Dicotyledoneae and Dichotomies

So, my morning was going slowly.  My lower back aggravated with every rollover throughout the night.  Do you think it could be from spending eight hours on my boat the day before?

The phone rang as I was about to drag myself from my desk to the shower.  It was a friend from down the bayou asking in excited tones if I would like to see some wildflowers on the levee across from his uncle’s house, and could my camera bring them in closer?

I love wildflowers, but it was the excitement in this rough-around-the-edges bayou man’s voice that made me most curious.  He has a slight impediment with some words, and combined with a thick bayou accent, I could not make out what he was trying to tell me about these flowers.  So, I took the bait.

“Yea, I’d like to see them and I have a zoom lens.  I’ll be down right after I shower and dry my hair.”

He asked,  “You mean you gotta do all dat just to take pictures of flowers?”

“Well, I need to wash my hair today and I can’t go out in this cold with a wet head,” I replied.

I know he understands this thinking because he recently told me the same thing about himself.  He has rather long hair for a man.

About 45 minutes later, Termite and I pulled up to his dock in our boat and our friend jumped aboard to guide us to the flowers on the levee.

As we drew near, he pointed, his voice animated, “Look! There!  You can see ’em already.”


And there they were . . . sunflowers . . . growing on a levee untended . . .


standing tall, their faces turned as though looking at the trash at their feet.


Beauty surrounded by refuse–all sorts of trash and junk pushed here by storm surge, stopping once it hit the levee wall.  It comes from miles away, and is therefore never “claimed” by anyone.  It’s slow to be picked up because the only way to reach it is by crossing the bayou–there is no road to or on the levee.


This one was particularly lovely.  What can you identify in the trash pile?

“Where’s your uncle’s house?”  I asked.

“Right there across the bayou.  Dat’s what I’m telling you.  Every year he would plant sunflowers by his house and they grew.  But he didn’t plant any this summer, because he drowned in the “May season”, remember?  And the hurricanes passed with the saltwater and all, and LOOK!!!!  Sunflowers on the levee all the way across the road and across the bayou in front of his house.  It’s really something special.  Don’t you think?  Dat’s why I called you to take a picture.”


Yes, Bayou Fabio, it is something special indeed.

And just as special are the different dichotomies illustrated by this story and the photos.

Do you see them?



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  1. What a special story. I like to think it has to do with his Uncle, being gone but the sunflowers are a testament to him. Thanks for visitin’ my blog. I stop by yours all the time, I have always thought I’d like livin’ on the bayou and you seem to bring it to me. Thank you

  2. I’m with Rebel….very special indeed. I believe that those sunflowers show that his uncle is watching over Bayou Dularge.

    (or at least his house and family across the bayou!)

  3. Funny you should write about the volunteer sunflowers. I had 1 sunflower come up a few wks ago by my bird and squirrel feeder. I hope Bayou Fabio saves a few of those seeds to plant next year to honor his uncle. It would be a living monument to his uncle, for the bayou birds and boaters.

  4. Hey BW,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Just curious how you found my blog and knew that I was a reader of your blog. Small world or the benefits of technology?? I do enjoy your blog being a fellow Louisianians and my father is a huge fisherman–he has a camp in Hackberry. Have a great day and I’ll definitely be around perusing your blog and please come back to mine anytime you would like to be reminded of life with young children (especially boys).

  5. Well, VM, I’d love to have you believe that I have amazing technological talents, but I have to confess that it’s called Blog Stats!!! Sometimes I get “ping backs” to sites that have me listed and I get to go visit you! I think it’s pretty neat It’s good to have fellow Louisianians visit. I’ll do just that!

  6. Dichotomies: Nature vs Man, death vs life, beauty vs ugliness of trash, survival vs dependence–those are the ones I see. And Bayou Fabio saw them too. What a guy.

  7. Bloom where you’re planted; life always grows forth; hope springs eternal; beauty is found everywhere despite circumstances; life transforms; and God has always got a plan and a purpose ready to be revealed in His time and way!

    Much love to you, BW, and thanks for the story, the photos, and the joy both brought to me tonight! 🙂

  8. Vance, you are very welcome for the all of the above and know it is my great pleasure to bring a little bayou life to your smoky mountains! And congrats again on that forthcoming t-baybay!

  9. When times are rough we need to hang on to the Blessings of hope and strength. We hang on. We do what is needed. We go where we are led. We leave our gifts for those who follow. There can always be beauty and Blessings found even in our hardest times.
    I think the sunflowers are a greaet tribute to the people of the Bayou.

  10. Oh this is a great post! I came over from Heidi’s, to see what kind of dicots you were promoting! I was so excited to be seeing some of Louisiana’s flowers at their finest. Wildflowers…ya got me. Then I saw the Sunflowers..but alas I was not disappointed! Only energized by your tale and your trip with Fabio:)

  11. bayou woman, Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them! It is very nice to meet you also. I will be adding your blog to my favorites. I love to take photographs and created my photoblog just for my challenges and my favorite photographs. You can join in with any of the challenges I am in, they are all very welcoming people, Lisa does Macros or close ups every Monday. Carly does a Monday shoot, Round Robins is every two weeks (Photo is due in a 24 hour peroid) They like you to sign up for Round Robins, and Martha does the A to Z photo challenge, and Bloggers Community Photo Challenge they are all linked over at my photo blog. Do join any or all of them anytime..some have rules so check them out! If you have any ? just holler at me:)

  12. Do you think the seed washed there this year? From his uncle’s plants? Or from somewhere upstream? It really doesn’t matter. It is an amazing contrast of trash and treasure.

    1. Hi Country and welcome to the bayou. I just spent some time on your site and you are quite the photographer! Congratulations on getting some shots into i-stock! How did you end up here? Do you recall? This is one of my favorite Bayou Fabio stories . . . and I agree with you about the amazing contrast. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! Hope to see you back here again! BW

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