Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Faussey Point State Park

The Lake Dautrieve area will not be impacted by the rising water in the Atchafalaya River Basin unless the levee is breached. With each passing day the reports on the rivers crest gives all the families of the Atchafalaya hope. This photo reminds me of the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bald Cypress Swamp

Everyday I drive down to the edge of the bald cypress swamp in the Atchafalaya basin and watch the water inch its way up to the edge of the levee. The beauty of this area is so breath taking. You can understand why these resilient families will always return. Give these Cajuns just half a chance and they will resume their way of life in the Atchafalaya River Basin.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Swamper Boats

Artisian boat builders from around Acadiana have re-crafted these beautiful swamper boats from the 1920's. Today the aluminum skiff has taken over as the main form of travel for fishermen making their living in the Atchafalaya basin but these boat were truly a work of art.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This is the local gathering place for Butte La Rose. After the Atchafalaya gets back to normal I hope to visit there and listen to the stories of how this close knit community made it through the 2011 Flood of the Atchafalaya River Basin.

Rising Water

Soon the Atchafalaya river will come raging through this small community. This is one of the many camps in Butte La Rose that will be effected by the water. As I drive up and down the main road to provide for the workers filling sand bags I noticed this camp. I can just imagine all of the wonderful stories told by the families on this front porch swing. Stories of the last deer hunt or the fishing trips into the basin.

My hope is that the owners of this camp can join together once again and tell the stories about the Flood of 2011 right here on this front porch swing. Only time will tell.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Polka Dot Camp at Butte La Rose

As I drove down the levee road towards my mission for today I couldn't' t help but smile at the sight of this camp. I could just imagine boiled crawfish being spread out on tables underneath the trees for the families to enjoy. But with the next turn of the road the reality of the Atchafalaya flood brought me back to the scene of a swirling river only a short distance from this camp. The young men from the sheriff's office are busy filling sand bags for the families of Butte La Rose as they give it their best shot to try and hold back the Atchafalaya as she get closer to the top of the levee.

As I drove back down the levee road and headed towards I-10 my thought were of all the animals that won't be able to make it to higher ground. NPR radio kept playing old blues songs from the 20's and 30's. Songs by Gatemouth Brown and Jimmy Reed. So broken hearted and sad. As I passed several trucks with trailers attached hauling all of a families belongings I wondered if they were also listening to those sad songs.

These Cajun families are a tough people. They take the good with the bad and they survive. Their love of the Atchafalaya will always bring them back to this river basin.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Festival International and Cocktail Cove

The beauty of the Atchaflaya Basin never fails to heal my soul. This past weekend the Mountain Magnolia and a good friend came in to spend a little time enjoying the music of Festival International. After they had their fill of cajun music we headed out to the cabins at Lake Faussey Point. We brought along all the good stuff the Atchafalaya has to offer. Actually, way to much stuff but isn't that always the case when you think you just can't forget anything . We fried catfish and cooked up a pot of crawfish etoufee. We had wonderful goat cheese from Tre' Belle and a few cocktails. The following morning we headed out to Bayou Benoit Landing to unloaded Calpernia and then paddled out to cocktail cove. Now you won't find this name listed on any map of the Atchafalaya River Basin but as good friends will often do when they find a place that feels like paradise we gave it a nickname. Slowly we floated around the cove and sipped champagne while enjoying the sights and sound of the basin. The high water influx from the spring rains has the beauty of the basin coming alive. We met up with a couple that were docking their skiff to head out for a day of fishing. They found it interesting that weren't doing the same. Not today we answered, just a quick paddle to enjoy the scenery.
This time of year something magical always happen to the waters in the cove. The coffee colored water is replaced by a beautiful clear mossy green color. It clear enough to see the drift wood lurking below the surface. Its just a beautiful place to be in the spring.
As we headed out my husband remained at the landing to talk with some of his old friends coming to reset their crawfish traps now that the water has risen. It's all the fisherman can talk about at Lou's bait shop where they stop for their morning cup of coffee before heading out into the basin.The rising Mississippi River has everyone wondering about the effects on the Atchafalaya. It's just a part of our life that we deal with every spring.

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