A Day in the Louisiana Wetlands

or BW is a photo bum.  It’s a really good thing we don’t have a beach here, because I am absolutely certain I would be a beach bum, with a sand-crusted camera and skin like leather.

Today was like a spring day, and it seemed like everyone wanted to be out and about with this beautiful break from the bleakness of the last two months.  Everywhere I turned it seemed wildlife was teasing and taunting me to take their pictures.  So, I obliged and then thought you might enjoy seeing the sights.

First, there was this gorgeous bathing beauty,

a one-legged acrobat atop a tall piling.  Well, at least I never saw the other leg, and I photographed this bird for a long while.  The contortions amazed me.

I think maybe I took 100 photos of this bird, but I will not torture you with them all!

And then up the bayou a bit, there were the Pelican Briefs.

Not sure what they were discussing, but when I got close enough to hear . . .

they took off.  Do you see the Great Egret in the background?  His name is Legs,

Great Egretand when he thinks you’re cleaning fish, he gets very, very nosy.

Then there were a couple of squirrels playing chase that engaged me for a while.  This one was playing keep away with his acorn, dug from the backyard at Camp Dularge.

Higher in the tree above the squirrels, this starling whistled its distinct call to nearby birds.

About a mile north of Camp Dularge, just off the  highway is a dead cypress swamp that the birds still love to visit.  They were standing in the shallows, eating, but my presence startled most of them into the dead cypress trees.

Evidently, the dead cypress are are somehow still uninviting to Eagle families, because along our bayou, there are at least three nests that can been seen from the highway.  If you look closely, you can see a white eagle head and orange beak.

And then there was the kingfisher that flew through the screened porch.  It was discovered when I went to check on  a friend’s camp.  It obviously had been trapped for days, because it made very little effort to get away from me.  I caught it, took it outside, and it used its last bit of strength to fly away from me.  However, it landed on the ground just a few feet from me.  I picked the beauty up and tried to get it to drink from the bird bath, but it was too tired.  At that point, I knew it was not going to make it.  It’s little body was emaciated from lack of food and water.  I gave it a saucer of water on the ground, put it in a protected spot, said a little prayer, and left it.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  In nature, it’s difficult to get a closeup of these belted fishers, because they are constantly flitting from tree to tree and diving for their food.  I feel blessed that I was able to admire so closely such a beautiful bird.  When I went back to check on it later, it had passed away.  I gave it a proper burial at sea.  Peace to the Kingfisher.

Closer to home,

a parent eagle was sitting on the nest.  I think it is egging time.

And there you have it, friends.  The photo submissions of a true photo bum.  Maybe one day I will have a real wildlife lens, and will understand about those F stops and Apertures and learn how to manual focus.  Right now, I’m just pretty much a point and shoot photo accident waiting to happen who once in a while gets lucky and sets the dial right.

Your photo bum,


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  1. I love the kingfisher story. I have never seen a kingfisher that close up. This post makes me really homesick for the wetlands of LA in all its beauty.

      1. No, not new here. Just don’t comment much. Yes, the weather has been a respite from the cold. Yesterday, was yuck, today looks like it’s going to be beautiful too!

  2. Stunning! Absolutely stunning! The beauty that is all over the bayous just comes alive through your camera! Thanks so much for posting and sharing, and Honey, you’re no “point and shoot accident!” You’ve got “the eye!”

    Love you!!

  3. I’m so sorry about the kingfisher. More than one duckling is buried under hibiscus in the marinas where I work – the water’s so ugly I can’t bear the thought of burial at sea! It’s the one thing I don’t like about my work – that I witness so much of of the sadness in the “bird world”. Sigh.

    Thursday was our day. There were snow geese flying, roseate spoonbills and ibis, coots all over, pintails, mergansers, American and snowy egret. You’re right – the whole world was ready to delight in a little spring.
    You captured it perfectly!

    1. The bayou was the best option. Since I was at a friend’s place who is out of town, all the tools were locked up, and I’m not sure where she would have wanted me to bury. Burial at sea just seemed so appropriate, ya know? Oh, and I love all birds, all wading birds especially, and then among them, I think the roseates are the most unique with their round bills and brilliant pink feathers. Day before yesterday, as I cleaned the back deck, a large flock of geese came honking over me going south. Thank goodness no one was hunting. I didn’t hear one shot fired. And what are you referring to as an American egret? I’ve not heard that term used down here.

      1. Here’s a pic of the American egret. It’s sometimes called the Great Egret, or the Great American egret.


        The snowy egret is smaller, as I’m sure you know. It has yellow legs and feet when young, then black legs and yellow feet. And, it has a dark bill.

        The Great (American) egret has a yellow bill, black legs and feet and is much bigger.

        There’s a reddish egret I’ve seen a few times. It’s easy to ID because it’s…well, red. 😉

        1. I assumed it was the great egret. Just wanted you to clarify. Thanks. And yes, I’m pretty up on my wading birds! Especially all those egrets! We’ve got bunches!

      1. Wish I knew. My Mother-in-law has had 4 E.R. visits since Christmas. She was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. Simply put, we just can’t make any plans.

  4. Beautiful photos! They bring a sense of peace to me when I look at them. Thanks for a great photo post.

    I was cracking pecans out back today and I always take a handful and toss them on the side street so I can watch the birds come in to eat. I have had a pair of doves come sailing in when I go out there for about 3-4 years now. I noticed this week that only one has been coming to eat. I hope it hasn’t lost its mate.

    I watched black birds fight over the pecan pieces, a blue jay chase them away, my little dove, mocking birds, sparrows, a red headed finch (I think), a yellow breasted finch and one little bird that was so tiny and colored in soft gray/brown with green tints. I quit working and just sat and watched them all argue, strut and swipe the pieces of pecans. I could have sat for an hour but, it started raining.

  5. Beautiful images that give us peace to calm the troubled waters.

    A portrait of the very treasure we are woking so hard to save.

    With men this is impossible, but with God all things are posible. Matthew 19:26

  6. I really enjoyed the pics, BW. This is one of the things I miss most since we sold our camp. Watching wildlife sooths the soul. Many thanks.

    1. I wondered about you yesterday when I came across a couple seeds in the china cabinet. I was thinking that you must be missing your camp on a beautiful day like it was. It’s so good to hear from you!

  7. Back about 40 years ago I used to run bank lines for catfish. Kingfishers loved to sit on the willow poles I used. Saw some here right up to freeze up.
    Geese are still here in numbers too.

  8. Wendy, would you mind if I put a link to this post in my blog? I want as many people as possible to see these pictures.

    1. Oh my goodness, please do. The whole purpose of this blog is to teach people about the culture and way of life here so that we can create a “national will” to save this coast. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. This is my second time to read this post. I am at work and I am bored. Bored to the point I’m hoping the kid I sent to school today that was sort of sick calls me and needs me to come get her. I’ll let you know when I make it my third trip through here, lol. Great pics, by the way.