Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Louisiana Swamp Tour

St. Martinsville, Louisiana

We had some really good food today. For lunch I had a shrimp ettoufee and then, for dinner, fried eggplant with a crab topping. Yesterday we split a “Po-Boy” sandwich with fried oysters, tomatoes, cheese and sautéed onions. The Cajun Creole cooking here is a real culinary experience.

We went on a swamp tour today with Brian. As we pull out from the dock he does a 360 and says. “That was the tour You’ all. Did you enjoy it?”

We see a lot of alligators. One was trying to digest a big garfish. Brian suggests that the gator may need to hide the fish under a log until it becomes more digestible.

Brian’s boat holds 15 people and draws about ten inches of water. It’s very quiet and bumps over many sunken logs.

The cypress trees can live 1500 years. The oldest one in this swamp is about 600 years old. They logged these trees in the late 1800s, but the new growth cypress is lovely. Some of the old logs were “sinkers” that went to the bottom. Cypress never rots in water and the big old “sinkers” now sell for as much as $10,000 a tree, when recovered.

Brian is very knowledgeable about the local birds, turtles, vegetation and gators. He has a Cajun recipe for almost everything we see on the tour.

Henry Ford used Spanish moss to stuff his automobile seats in the 1920s. The moss harbors biting insects and led to one of the first automobile recalls.

We see some unusual nesting birds, gators and turtles. They pulled out a 14 foot gator last year that had been wandering inland and eating dogs. The food supply for gators is good with fish, turtles, ducks and the occasional dog.

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