Oil-free zone!

or No Goblins, Witches, or Ghosts!

In the midst of the worst environmental disaster America has experienced, life in my neck of the Louisiana wetlands remains an oil-free zone.  Weeks ago, someone shamed me into taking my head out of the sand and facing this disaster, and I was very sorry that I did.  I’ve been told that I better deal with this because it’s not going away; and as a spokesperson for the wetlands, I should be well informed about the topic.  But the deep-down-heart-of-the-matter is that I am a glass-half-full person, tenacious and resilient, and it’s when I listen to the voices outside of me that I get sucked into that which will destroy the faith,  strength, and optimism that keep me going.

Oh yes, the truth is all around me, as well as the lies surrounding this whole sordid affair.  But there are more important things in my life (besides my children) that remain firm, real, steadfast, and encouraging.  True, the phone is ringing for cancellations at Camp Dularge, and the phone is not ringing with folks wanting to come here to stay, but if I walk away from the computer, away from the land line, put my cell phone on silent, and get in my boat, I can enter my own little sanctum where there are no goblins (BP), witches (government), and ghosts (oil leaks).

There is only Creation, Beauty, Serenity, Faith, and Hope.  In the midst of the darkness, two groups of people, aware of the problem but unaffected by it, called and booked wetland tours.  Two in one week, with all that’s going on, can you imagine that?  And I’m so utterly grateful that they did.  At least the boat engine note will be paid.  To Glo, Joel, Anna Marie 1, Anna Marie 2, Sebastian, and Rene` I want to thank you for reminding me why I’m here and pulling me out from under the bed and into my boat, my favorite place to be, and allowing me to share with you the absolute beauty that still thrives here in the brackish inland wetlands of the Terrebonne Estuary System.

Following are images I half-heartedly snapped while taking Glo and Joel on a photography tour.  They weren’t particularly interested in knowing all about wetland loss, the causes, and affects; and quite frankly, it was a breath of fresh air not to talk about all that for a change.  She was delightful, with her camera and her southern accent and charm.  I hope she got some good images, and I surprisingly got a few of my own.  Even though I was half-hearted, my Nikon D50 took the pics seriously.  I honestly can take no credit for these shots.  I was driving the boat and almost shooting one-handed at times.



PS:  Blog Stats tell me that folks are visiting this blog while looking for beautiful Louisiana wetland photos.  If you would like to use my photos, that is easily done without my permission, because I have not marked them.  But I ask that if you are copying and pasting my photos, please at least give me credit for them.  If you want to do it with integrity, fill out the contact box at the bottom of any of the blog pages and ask my permission and give me the link where they will appear.  My images are not public domain, and if you are really on the up and up, all my photos are for sale.  Just ask.   Thanks for visiting, and please come back often.   BW

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  1. The photos are gorgeous Wendy. I’m glad you are getting out and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the beautiful wetlands that surround you!

    1. Thank you, Kim, as I did a bit of that over the past week. And I just sit in awe of how gorgeous it is here right now. I hears that bird that shrills upward at the swamp both times I went. Was it a vireo? Never could spy it. Of course, binoculars might help! Hint! Hint! Nikon?

  2. Love all the photos. I’m particularly taken with Mr. Blackbird sitting there among the moss! BTW, Glad to hear the boat motor note will be met. It would be a little difficult paddling the pontoon! LOL!

  3. You and I are on the same wavelength here. I’m going to be working on a new post this weekend called Sunshine and Shadows on the Bayou. Very close in concept to that glass half-full business.

    The photos are so beautiful. Whatever technique you’re using, keep it up! And I love the moor hens – such a treat to see them, since we don’t have them here.

  4. You should ALWAYS be aware and up to date on any event that can or will impact you life BUT never worry about something that you have no control over either.
    Here in St. Marks we had many localized spills of different products over the years,I have seen our marshes black with Bunker C for miles and it is all Federal Wildlife Refuge,it will clean up and go away and everything will return to normal.
    We had one foot of water in the house during hurricane Dennis,lost 300 crab and peeler traps,285 dozen frozen soft shells,my shedding vats were full of peelers and lost them,all my pumps,gas heater for the system,generator,,my 30 fter had the cabin crushed by the roof of the slip it was in and almost sunk,it was 3 days before I could even get to it and all the wiring was fried,plus we had to replace all the floors and appliances in the house all with no insurance,FEMA did give us a check for $400,I almost gave it back to them.
    5 years later and everything is back to normal now like it never happened and it will be the same with this oil spill.

    1. Oh, Ronnie, your retelling of hurricane related destruction brings back so many bad memories for me as well, though I did not lose as much business investments as you, I have had a house flooded four times now and that is four times too many. So, I’m glad you shared another example of the resilience of the coastal peoples. Can you tell us which “bayou” St. Mark’s is near? And when can I come get some soft shells? Haven’t had any in a very long time! But now I think you are inundated with oil and there is no crabbing in your area, right? Btw, what year was Dennis?

      1. Dennis was just before Katrina in 2005,we get water in our yard 2 or 3 times a year some years but never that much or in the house before,

        St. Marks is about 20 miles south of Tallahassee Fla. right at the top of the bend ,we sit between 2 rivers and about 7 miles from the open gulf.

        I will be glad to send you some softshell to eat,we have plenty put up,you have my email send me a note as to where to send them,(a business adress is cheaper shipping) and UPS rquires a phone #

  5. Oil-free, then prayers are working…reminder to keep the faith…Stand strong..in His WORD…Shout His name in Glory! Together (you and your faith in Christ) will weather this storm…I am continuing to pray…new people will call and fill the schedule at Camp Dularge….and to remain oil-free!

    1. Yes, let’s keep praying . . . that it does NOT come here . . . although it still could . . . . and someone cancelled two nights at the camp; yet a lady just called to rent it tonight.

  6. These are beautiful photos, but as someone who is purporting to report on what’s happening in the Louisiana wetlands, it seems kind of bizaare that you’re not reporting on the truth. I for one want to hear what residents of the place are experiencing.

    1. Marcy, welcome to the bayou, and since I think you might be new here, my reply comes gently to you.

      There are plenty of other places where you can go to read the bad news. Because our way of life is being threatened every moment with the impending oil invasion, I am not able to be objective about this. Other objective sources are doing a great job of reporting about the hardships we are facing.

      But since you asked, here is what we are experiencing: No commercial fishing. Loss of business. Loss of income–with NO END IN SIGHT. Hassles from BP claims adjusters. The potential total loss of our culture and way of life. These are a few of the things we are facing.

      So, rather than continue to focus on the negative, which I did in the previous two posts (I invite you to read them), for my own survival, I am focusing on what it still here and not yet tainted and every bit worth protecting. For up-to-the-minute objective news, please visit Bayou Child, if you haven’t already. Thanks for the compliment about pics.

  7. I’ll say to Marcy what Bayou Woman is too kind and genteel to say: Keep your pessimism to yourself.

    We south Louisiana residents all have numerous family members and friends whose jobs, lives, and homes are threatened by this catastrophe. We are all trying to find a silver lining anywhere we can. And if Bayou Woman showing us a glimpse of the Louisiana wetlands that have not yet been oil-tainted helps just ONE person keep their chin up and have the smallest bit of hope in this polluted, hopeless situation, well then, bravo to her and a huge thank you!

    There are plenty of pictures available that break our hearts and spirits. I, for one, am glad to see through her lens this miraculous truth: All is not lost. Beauty remains and therein, a glimmer of hope.

  8. Dear Lord! PESSIMISM?!! I call it reality. Sorry folks. I’ll stay in my own neighborhood and try not to disturb you anymore.

    Bayou Woman, I responded to your post on my blog.

  9. Thanks BW for the photos. I love them. I ‘ve been worried about you. Haven’t seen anything on your blog lately. I’ve been busy lately and only get to here news from wwl radio. It is a relief to see that there is so much beauty left that hasn’t been touched by the spill.
    I’m still keeping you and the fly. in my prayers.

    1. Thanks, Robert. Just filed my first BP loss claim, and now we’re going to a community gathering over in Dulac with supper and live music to forget about the tragedy for a while. Should be nice!

  10. Great Blue Landing and Great Egret Glory are wonderful! I love them. (I couldn’t view them big enough on my phone earlier.)

    Love you.

  11. Dear Marcy, perhaps you SHOULD stay in your own neighborhood. As BW pointed out, she’s not a network news blog. She is not a reporter. There are plenty of other places to go for that angle.

    BW shares with us what’s going on in her life on her bayou. As you can see, she has not yet been impacted by the oil spew to the extent others have already. She is showing us pictures of what IS before the oil reaches her neck of the bayou.

    For one, I thank her for this. Unless you have experienced what she and the other bayou folk have experienced over the last five years, I don’t think you can understand the need to be aware of what’s going on, while at the same time filtering what you let in or what you focus on.

    I read your post on your blog. I, too, am furious at what has happened and that a month has gone by with no resolution. But why visit BW’s blog, read one post, then blast her for not reporting the “truth” and what the bayou people are feeling?

    She’s not the National Bayou Inquirer. BW has not and never will exploit the bayous or their people for SEO or Google rankings. You’ll have to go elsewhere for that, as you have already admitted. It would have been nice to have had your support.

  12. Marcy,

    Looking for the ‘real truth’ of what the residents of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish are facing? A lot of us are facing utter ruin. One of my dearest friends is a third generation shrimper now talking about selling everything he owns just to get his kids through the rest of school. Many other friends and family are facing similar (and worse) fates. We’re all facing watching the wetlands many of us have fought for decades to preserve be dealt a final death blow. We’re facing a disaster that isn’t just going to end in unicorns and rainbows once the hole is plugged, no. Tab Benoit may have said it best-“We’re facing our worst nightmare.” That truth enough for you? Appreciate it if you’d just STFU if all you can do is kick us when we’re down. BW was too nice to say that. I’m not.

  13. Marcy ~ After reading your comments here I went over and read your blog.

    You say you want to hear from someone who lives on the bayou. You say, “I for one want to hear what residents of the place are experiencing.”

    And yet, when Bayou Woman shares her experience, you don’t want to hear what she has to say. Instead, you criticize her as someone who isn’t responding to the disaster in a manner you approve of.

    Not reporting the truth? My experience is that BW is as truthful about bayou life as anyone. I can get facts about the bayous and the oil spill anywhere. Truth’s something different. That’s why I come here to read, and to the bayou to listen.

    You say, “All I have is a lifelong love for our once-magnificent ocean.” I don’t question your love for the ocean, but you might try adding a little love and compassion for people who are suffering in the face of unutterable loss.

    I noticed a blog called “Angry All the Time” in your blogroll. You might want to stop reading that one for a while.

  14. I think the post of Marcy’s was taken in the wrong way. Go back and read the comments from Marcy’s blog to see what was really meant.

    This is a very touchy subject for the people that live where they are affected by this leak. I’m discovering how it’s a touchy subject for people outside of the area also.

    I’m on the side of BW of not looking at the negative side of this whole ordeal. There is still much beauty not being affected by this mess. Focusing on the positive is sometimes the only way to cope. It’s definitely the only way of bringing back some hope and joy into a life that is being shattered.

  15. Thank you all for having my back! I hopped back over to Marcy’s just now and she had left a very nice reply there, if you care to check it out. I knew she was a New Yorker, which explains her direct approach. However, I am wearing my feelings on my sleeves these days. It’s hard to keep everything stifled when there’s so much trying to bubble to the surface constantly. But after dancing last night and fishing this morning and preparing a holiday meal for our family, I’m feeling pretty good right now. I claim the rest of this Memorial Day Holiday a “BP FREE HOLIDAY”!!!!! I did a phone interview with a French reporter today and might have a reporter from Holland down here tomorrow, as well as a tour with 7 students from New York. So, I’ll post again quick as I can. Y’all are just GREAT folks!!!!