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, May 23, 2007

Loud Night

Last night and today it rained about four inches over here. Coming home last night about 9:30 it was easy to hear that the rain had been noticed by beings wired to respond to it. The sound coming from the ditches and the borrow pit in front of our house was immense – if you can use that word to describe sound. Everything that was supposed to engage in reproduction in response to rain was trying to yell louder or better than its neighbor in competition for the favor of a female. Frogs, insects and even some owls were singing so loudly that when you stopped and just stood still it was impossible to pay attention to anything else. You can feel small in a situation like that. You can know that there is a world of non-humans living next to us that doesn’t relate to us in any way, or care to. I guess that’s why it’s easy to feel unimportant standing next to that world. But you do feel lucky. Lucky to have the chance to hear these choruses, lucky to know enough to stop and listen to them. Appreciation comes without effort, the night belongs to them.

The river is at 11.1 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, falling to 10.2 feet over the next few days. The Mississippi and Ohio are not doing anything dramatic so we should stay about the same for the next ten days.

Rise and Shine, Jim


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