Thursday, November 8, 2018

Louisiana Swamps

On Wednesday last, Frank and I joined the LSU group and to Laplace to take a Swamp Tour at Cajun Pride.  It had been a while since Frank and I had been on that Swamp Tour so we were eager to see the place again.  It had doubled in size and added 4 new buildings and become so very commercial.  LOL, hasn't everything?


Make the photos larger by clicking on them.





So this was the first thing I saw...…..I wouldn't think to turn my back on a gator, and heaven knows I would never tease one...….look at those tiny legs, your momma was a T-Rex HA HA!  Nope, not into teasing the gators!














Luckily, we all came back with all our limbs.

People here do eat a lot of gator though.  The tail meat is said to, yep, taste like chicken.

















This 4 footer was the first one we saw.  Captain Tom said the older ones are already burrowing up into the swamp to wait out winter.

They are cold blooded so they need to soak up the heat of the day.

This one was about 4 feet and said to be 4 years.  I am thinking that they grow about a foot a year.











This is a Louisiana Tri-Colored Heron.  I had never heard of one before.






the plants below are palmetto trees.  They grow everywhere in the swampy or damp areas that have solid ground.  Which is pretty much everywhere.








This is what a 4 foot gator looks like swimming in the water.  Their little t-Rex legs kinda fold up against their bodies and only their tails move.

Silent death.
















This is a white Egret.  We have lots of them in the South.  They probably go further north as well, I think Carol in Vermont has done some photos and quilts with egrets, if I remember correctly.

Nice lunch for a baby gator.


Map.  Gotta have a map somewhere.

The waterway is called a bayou.  However, the logging companies at the turn of the century dug these canals off the bayous to float out the cypress log they cut down.


When I was very young we would drive through this area to Middendorf's Restaurant with my parents.  The huge cypress trees were thick and 50 -60 feet tall.  Now there are so few left.  The canals allowed the salt water to infuse into the bayous and swamps.

Killed all the trees.  Now the swamp water is brackish water, a mix of salt and fresh waters.







Here is another baby gator.  We saw about 20 of them.  you can see him neatly folded up and swimming silently.

Gives me the creepy crawlies to see an alligator.


When the Cajuns who lived in the swamps died, they buried their dead on higher land.  This is the muds that were dredged out to create the canal piled into a levee.

There are also Indian burial sites in the swamps.  The tribes were the Houma, Choctaw, Chousatta and the Chitamacha.  There are also the Tunica-Biloxi tribe but they are generally in mid or north Louisiana.  For reference, Chousatta is pronounced cu-shatta.

And as a personal peeve of mine, Biloxi is pronounced Bill-uxi  not Bi-lox-I, as Northerners want to say it.

















This was an old cabin back on the bayou that they turned into a stop on the tour.  You don't really want to get out, check out the "Louisiana Yard Dog" in the front lawn.  And yes, he is real!  He was about 5-6 feet long.













Oh, wow!  We saw a kingfisher!  WAY COOL!











And a Louisiana Blue Heron. They are a pretty common sight.



















Here is Captain Tom explaining Crawfish Sex to a bunch of old people.  He was having a blast freaking out the old ladies.



And he passed around the gator baby, no one wanted to hold her, however several old ladies petted her.



These are turkey vultures.  They were hovering over a dead pig.  Interestingly, there are lots of those wild pigs all through the swamps.  You can shoot them just about any time of the year, there are just so many and they are so destructive.

When my mother lived back there, they would dig the foundations of their house pilings.  The cabin was 16 feet above the land level.







Raccoons are all over back there as well.  Captain Tom tossed some corn out for them, then when they showed up he tossed some marshmallows to them. One marshmallow fell close to the water edge and none of the coons went near it.  Capt Tom explained that when anything gets too close to the water's edge, the silent death gator grabs them.

That is what happened to the pig.  And it was a pretty large pig too.  Capt Tom was telling us that he had a tour boat full of people on a Riverboat tour.  He was puttering down the bayou when a gator grabbed a pig and did his death roll routine.

The tourists were very angry that Captain Tom would allow that to happen and they were yelling at him for being a sadistic  (you fill it in here).

He said he got really negative ratings on the internet that day!







 I think you can see some of the wild pigs here.  Make the photo larger and look in the underbrush in the center.









And this is the sawgrass.  It will cut you to ribbons with the serrated leaves.

if you are wondering where your crawfish live, they are all in those roots under water!

I can taste them now!

But instead of crawfish, we headed to Middendorf's for some Thin Fried Catfish!

And German Beer...…….It is Octoberfest after all.





6 comments:

  1. I am a bird photographer of the hobby variety an love to photograph tri-color herons. They are so fun to try to catch in flight.

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  2. OMGOSH!! This was such an interesting post. It's a place I'm not sure I'd want to go. Are you attacked by mosquitoes on that tour..just wondering. That would be a determining factor of whether I would go or not. I remember when I was a kid, the Woolworth Dime Store sold 12' alligators in their pet shop. No, I never wanted one. Your post just made me think of it. Is Alligator a common entree on menus down there? Is there any kind of Alligator population control? I loved this post about a place I will never see.
    xx, Carol

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  3. What a fun trip! It reminded me of when I took my son to Florida to visit my sister. Disney was too expensive for me so everyday we would find less expensive places to go and one day we went to the Tupperware museum and Gatorworld. Gatorworld was a blast. It was just a small place, but there were lots of gators. I guess I shouldn't complain about the deer since in LA you have gators running loose! LOL!!!

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  4. We took the swamp tour when we were in New Orleans, it was Awesome! I'm all in for a return visit, but this sure brought the memories up. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wow...I got to take a boat tour of the bayou and didn't have to worry about losing a limb or two! HA Pics of the other wild animals (e.g. herons) are also interesting...Poor Captain Tom....that is the food chain...hope you gave him a good review!!! Thanks for sharing this tour!! You know I don't like to leave home!

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  6. What an interesting tour. Good Idea to go with a group of friends. We do need to do something about the pigs but yikes... Alligators are scarier to me, too.

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