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.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wet is Good

Sunset on the river yesterday.

Yes, it rained about an inch and a quarter today. It rained hard and fast and when it finished (after about an hour and a half) there was none on the ground. Just sucked up and disappeared, it did. Maybe the figs and other things will grow some, they look pretty puny right now.

This time of year we have all the hatchling prothonotary warblers and their parents wanting to bathe in our birdbath just before dark. Now, it rained hard on them this morning, and I know they got very wet, but here they came again to bathe before retiring for the night. Two baths in one day, hm. All those bright yellow birds around the bath rim (as many as 14 at one time) is pretty impressive. I had to put up a wire cage around the bath to keep some space between Napoleon and the birds. It works, and he doesn’t’ like it.

No hits yet on the little dogs which you can have just for the asking. Napoleon will tolerate a lot from them, but when it comes to the dogs coming onto the dock, which he apparently considers to be his, he becomes possessive. He set up at the end of the gangplank to the dock and dared the dogs to come across. They didn’t.

There is a lot more disease among the garden plants this year, more than usual I mean. We lost half of our tomato plants to some kind of wilt, and some of the cantaloupes died too. I have never had either of these happen. Could it be that we need more of a winter than we had? Could cold weather keep some things in check? Another thing is wasps. I have no quarrel with wasps, but this year there seems to be a lot more nests than I’m used to seeing. I don’t kill them if they’re not where we walk around, but I had to kill seven paper wasp nests in the boathouse today – seven! Three would be a big number in earlier years. I also had to kill a cottonmouth moccasin yesterday. It was near the shop and too close to where we need to be. I would have removed it instead of killing it if I had had the time, but I didn’t.

The river is still at 4.4 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, falling to 2.2 by Wednesday. At that stage it gets so shallow at the junction of the Atchafalaya and the Whiskey Bay pilot channel that you have to be careful even in an outboard. The Ohio and Mississippi are either on a stand or falling.

Rise and Shine, Jim


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