In the last two weeks I went into the Atchafalaya 6 times, it was kind of like the old days.  Almost anyway, because when I first ventured into the basin I would usually go in for 5 nights.  I would camp in my Gart Brothers $19.95 canvas pup tent, carry my cameras in a Coleman ice chest, sleep on a piece of foam rubber that I bought from an army surplus store and eat canned tuna, peanut butter, apples and sweet rolls. So it was different in the fact that these six were day trips, on five I stayed until sunset and on the other we went for sunrise, but a blown tire on the boat trailer caused us to miss that part of the morning. On one trip I took friends, three others were with workshop students and two were exploring by myself.

A young raccoon on top of a cypress tree at sunset.

Different again because on all six, I saw bald eagles. That never happened in the 70’s. On recent trips I always see more wildlife.  Beaver, alligators and the biggest treat was two young raccoons that ran down the bank and climbed up a small bald cypress tree just as the last gleam of a setting sun put a little light on one’s face. Best of all was the peace and quite of the fall landscapes. Moss covered bald cypress trees were especially photogenic in the low afternoon light.  There were lots of choices for angles in the small bayous north of Flat Lake, the banks of Cross Bayou and the big second growth trees of Mimms Lake.  When this rain stops I am heading back out, those same trees should be in their peak of fall colors.

Reflections of moss covered bald cypress trees near Cross Bayou.

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