Backyard birding plus the Live Oak Society

Patti Mouton Gonzales Garden Club
Gonzales Garden Club hostesses pose with guest speaker: from left, Members Jamie Trisler, Ellen Richmond, Loretta Ramirez, Cathy Venable, Guest Speaker David Cagnolatti and Rita Bourque.

The Gonzales Garden Club met at the Gonzales Safety Center on Nov. 3 to enjoy wildlife and preservation presentations. Guest Speaker David Cagnolatti of the National Audubon Society presented information on “Backyard Birding” with emphasis on bluebirds.  He used PowerPoint slides, bird “nest boxes” and audio recordings of bird tweets. Member Weezie Cashat was the lucky winner of Mr. Cagnolatti's birdhouse door prize.

Garden club members Patti Mouton and Cathy Venable shared information on the history and function of the Live Oak Society.  Mouton presented a slide show of images and facts about the preservation and appreciation of Louisiana live oaks, a copy of the founder’s 1935 LouisianaConservation Review journal article on the formation of the societyrecent printouts of louisianagardenclubs LOS website pages and a sample LOS registration form. Venable shared newspaper clippings of live oaks protected by the society and mentioned the registration process within Ascension Parish.

Member Lorraine Gautreau displayed a crescent-shaped floral design of spiral ginger and coleus from her home garden arranged in a brass seashell-shaped container.  Member Donna Reynaud presented two crescent designs: one of various mums, ligustrum and schefflera in a shallow rectangular yellow container; the other of dried oak twigs, pussy willow, leaves and seedpods from her garden in an amber goblet “in memory of the 2016 Flood”.

The horticulture hint for November is to include plants in home landscapes that produce fruit that birds will eat such as hollies, cherry laurel and hawthorns.  The garden tip from Barbara McCormick is to hang a plastic jug of water above a bowl or birdbath, then prick a hole in the jug bottom to allow the water to slowly drip into the bowl. McCormick stated that birds have the ability to hear the drip from two miles away and will visit the garden in search of the water.

Hostesses Ellen Richmond, Rita Bourque, Janis Poche, Loretta Ramirez, Jamie Trisler and Cathy Venable provided a Thanksgiving style feast for the midday meal.  The club meets again in December to celebrate Christmas with garden gifts and food pantry donations.