Monday, February 1, 2016

Air Boat Ride through the Swamp/Marsh lands of Louisiana

I have never had, nor do I plan to have, a bucket list. But one thing that I have always wanted to do is take an air boat ride through a swamp.  Today was the day.  

I had done the research, so we knew that the big alligators were still hibernating.  They likely will not come up until April or May when it is warmer.

The younger, smaller alligators will appear on warm days throughout the year.  The forecast today is sunny and above 70 degrees.  So we made our reservations, headed out and hoped for the best.  We were not disappointed. 

As a side note:  I really enjoy being NEAR water.  I like looking at it, I love listening to it, and I love watching other people in it.  My line in the sand:  if something lives in the water and uses the water for a toilet; I am not very interested in getting in that water.  I also want water that is clear; I want to see if a wild animal is going to eat me or pull me under to my death.  OK, that is a little dramatic.  But the point is, this air boat ride is clear outside my comfort zone!  Nonetheless, I bravely stepped onto the boat eager to start our adventure.

There were 10 of us on the air boat.  Our pilot/guide had spent his entire life in this area, fishing and touring this swamp.  After some initial instructions and information we head out into the swamp.  We were given ear muffs for protection from the loud air motor on the boat.  He stopped periodically to point out special sights or give us information about the area.
We saw quite a few turtles sunning themselves on logs. 

We saw so many birds.  The swamp has a feeling a rugged wilderness.  Somehow the delicate birds seem almost out of place.

We were thrilled to see multiple alligators.  Several of the alligators were slowly swimming along the banks. There was one alligator about 4 feet long sunning on a wrecked boat.  Another 4 to 5 foot alligator was resting on the banks.  This one was so still it almost looked like a statue.
We pulled into a small pool area and the pilot brought a small alligator forward for each of us to hold.  It was only about one foot long, but it was thrilling to be able to hold an alligator.  After everyone had a chance to hold the little guy, we moved to finish our trip.

We enjoyed seeing the various swamp animals.  It was very interesting getting so close to the giant cypress trees growing in the swamp.  I will never get tired of seeing the Spanish Moss dripping from the trees like decorations.  As a side note: we learned that Spanish Moss is not moss at all; but is actually directly related to the Pineapple.  Who Knew?! 



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