First Wetland Tour of 2014
We’re approaching the end of a very long, hard winter. Of course, down here in bayou country, we can’t complain about snow-covered driveways or frozen ponds; but any time the temps dip below freezing and stay that way for more than a day, we pretty much go into shock and hibernate as much as possible.
As far as business goes, it’s been a very slow winter, because the weather just never cooperated with the days that tourists actually wanted to come down and take a tour. As a result, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted up pics from a wetland tour, and it’s high time the newcomers get to see what I see when I take my boat out for a casual spin.
I’m so happy to say that this past weekend we finally got a break from temps in the 30s and the rainy days, and even the wind settled down enough for me to launch BAB (my big boat), and get her oil flowing after a long time sitting up.
Even though official spring is a couple weeks away, and nothing is greening up yet, my new friend, Anne, and I were able to see some pretty neat things out on the water this past weekend. Wanna see?
We saw a total of four alligators, which surprised me since I thought they would still be brumating on this overcast day. The sun was intermittent, and like us, I think they were just trying to catch a few rays in hopes that Old Man Winter was departing for good until December.
First off, was this little guy. About four feet long, he seemed as curious about us as we were about him. He actually came off the bank to have a look at us, and after being verbally coaxed by both of us, he showed us almost his entire body. It’s not common to see an alligator’s entire body out of the water–usually we just see their heads. You can tell from the drab colors that the sun was behind the clouds at this point.
As we ventured on toward the swamp, we were greeted by this gorgeous fellow. I was so excited to see Mr. Green Heron since I have not had the chance to photograph him for a couple of years. Oh, and you’ll never convince me that this isn’t the same green heron that I’ve been seeing in this same location for the past several years.
Although the marsh has been burned back, and it looks like a scorched prairie, the red of this swamp maple stands out magnificently against the other drab colors of winter. The cypress trees have not put our their green needles yet, but it won’t be long now. In a couple weeks, the swamp will be alive with green and this long, cold winter quickly forgotten by man and beast alike.
In another location, we spied this solitary roseate spoonbill, just standing on the bank as though waiting for a ride (or a flock to come by). He stood there very willing to pose for us, and we were able to coax him to look right, left, up and down!
Not far from the spoonbill, this hungry-looking fellow sprang up. Not in any hurry to get away from us, he swam alongside the boat and eventually gave us a big smile with his not-so-pearly-white teeth.
And watching it all from his perch was this magnificent male brown pelican. Well, to be quite honest, we rudely interrupted his Saturday afternoon nap while we were talking to the spoonbill! But once he saw that we were taking photos, he decided to get in on the action. It wasn’t hard at all to get him to ham it up for us!
Well, folks, that’s the lastest report from way down here in southern Terrebonne Parish where the crawfish are hitting the boiling pot and the dewberry vines are already starting to bloom.
If you’re new here, I’d like to welcome you and encourage you to leave a comment. With 75.8 million WordPress blogs to choose from, I feel very fortunate that you landed here! That’s why you should go ahead and ask me a question or say something nice so all of us can get to know you, too! Oh, and I love it when you ask questions, because that way, I get to share more about our unique life in the Louisiana wetlands.
Come on spring!
YOU SOUND LIKE I FEEL.I CANNOT WAIT TO DIG IN THE DIRT AND SEE FLOWERS. WE HAVE BIRDS BUILDING NESTS ALREADY. ENJOY THE SUNSHINE .
I wish I had your enthusiasm for gardening, but my gardening time will be spent cutting back all the dead stuff that froze. I only had sheets to cover my hibiscus and bird of paradise with, and it just wasn’t enough protection from the cold. Makes me sad.
As Uncle Benny used to say; “Bloody marvellous!” – looks like the Bayou is swimming, flying, floating and jumping back to life after one o’ the strangest winters ever. Just proves the resiliency o’ Nature if ye give it half a chance…
I’m soooooooooooo ready for Spring! As I sit here typing, I can hear my neighbor cutting the Winter weeds. Earlier today I saw another neighbor tilling his garden. It’s close, but I’ll leave the firewood on the patio a little longer.
When Hubby and I were at the camp last week I noticed a lot more turtles than we’ve been seeing. Maybe Spring is closer than I thought.
You mentioned crawfish. Are they running smaller than usual? The reports I’ve heard say they are much smaller than they should be because of the cold weather this year.
My oldest son bought some big beautiful crawfish yesterday to boil – two sacks! And they were really “nice”!!! I’m hearing that the price is high due a shortage because of the hard freezes.
Sweet I know spring is coming warming up enough to catch up on dog dropping patrol as snow melts away. High was like 56 today. No worries though 3-7 inches snow forecast for next couple days. Still puny from last weeks chemo . New pup is fitting right in even if River is not impressed. Lot of supervision needed with them together.
If you still have River, did you NEED a pup? What breed is the newbie? Male? Female?
mini aussie shepherd. cute as heck . blue merle of course. chick magnet. smart as whip. Need? Oh yes. I satisfy my whims keeps Mr C from killing me so I can run thru the web faster than a spider.
I love it that you’re running through the web faster than a spider. We had a blue merle Aussie shepherd once. We called her Typewriter Dog because we had her in the backyard and she ran up and down the fence, constantly, back and forth just like the old typewriter bails. We had to get rid of her because she was just too hyper, the kids were small, and she’d knock them down, and I didn’t have time to train her. Somebody had given her to the boys, but they were just too young to handle her. Those dogs need things to HERD, right? Well, she can chase you around since your quicker than a spider these days! Tell C to kiss your A, LOL!!!!!!!!
My husband had to mow our front yard this weekend. Our plum tree was solid white when we got that last freeze here. Now, it is all nasty, dried up brown. Bet I don’t have plums this year.
The worst mess down here to clean up after the freezes are the banana trees. Luckily, I don’t have any to clean up—just hibiscus and bird of paradise. Would you believe that I have about 8 flower pots with annuals in them that have come back every year for 5 years? I bet they don’t come back this spring! So, I guess I will have to replant all my flower pots.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to know that green heron’s the same one. There’s a pair of seagulls at one marina here that I swear have been together for two years – this would be their third. They stake out the same territory at the end of a dock, exhibit the same behavior, and “talk” to one another constantly. When they take their afternoon nap, they snuggle up next to each other. One sleeps, with its head on the one that stays awake, then they “trade”. It’s the most amazing thing to watch.
That photo of the spoonbill looking up is just great.
As for the weather – sicksicksick of cold. Today we get wind, with gusts up to 35-40 kts. Oh, joy.
We’re having another cool snap after a beautiful Tuesday. Then rain WEd. and more cold. Tomorrow is clear and cool and I have two more tours back to back so I hope the wind stays down. Birds are amazing creatures, but very few of us take time to observe them so closely. I love your seagull story . . . and I could tell a few neat bird stories from my tours. Birds aren’t all warm and cuddly, but I know they talk to each other, and they are very, very aware of our presence when necessary. Last week, two mornings in a row, there was a huge Pyleated woodpecker in the tree right off my front porch. What magnificent birds.
Glad the firewood is still on the patio. Supposed to be in the upper 30’s here tomorrow and Friday.
BTW, We put our boat in the water today and…it still floats! We went for a VERY short (10 minute) ride. Glad we had everything we needed on the boat. Wildlife and Fisheries was at the launch when we returned.
Lovely! As intimidating as they may look, your bayou friends seem much friendlier than my desert friends. Even the cutest little rabbits in the desert hiss at you & give you a devilish stare if you wander too closely.
Founder & CEO of Connect-the-Cloths
A stylist, foodie, & writer's blog in development.
Welcome to the humid bayou, Carsla! The gators don’t attack us if we boat nearby, although I wouldn’t try to pet one! I can’t imagine a cute little bunny hissing! What parts of the desert are you from?
Cut the grass this week, first time this year (mostly to knock down the weeds that are taking over). Today I got the mowers ready, plugs, changed the oil, sharpened and balanced the blades, aired the tires, checked the belts, Blew out the dirt and weeds, replaced the ignition switch, changed out a battery.
Where do all the dang weeds come from they are blooming all over the yard!
Looks like the hard freezes this year may have been that proverbial straw for the orange tree, and the big satuma is looking sad.
Grrrr… LOL I have to get used to the new site.
Anyway I swore I wasn’t going out to push the spring by starting too early.
I’ve got to say, it would have been more fun launching the boat even if just for a 10 min. ride.
BW you always show the best wildlife photos.
Had to mow two weeks ago because the big clumps of clover were taking over already. I’m impressed at your maintenance skills and willingness! I seem to be getting lazier and lazier these days. And just what did you mean by “Grrr . . . have to get used to the new site”??? Hey, at least you’re willing. Is it that much different? Change is hard, my friend.
Its just bugs I am sure. When I click rely it still sends me to the top of the page and takes a few for the page to reload before I can scroll down.
This time I hit enter to start a new paragraph and it posted, I had answered the validation question before finishing I guess. Just getting used to your new set up is all.
LOL… and my slow mind keeps seeing the secure green color and it keeps wondering why I am issuing a security encryption….LOL Its that same color. Just an old mind playing tricks. LOL
Well, it was pink, but I guess you missed the week it was not green!
We have been working on this glitch, because when I hit Reply, it does the same thing to me, and I find it very, very annoying. so thank you for hanging in there. I don’t know why the page takes so long to load because we have done everythign possible to speed that up. 🙁
It’s been a busy week and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to get online at home to do anything.
Guess what came in the mail yesterday? The fanciest Mardi Gras beads I’ve ever laid eyes on! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll be the envy of everyone at work on Fat Tuesday next year.
What a wonderful spring tour you’ve taken us on. Isn’t it something how the first signs of spring perk our spirits up?
I’d have been very excited to see the green heron and the roseate spoonbill. I’ve seen green herons a few times but not a spoonbill. They do show up in SC. I’ve just not been in the right place at the right time, I suppose. We have plenty of brown pelicans.
You’ve taught me a new word, too: brumation. I knew about estivation. Hamsters estivate, though none of the ones I had ever did. I could tall you a funny, albeit sad, story about a friend whose hamster went into estivation.
It’s St.Paddy’s!!! Don’t forget to put on some green and enjoy the day. Remember you can run up and kiss anyone you want, tell ’em its an Irish thing, if they say you don’t look Irish just tell them you thought they were!
Remember that good homemade Irish cream recipe from last week….. Did I mention its makes killer deserts? OMG! I have yet to try the cheesecakes, but the bundt is really outstanding!
Remember that today all kisses are free and with every wink there’s a smile, wear your green and don’t forget to enjoy the day!
You must have been a leprechaun in a different life!
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Oh, I love this! I’d never heard it before? Where does it come from?
In honour o’ St. Padraic’s Day…
A traditional blessing:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
(and never close his fist too tightly)
A less traditional “blessing”:
May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
Oh my gosh! Are those “pyrate” blessings? LOL!!!