Monday, November 17, 2008

Small Encounters on the Lake

Prior to the 20th century, the Atchafalaya Basin was a vast swamp enclosed by the natural levees of Bayou Teche and the Mississippi River. Today, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, occupies a 6000-acre site which was once part of the Basin. After a drive to the park's entrance, about 12 miles south of Henderson, we began exploring the park and meeting its residents.

Brochures describe the Park as being " ... at the edge of a beautiful water wilderness." There are 50 sites for camping in tents or trailers, and several cabins line sections of the shoreline.

As we approached the bridge to the area of the Park's trails, we were greeted by the majestic blue heron. For the longest period, the heron was motionless, waiting for food to pass by or silently aiding photographers.

At the base of a tree, along the shore, sat another resident of the water waiting for lunch to arrive. We had to look very closely to see this fellow, this young alligator.

One of the surprises along the trails was this armadillo--one of many we saw and tried to photograph. They are constantly moving, nose to the ground, pushing past leaves and twigs in search of food. Whether searching in groups or alone, they were clearly focused on their task, rarely stopping and never looking up.

This egret seemed to be observing all the happenings on the lake.

Some of those happenings involved those in canoes and kayaks;

others involved fishermen, living at a much faster pace than the other inhabitants of the lake.

We opted for the pace of the majority of the residents of Lake Fausse Pointe State Park.

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