If you drift through a small cut or trainasse or canal quietly, and look closely, you will see myriad smaller, less obvious specimens in our wetlands.
There are so many things to see, that you don’t know where to train your eyes . . on the water or in the trees or along the shore?
There, in that dead tree! Do you see it? A flash of yellowish green! If we’re quiet, we might get closer . . .
Look! There in that money tree! It’s another one! Are there any birders onboard?
Oh, so you want a closer look at those pink flowers? Which ones?
Are you talking about these wild morning glories? They’re common, I know, but these are just so HUGE, and the pink color is so deep. It’s hard not to pay attention to them, common or not.
Or do you mean these? What are they, you ask? They are called “marsh mallows”. Well, they are really what we call “salt marsh mallow”; however, we are not in a salt marsh at the moment. Confusing, I know, but ogranisms do have ways of adapting.
Don’t forget to let your eyes continue to scan the shoreline, the skyline, the treeline, and the lily pads on the water. There is another whole world of life going on down there . . .
I see at least four species of dragon fly. Do you see them all? And each is a different color . . . there’s a blue one, and a green one,
a red one,
and this beauty with spots on its wings! Did you know they lay their eggs on the lily pads?
Look! Over there in that tree! I saw a flash of yellow! Is it another one of those little yellow birds? Oh, it flew away!
Hey Captain? Could you take us closer to that weird-looking vine over there?
Sure! This one with the seed pods hanging down? This is called “deer peas”. It’s a wild version of a cultivar called cow peas. And yes, deer really do eat them. Have I seen deer out here? Yes I have, but they’re elusive. Oh, you want a closer look at the pea pods?
These are going to seed, as we say. They will soon pop open, dropping their seed to start new plants.
Remember to watch the shoreline . . . .
Aw, isn’t he cute? He’s about two years old, and evidently he’s had his Cheerios this morning and is trying to digest them! The young gators have much more camouflage on their skin. See the vivid stripes?
Hey! Captain! I see another one of those yellow birds . . just above us!
Wow! Look how beautiful! Does anyone know what bird this is?
As we round this corner on our way back in, look closely out across the lily pond, because you might see . . .
a family of gallinule having their breakfast. You really have to look closely for a splotch of red on the male’s face. See him? Sorry! The binoculars are a little fuzzy.
Well, that just about wraps up today’s tour. I hope you saw something new and exciting. Maybe you saw a bird to add to your “life list”. Maybe you’d never seen a red dragon fly before?
No matter how many times I come out in the wetlands of South Louisiana, it never gets old to me. Even though our freshwater and brackish marshes are constantly threatened by saltwater intrusion, the creatures here are just as tenacious as the bayou people–hanging on until the very last thread of hope is gone.
Thanks for coming with me today! It was great having you on the tooner. Please come back this winter and bring your friends for a totally different view of this vanishing wonder of the world!
Until next time!
CONTEST UPDATE: These little birds have even my “in house bird expert” puzzled. I am sending her 6 zoom closeups of this bird in hopes that she can make a more positive ID tonight. If not, we will have to revamp the drawing, since we have been able to make an exact ID on this bird. I know what it SHOULD be in this area at this time of year, but the coloring is off. Also, it would have helped if the birds would have actually flown away, so I could have seen the “flash” marks, which often help make a positive ID. So now we wait for Kim to do her hard work! Thanks for your patience! BW (bird woman!!!)
CONTEST: Name that bird!!! Correct answers enter into random drawing . . . the old fashioned way this time . . . for a gift from Community Coffee! How about one of these?A signature coffee scoop? And those of you who have received gifts from Community can findyour gift item on their site and click on it and actually leave comments about the product. And if you would do that, it would make Scott at Community very happy and he will keep sending you gifts! And then we will ALL be happy!