Eagles and Alligators
I grew up in the Atchafalaya Basin when there were no eagles and virtually no alligators (or beavers, come to think of it). A lot has changed in 47 years – since I was 20. I am reminded of this today because this morning I attended a meeting to plan the first annual Eagle Expo in Morgan City. There are now so many eagles nesting in Louisiana, apparently successfully, that a small festival can be held to celebrate them. What a wonderful way to note the passage of time, to see a species return to its original range. On the way to the meeting I saw an adult eagle at Lake Fausse Point (also the site of the most recent noting of a cougar two years ago, another returning species?) And I have seen eagles three times over the river at Butte La Rose since November. One of these times one of them pestered an osprey so much that the osprey handed its fish to the eagle, which accepted the fish and flew away over the swamp. The osprey followed a little, but soon gave up. Our national emblem, a bully and a thief.
Alligators are back too. Last year one took to sunning on the raft connected to my dock. It’s only about four feet long so I don’t worry about the cats too much. But I guess the cats better worry a little. This year two ten-footers were caught under the I-10 bridge, and that’s only about a mile away. My grandkids have reservations about swimming in the river, but we do it anyway. On warm summer nights you can travel on the river and see A LOT of alligators along the banks, and they keep me company around the boat when I run my trotline at night. Yep, there were none and now they’re back. It’s good to see.
The frog is a female green treefrog that lives on the dock in a five gallon bucket. Cheap digital cameras can sure do wonderful things!
The river is still very low. It’s 2.8 today at the Butte La Rose gauge. The tide moves it up and down six to eight inches these days. The Mississippi is rising a little, but the Ohio is falling. So, still no water.
Rise and shine, Jim