This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Today there is a brown thrasher singing at the top of a 60 foot sweetgum tree. It is another sign that the seasons are progressing to the degree dictated by our climate, and the thrasher is announcing the progression from winter to spring. It is always a surprise to me to see that bird at the top of the highest tree it can find, totally exposed to the entire world. If you know how very reclusive it is all the rest of the year, you know how odd it is to see it anywhere but under a bush thrashing through the leaves in search of things edible. It just seems so out of place up there. And yet, that’s where it belongs at this time of year, at this time in the cycle. The double notes are what sets the song of the brown thrasher apart from its close kin – the mockingbird. The latter will sing in a similar way, but it repeats the notes more than two or three times, usually. It really is pretty noticeable. Chances are these birds can be heard these days anywhere we happen to live, if we pay attention, and look up. Just like a person trying to get a message out, they seek the highest perch and start announcing.

Noah Evan, our latest grandchild, was born last night. He reminds me that his cycle is beginning today. If all the history of life, from the beginning, could be thought of as on a moving train, we boarded the train when we were born, and we will get off at the station appointed to us. During the time we are on the train, all of our life happens, and the train keeps moving all the while – my part of the train has picked up computers along the way, my father’s part of the train had none. But his part of the train learned of automobiles for the first time. Now, Noah Evan has just boarded the train, and he will be carried along on it for the time he has. And I wonder what wonders the train will pick up while he is on it?

This picture has always had a cyclic feeling to it, for me. The elderberry flowers seem to symbolize promising new life and, the old brown leaf, life that has experienced the train ride.

The river is at 5.4 on the Butte La Rose gauge today, and it looks like it will take a stand, as they say, at about 5.5 for the next four or five days. The Mississippi and Ohio are still falling. No water coming yet.

Rise and Shine, Jim


Blogger Brigette said...

Congratz on your new grandchild! I hope that everyone is doing well, and I love his name. Thanks for sharing the wonderful news.

March 03, 2006 3:28 PM  

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