Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Cajun Country Swamp Tours

The Cajun Country Swamp Tour out of Breaux Bridge, LA, was such a highlight of our trip that we did it twice, once at sunset, and then again in full daylight the next day. The first night, we were with Butch, the owner, and the next day with Shaun, his son. Both were great trips.

Now here is the thing – there is more than one swamp tour company, and you have to be sure to get the right one (this one is the right one.) It’s not like Florida, where you look for the sign. When you get to Lake Martin, where this tour takes place, there is no kiosk, nothing except a tour boat coming in, but even this boat doesn’t have a sign on it. You have to know who you are looking for.

These people were so helpful in getting us booked. We really wanted to be with an eco-tour kind of exploration; some of the swamp tours are purely awful, and exploitive, hard on the animals, disruptive of the environment. We read the reviews; Cajun Country Swamp Tours is the group we wanted to be with. Our sunset cruise was delightful, just us, Butch, who is a wealth of information, and a family of five, the youngest of whom fell asleep almost as soon as the boat left the tie-up. The second day we took a private tour, and they gave us a good price. We like being able to watch the birds, watch the light change, wait for the right shot – it’s worth it to us.

Lake Martin is beautiful, in a lowlands kind of way (it looks a lot like parts of Pensacola.) Taking photos was fun, and also a challenge. Here is the challenge; sometimes the camera doesn’t really understand what it is supposed to focus on, so you think you are shooting a heron, and the camera is busy focusing on the tree two feet behind the heron. Sometimes you want to capture this exact light, but the camera sees ‘this exact light’ a little differently than you do.

This is what the tour boat looks like – very shallow, so it can get into very shallow places, and so it can drift over logs in the swampy areas:

Focus examples:

Now, just settle back in your seat and enjoy the swamp and bayous with us on St. Martin’s Lake:

This is a special bird, the Black Crowned Night Heron, only rarely at St. Martin’s Lake:

Lots of gators, soaking up sun before their long winter’s hibernation:

You might think this is a stump, but you would be wrong. This is Shaun’s duck hide; he built it himself:

This little anhinga lost one wing, probably to an alligator, but has figured out how to climb this tree and then plunge down when he sees a fish. He can’t really fly anymore, but he is managing:

Thousands of birds perched in these trees, the ‘rookery:’

November 1, 2011 - Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, ExPat Life, Photos, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Very nice photos! I’d love to go there just for the photo opportunity. Not sure what kind of camera you have but some have a feature where if you hold the shutter button down 1/2 way it will hold the setting for that frame until you actually depress the shutter button all the way. You can use that feature to focus on something bigger (like a bush or stump next to the smaller object) and then shift the camera to the smaller object. It will do the same thing for lighting. Some also let you change the “zones” it uses for auto-focus and light metering so you can tell it use spot-focus (or center focus) instead of zoned.

    Thanks for sharing the beauty of your trip!

    Comment by Ken | November 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Ken, I’m using the Lumix (Panasonic body, Leica lens) and that is exactly what I do to try to vary the exposure. There is some manual ability with aperture and speed control, but because it has such a huge telephoto capability, it limits the range of what I can actually do and still get a clear photo. . . because of the dimming light at late afternoon, I had a lot of blurs, but I’m not going to show them to you! I love this camera, though, just for these kinds of excursions – when you have to shoot fast to get the shot, the camera can capture it. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by saladsnail | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thanks, SaladSnail 🙂 I understand temperatures are dropping in Doha, just a little, these days.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  5. so cool! what great photos and what an amazing tour!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  6. 🙂 C’mon down, Professor Diamond! No snow down here!

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  7. Wow, Super pictures. Makes me realize I’d better get our photography classes lined up really soon!

    Comment by patzee | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  8. It’s all in the camera, Patzee 🙂 I take lots of photos; you only get to see the better ones 🙂 You will each want your own camera – we all see different things.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 4, 2011 | Reply


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