An American Alligator sunning on a log in Bayou Black.

Yesterday I saw my first wild alligator of 2013 in the Bayou Black area of the Terrebonne Parish marsh.  It was a medium size reptile sunning on a log in the late afternoon sun.  After a string of cold days it was about 72 degrees warm and I am sure it did not want to jump back in the cold water until the sun went down.

It certainly is not spring yet and I am glad, for we need a good winter to knock back the multitude of exotic aquatic plants that are terrorizing our wetlands.  The signs are there though, with days getting longer, the yellow top is blooming on some of the spoil banks.  In Baton Rouge the Japanese magnolias bloom and many restaurants are serving up crawfish. Hold off, let us have a little more winter.


Wrong Was the Weather

Camping is one of my favorite hobbies.  It could be deep in the piney woods or on a West Texas Mesa, it really does not matter where, just so I am under the stars and by a campfire.  This time it was on an island in the Mississippi River with sand almost as white as Pensacola Beach.  I took off at noon Saturday with 8 friends in two bateaus; it was cold ride.  We found a place to beach the boats away from the tugboat wakes and set up camp on soft sand.  The weather forecast a few days before said partly cloudy Saturday and with a cold night and a sunny Sunday.  On Saturday morning the forecast had changed to 40% chance of rain today with a 38-degree night.  Who would have guessed they got it wrong, dead wrong.  Luckily we got tents set up before the 100% rain started and continued all night.  They were wrong on the temperature too, for it never got below 50 degrees.  Lucky again, we were wet, but not cold.

Campsite Breakfast.

Not one of our hardy nine complained.  The rain quit at dawn and with Boy Scout level skills we got the fire started to cook eggs, toast and sausage on the grill.  Two bald eagles and a flock of white pelicans brightened the skies. Back to the percentages, 50% is good for me.  I got no stars but a roaring campfire made the trip a joy.