The Maurepas Swamp. I’ve never paddled through it or ridden through it in a boat. I’ve only driven over it via Highway 55.
BUT, it still intrigues me every time I drive over it.
So, let’s backtrack to this post I wrote in 2014 that mentions Julia Sims as one of the top influential female authors in my life. I spoke about her 1996 book of photography (seen in photo), which inspired me when I discovered it on a library shelf in 2000. She spent 15 years in that swamp, taking 35 mm photos which culminated in this enlightening book. I envied her. I admired her. I wanted to become her and own a golden lab just like her. Instead, I would let her inspire me and do what I could do.
And here we are, 17 years after her photographs opened my eyes to the destruction of the cypress swamps in Manchac, during which time I’ve watched the last living cypress we have down here give up their lives to saltwater intrusion year after year.
Now, I’ve been asked (can’t say by whom just yet) to write a series of three articles about and submit photos of a Mississippi River freshwater diversion project that is poised to enter the engineering phase very soon. This project will help save what’s left of the Maurepas Swamp, which is west of Lake Pontchartrain and suffers from saltwater intrusion that comes from Lake P.
Manchac Wildlife Management Area–Manchac Swamp. Julia’s swamp.
I’ve come full circle.
My interest in the degrading swamps started in 2000 with Julia’s book, and now I will be traveling to the very same area with my own camera to take photos of the Maurepas Swamp in hopes that this diversion project will move to implementation phase and save what’s left of this disappearing ecosystem and preserve it for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I’ve never met Julia, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a chance to pop in at her studio in Pontchatoula, if it’s still there, and meet her face to face and tell her what an inspiration her work has been to me and that she’s a big part of what has enabled me to be working on this current project.
And then, we would take a selfie.
And then, I’d rush home and share it with you.
August marks the 10th anniversary of this blog. For the past 10 of those 17 years, you’ve been right here with me, sharing the beauty and the devastation of the swamps, reading all my rantings and ravings about wetland loss, supporting me all the way.
You, my dedicated readers, deserve a pat on the back.
And a great big THANK YOU for being here for 10 years!
I’ll keep you posted on this project,