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.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


It was really windy on the river yesterday. It blew steadily from the east southeast all day at what seemed like 30 miles per hour, with gusts higher than that. I know that I am nervous when the wind blows, even now. I remember it always seems to make everything harder to do on the water when the wind blows. The boat doesn’t stay where you want it. You can’t predict which way something is going to go because you have both wind and the current to contend with. The wind pushes you upcurrent and the line gets snagged on logs on the bottom that were not a problem before (I guess that’s hard to visualize). When it’s cold, the wind makes it seem ten times colder – especially if you have to have wet hands all day and they are numb and you can’t hold the hooks very well and they hook you. Boats don’t fit on trailers when the wind blows at a landing, or it seems like they just don’t want to climb the trailer right. You get wet when the wind blows and you have to run an open bateau in the waves, and the hard, cold spray takes your breath away when it hits you in the face. When I used to smoke (37 years ago), and I would run my boat with the wind, the smoke from the cigarette would follow along without moving – at 30 mph. Looked unnatural.

These mornings I see cat prints in the frost, and Napoleon still gets his fish most days.

The river is at 10.8 on the Butte La Rose gauge, and starting to fall slowly. It will fall two feet more in the next few days. Still nothing much on the Mississippi and Ohio.

Rise and shine, Jim


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