Sunday, June 8, 2008

Barataria, not Bavaria

We got up early and arrived at Bataria Nature Preserve (south of New Orleans) before the ranger's office opened at 7 a.m. We walked along a boardwalk and heard lots of birds and were nagged by many horseflies, the latter of which I was glad not to have experienced since living in Virginia.

Anyone know what kind of tree this is?

And is this related to buckwheat?

A frog.

A dragonfly.

A salamander.

A scene.


I spent early Saturday evening weeping because we'd been in the car for 6 hours and I had not seen any alligators. I'd been trying to schedule a canoe swamp tour with a local guide, but I had the wrong phone number and e-mail address for him until Saturday night, when it was too late to schedule anything. So I broke down and paid for one of those motorboat tours. Not the loud 60-mph kind, but a motorboat nonetheless.


Afterwards, we went back to Barataria Preserve to look for wild alligators. Here's a pretty spot.

And N insisted on taking a picture of me with my sunbrella.

N spotted this baby alligator.

I first saw only the tail and thought it was a snake.

Isn't it cute?

It was smaller than a dachsund.

And here is a much bigger alligator:


In the lower left corner you can see the jerky wrapper left from a couple of yahoos who had taunted it and were old enough to know better:

The gator tried for a while to snap up the wrapper, but luckily its poor day vision and the lazy current prevented it from doing so. (Check out that back claw on the mid-right side of the picture.):

This is my favorite swim stroke, too!:


N thought it was funny, how fascinated I was with geckos. They are a Louisianan version of squirrels:

Even ants like to eat crab legs:

And then we went to the airport. Boo-hoo. But we saw this on the way:

ADVISORY: This entry is dated by when the events discussed occurred, not by when it was written.

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