Thursday, October 25, 2012

47th State: Louisiana (Oct. 25, 2012)

Unnamed Lake on Chef Menteur Highway (Rt. 90).

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Across the river, from Mississippi to Louisiana, I found this newly acquired Wilderness Use Area (acquired though the Nature Conservancy). Decided I would try to park here tonight and kayak it early in the morning.  Luckily, no one rousted me to leave.

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Wouldn't it be cool if I get to see a Manatee. I asked one of the guys in the boats if they saw any Manatees, and he asked me, "What is that?" I told him to look at this sign on the tree when he took his boat out of the water. Can you believe that?

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Spanish moss hanging on all the trees in the parking area.  Near intersection of Hwy 90 and Hwy 190 East of Slidell, LA.

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As I was taking this shot from the boat ramp, a guy in a pickup told me to not get too close... there was an alligator right there.

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So then he giggled and laughed with another man about telling me that as he watched me backing away from the water. Well I'm in flip-flops... of course I'm backing away. But I saw no gator there.  Guess the laugh would be on him if he knew, I had spent the last three days kayaking just so I could see them.

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Looks ominous... but it is actually only 3' long and I'm on a boardwalk above him.  Nice boardwalk and nice evening stroll.

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That night, the trees filled with blackbirds and boy did they make a racket.  And there were a few feral cats around too.

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I put in at Sunrise.

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I love being out on the water at this time of day.

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I love the lighting.

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I love seeing the water foul before anyone has disturbed them.

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It is just a beautiful morning and the water is very clear… probably because a Manatee has been munching on all the water vegetation.  I was really hoping to see one.  At one point I did beach on a sand bar, or so I thought, but before I could move off it, it moved out from under me… and there were slow smooth ripples on the water.  I could not see anything, but I believe it was a Manatee.

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I wanta paint this.

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An American Coot, I think.  There were many of them. These had babies with them… at this time of year???

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I paddled entirely around this lake, studying the vegetation, and believe a could see a pattern of where Manatee had grazed though the vegetation. 

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I sat quietly in this area for a very long time, hoping to see one, and hoping and hoping.  Oh well, one day, I guess.

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What can I say, it is an artist paradise.

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It is not even possible to take a bad photo here.

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A mound of vegetation left by the receding high waters of the past couple of years.  Evidence all around of high water.  Not an interesting shot you say???  But the purple/blue lizard that ran over the top of the mound was.  Wish I had a faster camera.

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Can you see him back in the trees – the white bird?

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I zoomed in on him.  These guys don’t let you get very close.

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Spanish Moss.

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Field of daisies.

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Cyprus elbows… covered in vegetation from receding waters.

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So many birds here.  I wish I knew what they all were.

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Again, I wish I knew what plant this was!

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I want to paint it.

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Another one.

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At the far end of the lake there was this pole… the height of about 8-10 feet.  Again, vegetation from receding high waters.

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So… this is a Wildlife Management Area…. and the wildlife are doing a fine job of managing it.  Clear water.  Quiet.  No motor boats.  No other people on the water but lil ‘ol Swankie. This is by far, one of my prettiest paddles.   Heaven, I’m in Heaven.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.

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