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.

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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.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Clean Cats and Cool Dogs

Sunup this morning. I have it in here twice but Blogger is acting so weird that I’m afraid to delete one for fear that all the other pics will disappear too. That happened once today already.

When the cats come down to the dock with me very early in the morning, they usually settle into grooming themselves for the day. It’s as if they think that something really important is finally going to happen to them on this day and they need to be as presentable as is felinely possible. One would think that Alcibiades might be a little reluctant to present himself to a public too quick to call him overweight, or downright disgustingly fat. No, not him; he moves around the yard with a light step and gazes at you from the dock railing with a regal countenance. He looks at Napoleon and his svelte, slim body and seems to say he doesn’t care. There is no stress in his face, no diets on his mind. He is who he is. You can learn a lot from cats, I think, if you pay attention.

Life on the river the last three days has involved the addition of two needful little dogs, a mother and her three-month old (guessing) puppy. They just appeared in our yard, having been dumped near our house by someone who apparently didn’t want them anymore. I’m saying this in the blog because we are looking for a good home for them. If I had to guess as to the breed, or what might come close to a breed, I would say Cajun squirrel dog, which surprises me a little because those dogs are not cheap to buy. The mother weighs about eight pounds and the puppy three, maybe. They are about as cute as these dogs can be, and polite, and respectful and grateful for food, eating it with more manners than you might expect from cast-off dogs. These would be perfect for a family with small children. We had our granddaughter Elena (who is one) with us, and them, for three days this week and they stayed around her without frightening her at all – pretty remarkable. These guys will pay their way in personality, believe me. Why don’t we keep them? Because we will be traveling a good bit soon and the timing for owning dogs could be better for us. If you, or anyone you know, would like to take responsibility for these two little animals-without-a-home, let me know and you can either come here to get them (and I’ll even throw in one of my 301-year old cypress birdhouses), or I would be willing to meet somewhere within a reasonable distance from Butte La Rose. Either comment to this post, or see my profile for an email address.

Napoleon has reserved judgment on what he considers to be the two invaders. He spends a lot of time on the walkway railings where he can look down on the dogs, believing, I’m sure, that he achieves some psychological advantage that way.

The river is at 4.3 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, and will fall hard to 2.8 by next Wednesday. Man, that is LOW for this time of year! The Ohio and Mississippi are both falling too, with no bottom in sight.

Rise and Shine, Jim


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