|Cue the "Jaws" Music|
Sunday, September 11th
Today Chris and I went on "Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tour" in Slidell, about 90 miles east of Baton Rouge.
At 2pm, a total of fifteen of us, along with Captain Bryan, boarded the motorized, flat-bottom boat (the canopy for shade was of much comfort!) and began our tour of the swampland of the Pearl River, "one of the wildest swamps in America."
|Can You Spot the Blue Heron?|
Captain Bryan was very informative the during the entire 2 hours and 15 minutes that we were on the water, giving us information about the wetland, alligators, Cyprus trees, waterfowl and such. He also told us of the local folklore legend of a chimp that mated with a gator, lol.
|"I Gotta Find Bubba....!"|
We must have seen at least 15 gators (and plump ones as long as 8-10 feet!), mostly in the water, but we saw a couple of 'em basking on logs, and at very close range (you should have heard the frightened children!), what with baiting them with human food and all. I don't know how the company can peg themselves as "The Original Eco-Tour" when they're leaving a direct human impact on the animals by altering their diets with marshmallows and hot dogs! And they shouldn't be getting used to humans in that way. God forbid they lose their fear of us. Seriously. That irritates me.
|Holy Moss-Covered Cyprus, Batman!|
Apart from gators, there were plenty of other wildlife sightings, too. I saw a snowy egret, a couple of blue herons (including a big one only 20 feet away!), a pileated woodpecker, a white bird with large orange beak arching downward, and lots of turtles (big and small). Of course, the beauty of the swamp itself was very beautiful in its own right. In places, we were completely shaded by giant, Spanish moss-covered cyprus trees.
|Is He Dead?...Nope!|
When we turned around and headed up-river, we saw lots of homes right there on the swamp. There were big, beautiful homes with spectacular boat sheds, little tin hacks, fishing villages, and unfortunately some that were completely devastated by hurricane Katrina.
I loved this outing. You can't say you've really seen Louisiana until you've experience the whole other side of things, accessible only by boat!
|I Will Miss Our Dinners|
Upon arriving back at Chris', he whipped us up a delicious "eggplant caponata and herb polenta." Chris is quite a cook, and this quickly became one of my new favorite meals. He didn't use anything that said "polenta" on the label, rather, he used cornmeal, which gave it a wonderful hint of sweetness that complimented the heartiness of the tomato sauce very well. Bravo!