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Don’t be a stranger to the swamp

 

Stranger to the swamp

by Jake Beale

I’m no stranger to the outdoors, however, the most amazing wildlife viewing of my life has occurred the last few weeks while guiding with Nola Swamp Tours. Some notable moments that touched my soul include seeing a hummingbird feeding on a Louisiana iris, Earth Day. Paddling behind a barred owl crossing the channel directly in front of me three times with a snake in its mouth. What does it mean?!  What tours can I see Baby alligators chewing nails off of vegetation, and adults basking and upon one another and happily gaping. Mother bald eagle feeding her two young, and days later witnessing their first hovering flights above the nest. The ever present dance of the dragonflies and damselflies, provoke trust in the process, and I cherish the opportunity to share the waters and experience.

The flora is equally impressionable, and I feel close to the spring of 2018 having watched the cypresses needles thicken and the iris bloom and fade. The arrowhead with their characteristically loving leaf margins ask me to learn more and delve into the herbaceous layer with curiosity. What is this beautiful new bloom? Please tell me it’s native!  Don’t hesitate to come out and join us!

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