Archive for the ‘Caddo Lake’ Category

World Wetland Day Observed in Jefferson

January 26th, 2014 by carriagehouse

In observance of World Wetland Day, Port Jefferson History & Nature Center invites the public to participate in the planting of native wetland trees to benefit the new riverfront park and the City of Jefferson.

The event will start at 10 AM on Saturday, February 1, at the entrance to the east end of the park across from the Jefferson Transportation and Visitor Center.  After planting is completed in the park, participants will be able to acquire a limited number of trees for their own properties.

Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring flat edged shovels to use as “Dibble bars” in the planting process.

Trees to be planted include bare root bald cypress and water tupelo.Caddo Lake

The theme for World Wetland Day 2014 is wetlands and agriculture.  Wetlands provide natural infrastructure to support agriculture, providing reliable water and fertile soils.  There is a great need for wetland and agricultural sectors to work together for the best shared outcomes.

Perfect Time of Year to See the Critters

April 10th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Alligator at Caddo Lake

One of the questions we often get is “When is the best time of year to see the wildlife on Caddo Lake?”  The answer is right now.  In fact both Spring and Fall are the best times of year to see the wildlife on Caddo Lake.

When the nights are cool and the days are warm, the gators, turtles and other critters are pulling themselves out of the water to warm themselves.  You can often see them laying on the beaches and felled trees sunning themselves.  The handsome gentleman in the picture is a well known local named “Fraidy Cat”.

The birds are changing out season right now as well. The Winter birds are flying north again and the Summer birds are just arriving.  In early spring, many of the animals are waking up from their long winter naps and are hungry and frisky.  It is a busy active time in the swamps of Caddo Lake!!

If you are interested in getting up and close with nature, just give us a call at 903-655-9511.  We can suggest several different types of tours on Caddo Lake.  One is sure to be just the adventure you are seeking.

 

Spring Break Bookings Going Fast

February 19th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Piney Woods Wine Trail

If you have not done so yet, you need to book your room for Spring Break soon.  Our rooms are going fast and you do not want to miss out on all of the fun things going on in Jefferson and Caddo Lake this Spring.

All of the boat tours and train rides will be ramping back up the first weekend of Spring Break after being closed for inspections and repairs during the Winter season.  Ten new paddling trails were recently opened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on both Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou.  If you are looking for something more low-key, then visit one of our local wineries and sit back and enjoy some East Texas sweet wine and dine at some of the best restaurants that East Texas has to offer.

The Carriage House is located in downtown Jefferson, Texas and is walking distance from all of the shops, tours and restaurants.  In fact we are so close to all of the shopping, that we are between two antique stores! We are also the only pet-friendly bed and breakfast in Jefferson. So bring your best buddy for a $50 non-refundable pet fee and feel completely at home.

I would love to tell you more about what this beautiful area has to offer.  Please call me at 903-665-9511 if you need any assistance with planning your trip or would like to hear more about some of the tours and activities in the Jefferson/ Caddo Lake area.

New Kayak and Canoe Paddling Trails

January 29th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Paddling Trails

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has opened ten new kayak and canoe paddling trails on the Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake. Trail markers have been placed along all of these trails to help you navigate these mystical and ethereal waterways.

Five of the new trails follow the Big Cypress Bayou with the put ins and take outs located at Backwater Jack’s RV park.  The other five paddling trails are on Caddo Lake with the put ins and take outs located at various locations on the lake

For more information, please visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.

 

Port of Jefferson Riverfront Restoration Project Has Begun!!

January 20th, 2012 by carriagehouse

Port of Jefferson Boat RampTrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was so excited to hear the news this week that the highly anticipated Port of Jefferson Riverfront Project had begun this week.  The heavy equipment was delivered on Wednesday and work began in earnest on Thursday.  Woo Hoo!

This project has been in the works for decades and is something that we have needed for generations.  The Big Cypress Bayou area has been altered and degraded from hundreds of year’s of boats and man’s influence. Many of the native species of plants  have died out and native animals no longer come to the shores of the water or are even in this area.  This project will return this wetland back to it’s original state and re-introduce many of the trees, plants, animals, and fish that once populated this unique swampy area of Texas.  The Army Corps of Engineer’s estimate the entire project to take anywhere from 18 months to 2 year to complete.

For more information about this project, please visit the project website at http://portjeffersonrestoration.com/.

Please enjoy this video of the first day’s work.  The first work effort of the project is to move the current boat ramp (located at the Polk St bridge) down Austin Street right next to the Historic Jefferson Railway depot.

I hope you enjoy this update!  I will be making more as the project moves forward and milestones are achieved.

Painting With Light Demonstration at the 2011 Fall Photography Weekend

August 17th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Plans are well underway for the 2011 Fall Photography Weekend coming up on November 11-13 here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas.  After our wine tasting social hour, our resident photographer, Tom, and photographer, Craig Swancy from Weatherford TX will be taking all of the participants out for a Painting With Light Demonstration.

Craig told me this morning, “I’m ordering my goodies today to build some fun things for the Fall Photography Weekend at The Carriage House in Jefferson.  We’ll bring some color to your night time exposures.  Tom and I will present a few new and interesting tools to those who plan to attend.  I can promise that we’ll keep it it simple and certainly show you how to make these fun tools on a really small budget.”

To see a sample of their work, check out this video.  If you would like more information on the Fall Photography Weekend, please give me a call at 903-665-9511.

Big Cypress Fish & Wildlife Restoration Project

August 9th, 2011 by carriagehouse

This afternoon Tuesday August 9, a reception in honor of the Big Cypress Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project will be held from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Excelsior House Hotel Ballroom.
Speakers will include:  Mayor Jeff Fratangelo; U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Colonel Richard Muraski, District Engineer USACE Ft. Worth District; Richard Collins, Chairman of Today Foundation.
This event is hosted by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and the Excelsior House Hotel.

New Gator Park in Uncertain Texas

August 8th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Gator (1)

 

Gator (2)

 

This past weekend, we had the honor of hosting my mom and niece here at the Carriage House B&B.  It is always nice to have family come visit us.  We love getting the chance to catch up with them and the chance to play tourist here in Jefferson.

I think the biggest thrill for us all this weekend was going to Captain Ron’s Gator Park in Uncertain, Texas.  Captain Ron is a dear friend of ours and he gave us a grand tour of his new gator park and petting zoo Friday afternoon.  If you are thinking that you don’t remember this place last time you were here, it is because it just  opened a few weeks ago.  We will be recommending this place from this point on.  This is one of those experiences that you can only get here in the swamps.

The petting zoo is full of unusual and unique varieties of chickens, goats, turtles, pigs, and birds.  But the biggest thrill of all is the gigantic pond teaming with alligators.

Captain Ron held off on feeding them until we got there.  As soon as these primitive beasts saw the chicken on the bamboo pole, the water came alive.  It was obvious that the large gator was the alpha male of the pond.  He tried his best to keep the others away from the feeding area and only a few of the brave and nearly as large gators even dared to come close.  We all stood in awe as these large beasts jumped straight up and out of the water to snatch the chicken right off of the pole.

Since the show, Swamp People, started airing on TV, we have had several people come out to Jefferson and want the “Swamp People” experience.    You do not have to run all the way down to Louisiana’s bayou country to have a Swamp People vacation.  Caddo Lake is a one tank getaway from most of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.  

I will get everything set up for you.  We will send you deep into the dark and mystical swamps in a go devil in search of gators in the wild and get you up close, and personal to a gator feeding on chickens.  At the end of the day, we will send you to a restaurant where you can sit under Bald Cypress trees draped in Spanish Moss and eat some fried gator.  By the end of the weekend, you will be able to say “Choot ‘em,Liz”, and smile at the memories.

Give me a call at 903-665-9511 to book your Swamp People vacation.

 

This Bed and Breakfast is for the Birds

February 27th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Tweet…Tweet…Tweet.  Chirp…Chirp…Chirp.  Chevy…Chevy…Chevy.  Chevy what!?!

The mornings and afternoons are a cacophony of bird song here at the Carriage House as all of our feathered friends gather at one of the feeders for their meal.

One of my favorite things about this area is the birds.  No matter the season, we always have birds.  Different birds in different seasons but always birds.  In fact, it was a soft summer day spent on a Go Devil boat on Caddo Lake capturing pictures of the wetland birds that sealed the deal for us.  The birds convinced us that this is where we wanted to live.

For me, there is nothing more relaxing then sitting out in the Carriage House courtyard, drinking my morning coffee and watching the Yellow Finches, the brightly colored Cardinals, and the Swamp Sparrows play and eat at the bird feeders.  Even the scavenging squirrels, hanging upside down from a tree and stretching their little bodies as long as they can to get a seed from the feeder, are a joy to watch.  I didn’t realize that the Carriage House B&B also served a gourmet breakfast for our feathered guests as well.  I guess you can say that we do whatever it takes to keep our guests happy.  Even our feathered guests are special here!

If you are a bird-watcher, the Jefferson area is a birding playground for you.  The Big Cypress Bayou Wetlands and Caddo Lake area are home to many different native and migratory birds.  Some say that over 250 species of birds live in this area.  The months of seasonal transition, November and March, are also months of bird transition.  Soon our winter birds will leave but our summer birds will arrive.  We will miss all of our winter friends but we can’t wait to see who shows up for the warmer months.

Monthly, the Caddo Lake Institute sponsors a bird banding outing at a farm close to Caddo Lake.  This event is open to public.  In fact, the next bird banding event will be Saturday, March 19th, which is during our Spring Photography Weekend.  So I am sure some of our photogs will want want to be out there to capture this amazing spectacle.  I can’t wait to see and post some of the shots these folks get.

These pictures were taken this weekend in the courtyard.  Tom had so much fun sitting out there with his camera just shooting away.  It was a bit of a trick only picking two pictures to post.  I liked this cute little fella.  The little yellow finches are so cute!

Oh and the Chevy call.  We have a Mockingbird that hangs around here who sings, Chevy…Chevy…Chevy.  I guess he works for the car dealership in town.

Birds and Bird Banding at Caddo Lake

January 24th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Bird Banding at Caddo Lake

Last week I wrote about a bird banding event which took place at the Walker Farm right off of the shores of Caddo Lake.  For your reading pleasure, here is a fantastic news article which was written by the Marshall News Messenger about this amazing expereince.

If you have not been to Caddo Lake, then you are missing a truly unique and unusual ecosystem.  The area is more of a swamp then a lake and is nothing more then a collection of bayous and sloughs.  This primitive wetland is protected under the Ramsar Treaty and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance.  For a birder, this area is paradise!  The Caddo Lake Wetlands supports one of the highest breeding populations of wood ducks, prothonotary warblers, and other birds.

Dr James Ingold, professor of Biology at LSU-Shreveport, hosts this general public event each month.  The birds are captured by net, banded, and then weighed and measured.  This process helps with counting the number and species of birds and in measuring the lifespan of each bird and species.  So far, over 67 different species of birds have been counted at these events.

These Bird Bandings are open to the general public and occur monthly.  The next bird banding is scheduled for Saturday, February 19th (weather permitting).  If you are coming from out of town and need a place to stay for the monthly bird banding, then call us here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast at 903-665-9511.

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