I've gotten a couple of questions about my site's current banner. Here's the story: Earlier this month, I was down home visiting my parents in Louisiana. They live about 45 minutes from beautiful Avery Island, home of the famous McIlheny Company's Tabasco Pepper Sauce (that's where they've made it since 1868).
In addition to Tabasco manufacturing plant, which you can tour for free, Avery Island is home to a large botanical garden and bird sanctuary established by the McIlheny's. The alligator sign is affixed to an observation deck that allows you to walk onto a platform over a huge lagoon near a part of the island called "Bird City."
You can see that in the full version of this picture, at right (I've done a callout so you can see the gator's head). My son didn't know it at that point, and thought I was kidding when I told him to watch out for the gator. He noticed it moving toward the shore and backed away pretty quickly!
If you're ever in south Louisiana, this is a nice place to spend the day for some gorgeous scenery. Beyond the gators, you're in for some surprises. For example, a short walk away from Bird City, you'll find beautiful garden with a temple-style structure containing an 800 year old Buddha that was donated to the McIlheny family in 1937. You can walk up and look in at the Buddha (it's enclosed in glass to protect it) - the whole scene is a sight to behold.
If you ever find yourself in the New Iberia area, you can find out more about Avery Island at the Tabasco web site. And be careful - alligators are dangerous!