My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rip Van Wrinkle Garden is Not Sleepy

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

After visiting the Jungle Gardens and seeing how tabasco was made, I finally got to my destination, the Rip Van Wrinkle Garden in Jefferson Island. This land, atop a salt dome - which is why it is called an island - was bought by the acclaimed American Actor, Joseph Jefferson, best known for playing Rip Van Wrinkle.  Subsequent owners built and named the gardens, Rip Van Wrinkle Gardens in his honor.

I drove past the entrance, up a long drive and then turned left on a road with houses.  In the front yard of one of the houses was a peacock.  I stoped to take its picture and it started displaying, lifting its long tail of feathers horizontally, they slowly lifting them straight up while rotating slowly. 

All this beautiful display does not seem very efficient for survival

I soon reached the parking area and saw the visitor center where I bought a ticket. Then I started through the gardens while waiting to take a tour of the house.  You are not allowed inside the house unless you are on a tour.

A little courtyard

I followed the walk from the back door of the visitor center to the edge of Lake Peigneur, the place where in 1980, an oil well drill broke into the salt dome which caused a huge sinkhole as the lake drained into the salt mine and the bayou reversed coursed and brought saltwater into the lake. The lake is still salty, and instead of being shallow throughout, has a deep area and salt water fish now live in it. Here is a video about that event. I was living in North Louisiana at the time and was horrified and amazed at the TV footage.

A lovely boat house which  from which the shore is eroding, so we can't go on it. 

A bell sits in front of the tea house

This gong was  near the entrance to the park - may have once called slaves in from the fields

I didn't figure out what this was all about but it almost looks like a little folly guarded by soldiers. 

A closeup view of one of the guardians

One area of the garden which was made of plantings in open spaces in the trees

From the other side of the same bed build on a mound of soil to break up the sight lines.

Two of the four lions in the junction of two paths

This is one of my favorite bamboos - always wanted a bedroom in the dark green wth the silvery blue as a trim

I enjoyed watching early sulfur butterflies but was only to get one capture when this one lit on the bottlebrush

Amaryllis added color

Another very decorated lion - one of a pair guarding a path to one of the garden beds

A lovely water feature was tucked into the trees

Garden view

A Eurasian collared dove getting a drink

View of the side of the Jefferson house from the gardens

A Japanese maple was putting out very colorful leaves

The porch wrapped around the front and the opposite side from where I shot the first picture

I got to the house a few minutes before the next tour and saw I could not photograph inside. So I took a few pictures through the windows, then sat and enjoyed the beautiful view across a huge grassy field to more plantings and to a wooded area near the house. All my walking caught up with me and I decided to not go on the tour and have to stand around. I spent the next several minutes just enjoying the sights and sounds from the front porch as I rocked in a rocking chair.

One of the front rooms

The front hall

View from my rocking chair

The wooded area to the right of the house 
On the way in, I had seen a sign for a rookery, but hadn't seen many birds. On the way out, I saw several roseate spoonbills starting to build their nests. 

Flying flamenco dancer

While researching this site, I found a very enjoyable video of Lake Pegnoir showing the arial view of this beautiful property.

And I got to photograph two peacocks displaying.  Way too many pictures for the blog but I shared them in a Facebook album.