found here.

This one is also interesting.  It is called "Window and Ladder - Too Late for Help" by Leandro Erlich.  It is a ladder that leads to a window on just one wall.

The beautiful garden.

Turtle enjoying the sun.

Many large live oaks in the garden.


One thing I saw a lot in New Orleans are drawings of this strange blue corgi-like dog (the correct term is "loup-garou" a.k.a. Cajun werewolf).  After online searches, I learn that it is by Louisiana contemporary artist George Rodrigue.  The title of this work is "We Stand Together" and it shows three facets of the dog in different colours - blue, yellow, and red.



Brown anole (Anolis sagrei)
Inside the garden, I saw this Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) and spent some time lying on the ground and photographing it.

Brown anole (Anolis sagrei)
Second reptile in New Orleans.  Awesome!  Although it is a highly invasive species from Cuba and Bahamas and outcompetes other native reptiles.

The garden is not very big, and soon I reached other parts of the City Park.


The New Orleans Botanical Garden just behind NOMA, but it is closed on Mondays.

I took some photos through the fence.


Brown anole (Anolis sagrei)
On the fence, I came across another A. sagrei.  It was not moving much, so I tried using the flash to get a better photo.  And then it showed me its colourful dewlap!

Brown anole (Anolis sagrei)
Flaming dewlap!

Brown anole (Anolis sagrei)
I tried to get another photo of it displaying its dewlap, but no luck.

Then I wandered around the park aimlessly, and came across a White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) walking through the field, another lifer in New Orleans!

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
It brought me to the pond, and I saw many more ibises as well as a Tricoloured Heron (Egretta tricolor), another lifer!

A scene that I normally associate with zoo-settings and not in a city park.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Tricoloured Heron.  For someone more familiar with Great Blue Heron, this bird is tiny!  It may be twice as small as the GBHE, if not smaller.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
This particular heron was fishing and caught a very small fish.

Around me at the time was a grandmother with two granddaughters, and they were chasing the animals around while the grandmother was trying to get them to stop and just enjoy nature.  No luck.

I don't have my mammal field guide with me at the moment, but this may be a Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), but for some reason it looks leaner than the ones in Canada.

And the white belly fur seems longer, no?

Anyways, definitely a cool interesting place to spend a day in New Orleans if you like tourist attractions as well as seeing some urban wildlife.

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