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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Yep, things are changing out there every day. The bright yellow groundsel (Senecio sp.) is popping out all over the place, in yards that haven’t yet been scalped by mowers, in low fields along the highways and just about everywhere else there is a little sun and some moisture. It really is just about the earliest jubilant thing out there – wildflowerwise. This one is in our yard, which hasn’t seen the ministrations of Mr. John Deere since November.

Bird stuff. I saw four little blue herons at dusk today flying out over the river and headed for a comfortable roost somewhere in the swamp. This is the first of these that I have seen since they pretty much all left for warmer climes last year. Pretty soon there will be hundreds flying over at the end of the day, going somewhere to sleep. Also saw the first painted bunting, a female, in the yard last weekend. That green color resembles nothing so much as a parrot, it seems to me. I reported it during the Great Backyard Bird Count on Monday, along with three others that were reported by other people in the state. And, a red-shouldered hawk was eating carrion on the roadside, kind of demeaning for the raptor, but, hey a free meal is a free meal.

The river is at 6.2 on the Butte La Rose gauge today, going to 5.0 by Sunday. Ohio and Mississippi are in a slow fall.

Rise and Shine, Jim


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