Monday, September 27, 2010

Temperatures And Leaves Are Falling

With the morning temps around 60' Farenheit and leaves falling from the trees, the autumn equinox is in full force, and it is once again practical to do a de la Houssaye's Swamp Tour during the mid-day.

It has been a very sweet summer for me personally and a pleasure to share with so many visiting guests from all around the world.

Soon the summer foliage such as American Lotus below,

and the blooms of the Arrowhead will be a memory.

But looking ahead, the dogs are already frisky in anticipation of the hunting season now upon us.

Bobbi Girl, a grandaughter of Bobalou and Two Diamonds Cutter.

If you would like to do a swamp tour, you can call me on my cell phone to make reservations at 337 298 2630.

I hope the cooler water temperatures help my fishing buddies bring something home to brag about.

Another buddy of mine at Lake Martin has just remodeled and opened up the newest accomodations option in the Lake Martin area.

The Cottage at Lake Martin

With a very nice patio in the back, walking distance to the rookery, and walled in by bamboo, it is an amazing outdoor retreat from urbania.

Should you want to sleep in and do brunch,

this one bedroom, with private bath and kitchen is a romantics dream come true!

Lush bottomland hardwood forest on two sides and bamboo and palms throughout, this cozy weekend getaway is often serenaded by songbirds year round.

Please be advised if you want to do a tour on October 8,9,or 10, I will be enjoying the festivities at Giraurd Park in Lafayette. We are celebrating the food, music, dance and culture of the Cajuns and Creoles at Festivals Acadiens et Creole. Starting with Downtown Alive on Friday afternoon, and at the park on Saturday and Sunday.

Cedric Watson and Bijeaux Creole

I will be doing a sunrise Louisiana Swamp Tour on Friday and Saturday during the festival, but that is your only options to tour with me during the festival.

Put on your sun hat and lets go kick up some dust!

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Autumn Trend

de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours

The trees are turning colors,

there is cool air in the morning and the days are getting shorter.

We are just days away from the official start of Autumn.

I will miss the flowers of summer. And Oh, what a great summer it has been!

I won't miss the spiders.

Did a couple of private tours over the weekend.
One with a couple from Australia,

and another with two guys from the Disney movie up the road.

We had a great time on the tour with a group of Indian students at UL of Lafayette,

And Bubbles(who survived the alligator attack) is just getting over the limp, and back to touring again!

If you would like to join me on a de la Houssaye's Swamp Tour, you can call me at 337 298 2630.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This is Wild!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Birds Of Lake Martin

I have been operating de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours at Lake Martin for over 20 years. And I have been here full time now, for over 14 years.

Rosette Spoonbills

In spite of the BP oil spill, and the ecological disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and the south eastern corner of the state of Louisiana,

Great Blue Heron

Lake Martin remains the most unpolluted lake in the state, because it does not have any agricultural runoff and it is too far inland to be impacted by the oil spill in the gulf.

Bald Eagle on the lookout over Lake Martin

And perhaps because of the oil spill, and thus people trying to avoid the dangers and depressive conditions in and around New Orleans, we have had more people coming to do swamp tours here this summer, and thus enjoying the birds of Lake Martin.

My friend Butch Guchereau

Louisiana Heron feeding in the floating mat of plants

I do not want to take undo credit, but isn't it interesting, that I write these scathing articles in the summer of 2009,

pointing to the corelation of lower water levels at Lake Martin and a decreased population of wading birds nesting in the rookery.

Then September 2009, for the first time in about 8 years, The Nature Conservancy does not pull the plug and drain the lake on schedule last fall, like it has since 2001,

and LO AND BEHOLD, spring 2010, we have more birds nesting than we had since Y2K.

Anhinga Cormorant

Furthermore, it is now, the middle of September, and thus the end of the growing season for plants,

and so far not once has the state Wildlife and Fisheries come out in a boat and sprayed herbicide to control plants around the lake and decrease and destroy the ecology and natural beauty of the area.

But they have come out this week and sprayed from Rookery Road as seen below!

Oh well, as I fight this battle against the war on plants, I count my victories where I find them.

Not only is an abundance of clean water important to the birds who nest at Lake Martin,

Little Blue Heron

but also equally important is the floating mats of plants to host the food supply that feeds the wading birds who nest here.

White Ibis coming in to roost at sunset

So far it has been a good year at Lake Martin.

All photos are copyrighted and courtesy of Claude Nall

If you would like to do a Louisiana Swamp Tour with me, Marcus de la Houssaye, I can be reached via my cell phone for reservations at: 337 298 2630

Monday, September 6, 2010

Natural Air Conditioning!

The last two weeks have been so sweet because the morning temps started out at about 70 degrees every day. And yesterday it must have been in the upper sixties whan I walked out of my house at 6:30 AM to start my sunrise tour.

The couple I took out on the sunrise tour was from Portland Oregon who had heard about me from the New York Times article that featured de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours in the September 1st edition last week.

And as much as it was so nice to have only two people on a private tour, my boat has been mostly full for every tour, and this past weekend with the Labor Day holiday crowds, I turned away as many people, as I took out because people were calling last minute and my boat was full on every tour.

It was, with all the people, and the gator incident, quite an exciting weekend.

As owner and operator of de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours at Lake Martin, I am constantly warning people walking around the boat landing, with dogs running free, to be careful of the alligators.

I did the sunrise tour on Sunday morning with the couple from Portland, Oregon.

I had just finished my tour, my guests had pulled out of the boat landing, and I was telling a lady standing in the landing that she needed to be careful of her Yorkie around the gators.

As I was speaking of how we had 5 dogs we knew of last year that were eaten by gators in the boat landing, I look over and there is a 8-10 footer, zeroed-in on my puppy. At a distance of about 3 foot I knew the gator was in range and about to stike and instinctively I began to lunge in that direction. About halfway there, the gator struck and then a second later, I was on top of him. At that point he was more worried about me on him, than eating the puppy and let it go.

In the heat of the moment, I did not think, I acted, and had I not seen the gator, and moved when I did, there would have been nothing I could have done to save the puppy, because once a gator has someting in its jaws rarely does its prey survive.

I this case, in spite of having a good bite on the pups hind-end, I scared the gator enough, to cause him to lose hold, and do a 180 to get away from me and head back into the water, and I was then able to scoop the pup up and bring it to the boat trailer and make these photos.

This alligator was very bold in that it approached this puppy with about 5 people standing around talking, fortunately, I was only about 10 foot away from the incident when the gator struck. Typically, alligators are very shy around people because we eat them, they do not eat us, and we are their only natural enemy so they have nothing to fear except man.

The real root of the problem here is an over-zealous swamp tour guide has been feeding the alligators at Lake Martin now for about 10 years. And I will quote him here: "I fed every alligator, all the way around the lake."

Unfortunately, a fed gator is only relocated to the processing plant after it has been killed.

In spite of the dangers of gators, we regularly swim and kayak at Lake Martin, because typically they are very shy around humans.

Should you come to Lake Martin for a de la Housaye's Swamp Tour you are much safer here in my boat, than you are on the Interstate 10 in your car, but please be aware of your pets around any waterway in Louisiana, we have hungry gators and you never know if someone has fed it or not.

If you are interested in doing a tour, you can make reservations @ 337 298 2630