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PROW Project Continues

Woo wee!  It was W I N D Y on the water yesterday and today!  I’m doing my very best to go back to the way I used to blog–updating you every possible chance I have with a little bit of borrowed time here and there.  I’m trying to be vigilant about taking photos for you as we go, even though I’m busy operating the boat, paddling the boat into place, and dropping anchor to serve as our “brake” to keep the boat’s bow from bumping the boxes (how’s THAT for accidental alliteration?  See?  i did it again!)  My blog editor doesn’t really like it when I post photos inline, because he says they don’t show up on mobile devices very well, but gee whiz, some of us old timers still use big screens, right?  So, I am posting this up my old style, and I can go back later and edit when he screams at me (via email) that my page isn’t loading correctly for mobile.  Oh well . . . . 

Our first turn when we leave the boat landing is a left turn going under this bridge, which is on HWY 182.  We’re heading in a southerly direction.  You can’t see them, but as we pass through, the adult swallows dart in and out from their nests to deter us, but we aren’t deterred!  (I’ll get a pic of babies in nest after they’re hatched!)

Bridge on Hwy 182 we go under.

See that sign on the right bank just on the other side of the bridge?

Water District Warning

Looks like the community of Bayou Black might get some of their drinking water from this area, which will become significant as you will see on our way back in. (Oh, and the Louisiana flags are blooming right now!)

Here are some of the things we observed today while enroute to and while checking nest boxes.

Apple Snail

This is what an apple snail looks like while floating along.  This is a non-native, invasive species that probably arrived here in the bilges of big ships coming from South America.  They compete for food with native species of mollusk, which is a very bad thing because they are taking over; and they are HUGE.  

Cowlily or Spatterdock

If you’ve seen me post this before, don’t stop me now!  This is the first water lily that blooms here in the freshwater areas of south Louisiana.  As you can see, they’re a beautiful, deep yellow, and they even have lily pads, too!

Spider Lily

There is some debate whether this is a swamp lily or a spider lily, and I think it’s a spider lily.  Those who know better can correct me until I have time to look in my field guide!  They are blooming deep in the cypress swamp, as shown here. We were quite a distance from these.  They’re so pretty!

Spanish Moss

And as you would expect, Spanish Moss is everywhere in the swamp.  Actually, (and don’t stop me if I’ve told you this before), this is not really a moss at all.  It is an epiphyte which lives off of moisture and dust particles from the air.  They do not harm the trees, and it is truly an example of symbiotic relationship.

Green Tree Frog

Yep, a little tree frog.  Cute little guys.  They like to hang out in the nest boxes, but I’m sure they’ll leave when the warblers start nest building.

Water Snake

Even after looking in my field guide, I cannot tell you what kind of snake this is.  The closest I could come would be an Eastern King Snake.  So, all you herpetologists out there feel free to correct me.  

Red Maple Leaves

Locally, we refer to this tree as a swamp maple.  I took this photo for two reasons:  One, to show you just HOW windy it was, and secondly, to show you how pretty the silvery undersides of the leaves are.

Cypress Swamp

As far as I’m concerned, you just can’t have too many photos of the actual cypress swamp.  I mean, look into the depths of it, all in standing water.  In the foreground is a nest box.  The black cone-shaped object is a predator guard.

And now, we’re on our way back in to the landing on Bayou Black.  Because Bayou Black provides drinking water, it has to be protected from unusually high water levels that might bring in some degree of saltwater from the south.  With this week’s southeast winds and already higher-than-normal tides (due to high river stages), their drinking water is threatened.  

Saltwater Control Gate

See the green part of the sign?  It says we were under Condition No. 2, wherein the saltwater gate remains closed, but marine traffic is allowed through.  Now read the black and white sign.  Hey, we just pull up to the post, press the button, and hope we can make it through the gate in less than 90 seconds.  No sweat, right?

Here’s the progression of the gate opening:

And then we went through!  How ya like dat?

So, I hope you enjoyed your little trip into the swamp!  

Please be sure and leave a comment, even if it’s just to say “Hey BW!”!

Until next time,

BW

 

 

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14 Comments

  1. Occasionally I have spider lilies growing in my back yard! Wonderful pictures. Glad y’all weren’t blown out of the boat with these winds.

      1. YES!! Ha! Go Baby Boomers! I think photos are much better viewed this way, don’t you? I mean, I use my smart phone more now than ever on the go, but it’s just not the same!

        1. Actually, the photos are perfectly fine on mobile…or bigger screens! LOL Even better enlarged, o’ course!

    1. Hey Cuz, it’s great to hear from you! I figured you would have some spider lilies. Do you have the old fashion wetlands also? Like grandmother used to have? Hope all is well in Abita! By the way, the Gulf Intracoastal Water Way was rough! We got a little wet from the spray, but we had on our life jackets! On the way back, we encountered a tugboat pushing a barge, but we made it around it safely, thank goodness.

      1. Yes, we have wetlands in our backyard like Grandmother. Tons of huge crawfish towers along with the lilies! It made me queasy thinking about being in the G.I.W.W.

  2. Very interesting! I love heading with you into the swamp. I didn’t realize that the apple snail had made it’s way into Louisiana. Over in FL I know there is a kite (bird species) that thrives on the snails.

  3. I like my photos on the big screen too.

    I loved the trip with you. Spider lilies are beautiful. I have about 3 that I think the birds planted that are deep red. I thought the Red Maple leaves were blooms at first. Reminds me of the Aspens in Colorado. And I think you are correct about the snake. There are so many different types of King Snakes. Is the Apple Snail the type that you featured in a story recently where the Limpet? was having a feast? We have had most of our water sources invaded by Zebra mussels. They are clogging up the pumps and filters and causing a lot of damage that is causing higher water bills. I guess everyone has some type of invasive species trying to destroy our way of life.

    Thanks for the great photos.

    1. I enjoyed the blog on my mobile while on a waiting room – the photos are great, the more the better

      1. Ha ha, let me make it clear to everyone else reading your comment . . . Ann Elyce is MY AGE!!! And she enjoyed the photos on her mobile, LOL!! Thanks for taking the time, Ann, and I’ll try to keep the photos coming just for you. I guess you heard there’s a 45th class reunion on June 9 at Hilton in Bossier?? I won’t be able to make, though. You?

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