My Uncle Rob = Soon-to-be Fr. Rob.

I recently traveled to Memphis to celebrate my Uncle Rob’s declaration of candidacy to become a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee. He is presently a third year theology student at Sacred Heart School in Wisconsin.

Well, I’m pretty proud of my uncle and his accomplishments. I’m proud to say he will be ordained a priest in 2014.

My Uncle Rob has always been a cheerful presence in my life. Growing up, he was the one who played football, softball, etc. when my sister and I joined my cousins for holiday celebrations at my grandparents’ house. Even on Sundays, he was the one who played badminton with us in our grandparents’ back yard.

He has always been a dog lover and every single dog in our family absolutely loves him. They ignore us when he is around.

My grandma helps Uncle Rob with his white collar.
The setting: St. Anne Catholic Church in Memphis, which is actually celebrating its 75th anniversary this year!

Rolling with the punches

I recently did a feature on an Arkansas County ranch. It was a fun interview with great sights.

You probably didn’t know that there were cattle being raised in Arkansas County — some its own residents often forget this fact. We’re more focused on row crops.

It’s hard to not think of the county’s cattle now since the state has experienced a horrible drought this year. Ranchers are selling out while others, like the local one I interviewed, was working hard to just make it through the year. Row crop farmers were also struggling to just keep water in their fields, although the heat helped keep a lid on disease.

A tough year is not that uncommon for Arkansas County. It’s the fifth year of natural disaster in Arkansas County — it began with a tornado, continued with record-breaking flooding and has ended (so far) with the drought.

If there’s one thing the past few years have taught me, it’s that even positive things can come out of a disaster, such as an early harvest for Grand Prairie farmers. (I absolutely love harvest season for some reason).

The heat has also kept a lid on disease in row crops and the recent rainfall from Hurricane Isaac has helped ranchers (although it did knock down three fields of rice belonging to a friend’s family).

My favorite message coming out of a disaster though is that life continues on with its beauty even more appreciated. It’s hard not to be appreciative when the sights you see are the above and below:

Red-tailed hawk

Cattle egret in a corn field being harvested.

Photo essay: Bayou Meto

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American Black Ducks

Izzie and I needed out of the house today so we decided to head to the nearby Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area’s Brett Morgan Halowell Reservoir. Here’s some pictures from the visit:

House Sparrows
House Sparrows
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Nutria
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Dragonfly
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Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

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Photo essay: Enjoying fall.

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I traveled to Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge earlier today to see how it looks in the fall before ending up at a nearby park’s swimming hole. Here’s some photos.

Holla Bend2
A beautiful view.
Holla Bend3
Saw randomly on way to Holla Bend.

Holla Bend4

Holla Bend5

Holla Bend6

Holla Bend7

Holla Bend8 Hackberry Emperor
Hackberry Emperor
Holla Bend9-turkey vulture
Turkey Vulture

Holla Bend10

Holla Bend11

Holla Bend12

Swim1
Where we ended up to swim and float.