Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, Sweet Summer Rains.....

If you are planning a de la Houssaye's Swamp Tour this summer, consider sunrise as your best option to view alligators,

not to mention it is cool and you have the best light of the day photographically speaking.

But if it rains, and this time of the year that is typically between noon and 5 PM, afterwards, the swamp is energised and everything looks clean and crispy as the produce section at the super market.

It is better wet with rain, than sweat.

And always after a summer rain the ground fog hangs close to the water just like in winter, but it is far from cold and the trees are all green.

And how sweet it is, after such a long and intensely hot summer, to have a day like today, open up with sunshine in the treetops at sunrise,

and then with clouds rolling in soon after,

and almost completely blocking the sun all day. It is a much needed relief, and this is atypical, but we have been cooled off by a tropical disturbance these last few days. Thank God!

Not to complain about summer, because I love it, but the temps in the upper 90's now for about 3 months has caused me to do only sunrise and sunset tours for the most part, because my guests just can't take the heat, and the gators hide throughout the course of the day, being only visible at sunrise and sunset. I learned a long time ago, if I can't show you a gator on my tour, most people think it is not a good tour.

Lots of things come out in the heat of summer, like no other time of the year...

like this yellow swallowtail on a passion flower blossom

Butterflies are everywhere, like this one that landed on the rail of my boat,

and bumble bees gather nectar from the smallest blossoms...

to the largest most radiant, like this trumpet flower below.

A Fisher Spider walks on the water and then dives to catch shrimp and minnows.

An abundance of dragonflies eat all of the mosquitoes that would otherwise make the swamp unbearable in summer. So, you don't have to wear mosquito repellent, because there are no mosquitoes on the tour.

Another voracious consumer of insects is the Cricket Frog as seen below.

And of course, Purple Martins contribute to minimize the insect population in the summertime too.

The Redwing Blackbird is the last of the seasons nesting birds and it starts nests in June...

and then the eggs...

and the babies hatch out...

The cumulous clouds of summer are like hot air ballons...

And after you see the wonders of nature on my swamp tour, you might want seafood...

Of course if you are following my blog, you already know of the best crawfish ettoufee at The Chicken On The Bayou in Henderson at exit 115 off of Interstate 10.

If you go looking for it, stop at the building that says "The Boudin Shop" and you are there.

It's a little mom and pop restaurant, with all the typical tourist stop bells and whistles, but oh, is the food so good, and affordable compared to the tourist traps.

Here is crawfish ettoufe with fried shrimp, potato salad, and home-made bisquit for about $15

Or want to keep it light, the fried shrimp po-boy for about $8. I don't know where you are from, but I thank God everyday, that I was born Cajun and can eat like this anytime I want.

You can also get the fried alligator you have heard about, and no it doesn't taste like chicken, it tastes like tame rabbit, fried. I'm glad I clarified that that for most of you! I recommend you get the gator wings(front legs, like buffalo wings).

And please if you see alligators in the wild do not feed them it is illegal, and the signage below explains why.

The flowers of summer might be the Button Bush

and the American Lotus

Oh, isn't summertime wonderful?

You can even swim with the gators.

This is Lake Martin a couple of weeks ago, and every gator Benjamin approached was scared off. Yah, we bad, gators fear us and women love us. :-)

If you would like to contact me for a swamp tour, you can visit my main site, by clicking the link here or simply call 337 298 2630 for reservations. And on that note, I highly recommend you make reservations, because now that the well that caused the oil spill has been capped we are over run with tourists and a lot of people are driving up to the landing thinking they don't need a reservation and are very disappointed to see the boats going out full everytime and there is no room for anyone else to get on. Very important to make a reservation if you don't want to waste time waiting for the next tour to depart.