The Cajun Outback   1 comment

Do not feed the alligatorsWhile in Louisiana, we decided to check out the Louisiana Outback, the Creole Nature Trail. I thought it would be a good thing for my daughter to be fed to see wild alligators. The Creole Nature Trail goes from I-10 in Calcasieu Parish*, through Cameron Parish, and down to the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to over 300 species of birds in a wetland area. This region is also home to home to a large portion of the shrimping industry.

This area was hit hard by 2005’s Hurricane Rita. One community, Holly Beach, was wiped out entirely–no structure was standing in the photos I saw at the time. I was very interested in seeing how it was rebuilt.

I should note that, in spite of being in a state where Audubon did much of his work, I’m not as familiar with all the different sorts of birds one sees in Southwest Louisiana. More of a cat guy, I guess. If you recognize any of these critters, please let me know. I really am fascinated by most animals, so knowing that is quite welcome.

One thing that really struck me is how calm these birds were around people. Our presence didn’t seem to bother this guy as he sunned his wings.
Spreading His Wings

A bird fact I wonder about is, if when they fly close to water, if the are in ground effect.
Bird Reflection

Bird Reflection 2

Did my daughter get to see an alligator?
Alligator Crossing

We saw a total of eight, mostly just looking in the ditches and wetlands by the side of the road. We did stop at one of the observation points, and got to see one.
Alligator Crescent

He seemed to be having a lazy afternoon.
Sleepy Alligator

Long Gator

There was also a tiny crab nearby.
Tiny Crab

We continued south, to Holly Beach. Many of the houses were reconstructed. Holly Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico.
Flying Gull

On the horizon were several oil rigs–it’s amazing how close they seem.
Gulf Oil Platform

And, of course, there were seagulls.
Lots of Seagulls

It was a great trip through a unique part of the country.
Jumpinmg Waves 8

*”County” to states that don’t use the Napoleonic Code.

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Posted 2012-03-27 by Mr. Guilt in animals, Louisiana, Spring Break 2012

One response to “The Cajun Outback

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  1. I think the guy sunning his wings is a cormorant. He could be an anhinga, too, I do get those confused in pictures. I need to see them in person. :) I love birds! I have been so many places that allowed me to see kinds of birds I would never have been able to see. India, Alaska, England, Ireland, France. And to the wonderful Point Pelee in Ontario…the peninsula which sticks furthest out into Lake Erie so that many many migrating birds land there exhausted after crossing the big lake. What a sight! :)
    I love the alligator pics and the oil rigs look rather stately out there as long as they stay safe!

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