Friday, March 25, 2016


One of the things I like about Louisianans is their aptitude for making a virtue of necessity. Blockade? We'll stretch the coffee with chicory, and it'll be so good folk'll still be drinkin' it the next century or two. Leftovers? Bits and bobs that might not make a meal on their own? Throw 'em in the pot, we'll make gumbo. Baguette gone stale? How 'bout bread pudding, one of the tastiest desserts you're ever like to encounter. Laissez les bon temps roulez.

So in that spirit, and to round out our trip, here are some of the best wildlife photos (heavy on water birds and herps) that didn't fit into the previous posts.

[Poule d'eau or American coots. We also saw, but did not successfully photograph, closely related purple gallinules. Maybe next time.]

[Grey squirrel.]

[Great blue heron. The little dirt mounds in the second picture are crawfish chimneys, made by only some species of mudbugs as they dig down to the water table. The water isn't usually oxygenated enough to support them, and it certainly isn't enough to swim in, but by keeping their gills wet they are able to extract oxygen from the air.]

[A toad—Woodhouse's or Fowler's? Someone help me out here.]

[Black-crowned night heron. That's not red-eye from a flash; they just come that way.]

[American alligator. Having attuned her eye on our swamp tour, Jessa spotted this one soon afterward—at the head of a canal which we had been told was unlikely to harbour gators.]

[Snowy egret.]

[Red-eared sliders:
  • Surfacing.
  • The largest I've ever seen, though it's hard to get scale from this photo.
  • Balancing act.
  • Pile-up.]

[It was another Louisiana native who sang, "I was in the right place, but it must've been the wrong time." This red-eared slider, on the wrong end of a double-crested cormorant, is about to make that his theme song. Is that bird laughing?]

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