Well, the appropriate "powers that be" decided (at last) to open the Morganza Spillway Saturday afternoon. There's a lot of sadness happening in the area and throughout the country with a few exceptions, as usual.
Photo courtesy of the Washington Times.
I found this to be a "lose/lose" situation. I have a heavy heart for the humans and wildlife that are going to be hurt because of this decision, but it was a call that had to be made. My thoughts and prayers are for all of those who've suffered because of the Mississippi River flooding.
photo courtesty of uk's dailymail.
A few months ago I found a Groupon for a Honey Island Swamp tour (2 for the price of one!) and jumped on it. Having lived in Southeast Louisiana for over thirty years, I have never taken a swamp tour (yet tempted by all of the signs I see in Slidell), and was very curious about what the tour would reveal.
Offered by Pearl River Eco Tours - located on the far eastern edge of Slidell - the two hour tour was very enjoyable and informative.
We were lucky that a cool front had entered the area overnight and the weather was perfect.....
Garden of Eden Perfect: low humidity, cool breeze and a lot of sunshine.
The facility itself is easy to find and pretty much nondescript, not a tourist trap at all. What follows are pix taken by my hubby and me. Enjoy. (click on pictures for larger versions)
Our tour was in the late afternoon, so we didn't see many birds, much to my disappointment. But I managed to catch this guy in flight.
There were several hungry gators along our tour, most of them small (5-6 feet in length).
The elephant ears were huge!
To get them closer to the boat, the guide fed them marshmallows and pieces of red hot dogs.
The bark of a cypress tree.
Tiny water beetles coming to the surface for air.
I thought this plant looked like a jellyfish.
Our guide informed us that the correct name for this plant is the swamp lotus.
I was wondering what they used the bamboo sticks for before we boarded the boat!
This once was a cypress tree that was 30 feet in diameter.
The people on our boat were from as far away as Hong Kong and as nearby as Picayune, Mississippi. It is a great treat to go into the swamp and get away from everything. At one point on the tour our guide turned of the boat's engine and we just floated down a lush, green bayou and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the place. The only sound was that of the birds and the breeze.
If you are ever interested in a swamp tour, here's their website. A tour has to be booked ahead of time due to the popularity. Have fun and bring the sunscreen!