Saturday, February 03, 2007

Going on a Gator Hunt...

Going on a gator hunt.

I'm not afraid.

I've got these guys by my side.

While we were in Louisiana, for Christmas, Jim offered to take us on a swamp tour. We were all very excited about the idea. He worked until early afternoon, while we explored Baton Rouge.

After touring the LSU campus, we drove back to Lafayette, about 40 miles on I-10, the elevated highway which runs over the Atchafalaya Basin & Henderson Swamp.

Cam had said that if you get behind a semi truck that jack knifes on this highway bridge, you can be stuck for hours.

All of a sudden, we saw brake lights ahead.

Traffic slowed down and finally stopped. Fortunately, we only sat there for 10 or 20 minutes. Enough to make us extremely grateful when traffic started crawling along again that there was at least one lane open ahead. Turns out some guy hauling a manufactured home had some trouble and had to pull off to the side of the road.

We made it back but not with much time to spare. At Jim & Liz's place, I grabbed a quick bite to eat while Cam and Sam tossed the fishing line out a couple of times. Then we were off. In search of alligators, as Sam said.

Jim offered to let each us borrow a hat from his extensive collection. At first, I thought I would rather be stylish but when we got to the water and I couldn't find my sunglasses, the brilliant sunlight on the water made me decide I'd rather be able to see than be seen.

It was peaceful and beautiful on the water.

Sam enjoyed dangling his hand in the water.

It was a bit cold so we didn't really expect to see alligators.

Just hoped.

We saw snowy egrets and great egrets.

And Great Blue Herons standing still, taking off and perched in trees.

Sam thought the Night Heron looked like a penguin.

It was unreal.

As were the trees.

We were all happy to be out on the water together.

We saw turtles.

And had fun together.

Jim had some impressive binoculars.

Sam chilled.

We soaked it all in.

Our tour guide, showed us this alligator home. He put the entire oar into the hole showing how far back it went. It sounded like he thought gators were in there but too cold to come out. He showed us a gator nest up close too.

We saw an owl.

And at least two nutria.

I was happy because I completely missed the first one.

The sun was setting.

It was a beautiful, glorious, afternoon.

Thanks, Jim.

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