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Bayou Fountain — April 25, 2015

2015-04-25

Bayou Fountain — April 25, 2015

Juvenile alligator

It was an easy trip down Bayou Fountain.  Spring flowers abounding, and even a juvenile alligator on Bayou Fountain.

With a bit of rain earlier in the week [ed: but nothing like Monday, April 27th], we wanted to take a quick run down Bayou Fountain to be sure there weren’t any developing issues.  It turned out to be a very, very easy day.  There were no problems from Highland Road Park all the way down, and a mere 75 minutes after leaving the park, it was time to turn around at Bayou Manchac.

Flowers.

On the way downstream, I couldn’t help but pause for a photo of some very nice flowers.  With no work required, it seemed a decent theme to follow on the way back upstream.  There was almost no current, which made it much easier to get some photos of some of the very small flowers growing on the bank.

Tiny flower.

When I’m teaching scuba classes, one thing I emphasize to my students is that you see much more if you slow down and look closely.  60 feet below the surface in the Gulf off Panama City Beach, FL, you see gobies and occasionally very tiny crabs.  On Bayou Fountain, I stopped to check out some obvious flowers and noted a white speck closer to the size of a grain of rice.  Handheld macro photos from a floating canoe are always a hit and miss, but I got one or two usable ones.  (If you’re good at plant identification, knowing what these various things are would be nice.)

Purple flower.

Lots of purple and gold out there, too.  If the little white one was a grain of rice, would these be the size of a halved or quartered slice of smoked sausage?  (For some reason, everything was jambalaya in my head when I was out there paddling this time.  Perhaps breakfast would’ve been a good idea, but the rains were threatening!)  In the winter, everything seemed browns and greys, but when leaves and flowers come out, there’s actually quite a bit of color on the bayous.

Yellow flowers.

There were still a few of the bright yellow flowers out there, although their season seems to have about run its course. Still, I had to get at least one nice green-and-gold flower photo to complement the purple-and-gold one.  (Sorry, Rachel, but I didn’t see any black-and-gold to shoot for the Saints, but at least I got LSU and the Packers represented.)

One more flower.

It was a nice and relaxing round trip, but there was one moment of excitement.  Right around the not-so-great wall, I suddenly noticed stripes and scales in the corner of my eye.  I quickly stopped paddling and coasted to a stop, and then over the next few minutes I drifted closer and closer to the first juvenile alligator I’d seen on Bayou Fountain in quite a while.  I was surprised how long I had to try for the best shot before the inevitable (tiny) splash and swim away.  Cute little thing, isn’t he?  With alligator photos dancing in my head, I finished the trip back to the park less than three hours after heading downstream.

As I made to leave, I felt a few sprinkles of rain…

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