Monday, November 29, 2010

The Visit








This morning I said good bye to the Mountain Magnolia as she boarded her plane back to her Rocky Mountain home. As I drove home my thoughts returned to this weekend's trip out to Lake Faussey Point. At some point in time I'll have to sit down and try to put all the pieces of our conversation into their proper places. We had planned way to much travel and not enough sitting on the porch time. Then our discussions were of the why of things. Why so much times passes between our visits. You know what happened to our well meaning plans. Nature happened. This beautiful landscape just pulled us in and we sat and talked and shared our lives. And she reminisced about her beautiful child hood home and I was grateful for the chance to just sit and enjoy our friendship.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekend on the Cove


Planning a camping trip into the Atchaflaya basin can be a difficult task. You just can't forget anything. Running out of just about anything takes a drive back into town to resupply so I am carefully making a list and checking it twenty times. Canoe\ Fire Wood\ Ice chest\ Crawfish Etoufee\ Rum\ Makers Mark/ Hoodie\ I Pod \ That should just about cover all the necessary items. Watching a roaring fire while sitting on the dock listening to some blues music after returning from a canoe trip into the Cove sounds perfect to me. Did I mention the black pot of crawfish etoufee simmering on the camp stove. PERFECTION !

Friday, November 19, 2010

Atchafalaya Good Time Hunting Camp

As we drove down Banker road towards the levee only grey clouds filled this country landscape. Gus said, today is a good day for hunters. It seemed that every pickup truck we crossed had a four wheeler parked in its bed. This is the time of year when every father, son, brother, cousin, and uncle, heads out to a deer hunters camp on the Atchafalaya. These holy grails are situated throughout the Atchafalaya River Basin area. Their locations on a GPS list them as Buffalo Cove, Cow Island, Bayou Cocodrie, Whiskey Bay or Grand Lake just to name a few. They are as elegant as a six room lodge or as humble as a one room house boat. What ever the location it's a deer hunters dream spot for the weekend. If you could take a peak at every camp window I'm sure you'd find a black pot simmering with a seafood gumbo or a wild game stew.
After we returned home I started my own traditional first blue northerner-cold front gumbo. Chicken, Oyster, and Andouille sausage fills my own black pot. Fresh and simple with no shortcuts, its a tradition that is passed on to me by my mother. Tonight as I sit down to my own supper I'll be visualizing all of those black pots simmering on the camp stoves. Pots filled to the brim with whatever the basin can provide.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guinea Gumbo


So, fall has arrived with the first hint of what we call here in Acadiana Gumbo weather. I began making my roux at 5:00 a.m and after two hours of a slow simmer the time was just right to add the chicken and smoked meats. I heard a rooster crow in the barn yard and I thought to myself today you were lucky old man. You should have been in my pot instead of this store bought hen.

We raise Guinea Hens and they also make a wonderful gumbo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lake Martin Sunset


Not a leaf moved as the sun set. Moments before I took this shot several egrets flew past me returning from a day of feasting on crawfish in the Atchafalaya Basin. Several photographers were all waiting for just the right moment to get their perfect shot. I felt so lucky when I returned home and downloaded this raw photo of the Lake Martin sunset.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Snow Flurries


This photograph was taken last December. Today's forcast is for cooler weather to slowly start moving into our swamps. It's just that one day its 40 then it warms back up to 80. It's the kind of Louisiana weather that makes you forget that at some point it actually will stay at 32 for a couple of days.
For the past couple of years we've actually had a covering of snow that stayed on the ground for more than a couple of hours. You read about snow days for the kids up north and then you look around at this snow covered tropical landscape and all you see are grown up with turtle neck sweaters and wool mittens. Make you wonder where those things were hiding. Don't get me wrong the humidity here can make the cold wind blowing over the swamps bone chilling. Just ask any fisherman out on Whiskey Bay. It's a love hate thing I'm sure. One thing I know for sure is that Calpernia and I won't be on Whiskey Bay when the north wind comes blowing through the cypress trees but if by some unforeseen twist of fate we were, I'd be wishing to be buried down deep in a crawfish hole waiting on spring.

This photograph is of the Acadian's mother church, St. Martin de Tours.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Mountain Magnolia's Visit




A couple of years ago a group of friends flew in from Colorado and we head out into the Atchafalaya Basin near Bayou Benoit landing in St. Martin parish. We rented a few camps at Lake Faussey Point State Park and we cooked up all the Cajun delicacy's the basin had to offer. We boiled a sack or two of crawfish and fried up some fresh catfish. We even fried a few frog legs and some alligator bites just to complete the meal. My friends are totally amazed at the beauty of the swamp and just never get enough of it. This land is such a beautiful paradise and I'm so blessed to live here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peaceful Perch


I guess my visit’s to Lake Martin always reminds me that there is such a place that is so serene and calming that I could imagine myself living right there. Just sitting on a cypress limb perched on the edge of this rookery. The early morning light and the quietness of the swamp has such a calming affect on me that it make me want to tell every one **** life is just too short to worry about ………….no words needed, just be.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cypress Greys

It's a rainny day here in the Swamps. The cool weather is slowly moving into our area but just not quick enough for me. I'm hoping that soon this humidity will drift away and I'll be able to stir up a pot of creamy pecan candy. 100% humidity and sugar just don't mix.

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St. Martinville, Louisiana, United States
A tiny piece of land.