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Bayou Fountain — May 16, 2015

2015-05-16

Bayou Fountain — May 16, 2015

Six boats going downstream.

It was just another Saturday on Bayou Fountain.  Six boats headed off downstream, two returned (but not because the alligator got the rest).

We arrived at Highland Road Park to find a group of people already there, complete with kayaks.  More paddlers on the bayou is always a good thing, so we were in high spirits before we even hit the tree line.  While the water was lower than it’s been in a while, it wasn’t too difficult an entry, although there were a few comments looking forward to having a real paddle launch.  Soon enough, we were all heading downstream.

The bayou, with a tiny dot center-frame that is an alligator's eyes.

There were no obstructions of consequence as we headed down the bayou, and soon we were at the halfway point around the Not-So-Great Wall of Fountain and the second, metal powerlines.  Someone pointed forward at movement ahead in the bayou, and sure enough, we all got a great view of an alligator moseying along.  We could see an occasional glimpse of its tail moving, and the ripples were quite nice.  Unfortunately, my camera only zooms so far, so the best I could get in pixels is a veritable dot in the middle of the frame.  (If you click through and go to the original size, you can see his eyes well enough, but he didn’t stick around to pose.)

Crawfish in the canoe.

There were various catches, none very difficult, in the lower half of the bayou.  The four kayakers soon completed their guided tour of Bayou Fountain and headed off down Bayou Manchac toward their destination.  We, on the other hand, turned back up Bayou Fountain to commence the second half of the expedition.  On the way down, we mostly enjoyed the paddle, shared stories and trivia, and barely touched much of anything.  On the return trip, however, it was pulling logs onto the canoes to be metered up, slicing and dicing branches, and dismantling a downed tree or two.  Apparently one of the waterlogged logs had a passenger, who was kind enough to pose.

Butterfly on tow strap.

There were certainly mosquitoes out there, and each time we stopped to work on things, the cloud coalesced around us.  Fortunately, we were fully head netted this time, which made things much less annoying.  (We found treated insect-repellant head nets for $10 at Academy, by the way, if you ever plan to spend much time standing still out there.)  We also had the fringe of an afternoon storm blow over, which was quite pleasant, actually.  Then the sun was out again, but with more variety in insects this time, including quite a few butterflies.

Small fallen tree.Just the trunk left.No more fallen tree.

There was one rather narrow tree that had fallen to span the entire width of the bayou not too far down from the bridge.  On the tour downstream, we’d passed over it without difficulty, but it would certainly cause increasing problems if we let it remain.  So, on the trip back to the park, we stopped and took it out — the before and after are obvious, and the middle photo shows the bare trunk after we’ve dismantled all the branches into little pieces (a few sprigs still floating away on the left edge).

Two tiny turtles (with a snake in the background).

We had some time left when we got to the remains of the recent jam at Rackley Bridge, but at the moment, it was serving as a reptile exhibit, so we left it alone for another day.  You can see the two tiny turtles in the photo above, and there’s a stick with a not-a-stick on it in the background.  (If you like your reptiles, click through the image and page left to see a few other reasons we passed on working it this time, including a rather thick one and a cute one.)

We’ll do some more cleanup on it some other day, but it was actually nice to have a reason to head home “early”.  That meant I had plenty of time to relax and have a meal before the evening’s night paddle, which, might I note, was amazing.  (Both the food and the night paddle, photos from the latter of which will be coming next.)

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