Combining a trinity of Louisiana avian pursuits — bird watching, bird shooting and bird eating — Wings of Paradise: Birds of the Louisiana Wetlands (LSU Press) is a guide’s guide to coastal Louisiana’s many species of fowl, from the familiar ducks and geese to exotic black-necked stilts and purple gallinules. Some are migratory, others year-round residents. Shooting, in this case, has a dual meaning: Charlie Hohorst Jr., an avid outdoorsman and hunter, provides the captivating photography for this worthy addition to your coffee table. The book is organized by types — shore birds, predators, woodland songbirds and migratory fowl — and Hohorst shows a keen eye for composition and drama in his color photography. The book shifts from zoology to gastronomy at page 107, where food columnist and author Marcelle Bienvenu takes over, leading the reader on a culinary journey from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Sabine Pass and compiles favorite duck and goose recipes from residents across the region. You can have your duck and eat it, too. Wings of Paradise will be available Sept. 1 and retails for $39.95. It’s available at www.lsu.edu/lsupress , and at major book sellers. — Walter Pierce
CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN Bob Robira is back! A low-key, but long respected member of the Lafayette music community, Bob recovered from a heart attack in 2007 to record, produce, and mix his new CD, Too Far Gone. It’s an amazing collection of songs recorded at his Sterling St. home with help from heavy weights like Don Picou, Sam Broussard, and Ted Cobena. Coming on like a cross between Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and John Prine, Robira tackles light subject matter (“This Little Town”) and the heavy stuff with lyrics like, “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die” (“Too Far Gone”). Robira made every effort to avoid overproducing the album. “I tried to let it be what it is, not what it isn’t,” says Robira. “I had to keep the essence: good, bad, warm, and true.” Buy Too Far Gone at CDbaby or iTunes, now. — Dege Legg
Sometimes you just want a burger. But not a plain burger. And not a chain burger. And not a cheese burger with that plasticized yellow cheese-like substance that melts into hot glue. And not one of those corporate-processed, flat, mystery-meat patties enhanced with umami flavoring but no real meat flavor of their own. And not an air bread bun that disintegrates into slimy palate-sticking gunk after the first bite. Soooo...picky me, I finally found not only a real meat, house-seasoned, hand-patted burger, but it comes with bacon, spinach, swiss, sour cream, purple onion, avocado and thousand island dressing. Ah ha! A salad atop a burger, now you’re hitting on all cylinders! Leave it to the folks at Peppa Mello to come up with a pickyeater-pleaser, and they have root beer floats. The California Burger will set you back $8, add $3.50 for the float. Peppa Mello just opened on the corner of Brook and St. Mary, call 236-3557 for more info. — Mary Tutwiler
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.