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, February 12, 2010


This morning there is snow on the river. It has happened before but each time there is something different about it – sometimes beautiful and sometimes threatening. It probably has to do with who we are and where we are at the time, so to speak. Today the snow seems only moderately alien and the birds are ravenously consuming all the sunflower seeds they can find. Even flocks of blackbirds are diving in en masse to pick up what is provided. They are not especially welcome. They seem gluttonous and greedy compared to the more sedate white-throated sparrows, goldfinches and cardinals. Because the blackbirds make a good gumbo, there is temptation.

I count at least 55 cardinals in the top picture.

The river is at 16.5 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, holding steady and then falling slowly toward the latter part of next week. The Mississippi and Ohio are behaving modestly and no big changes show up on the predictive scales. It is a very good thing that the river fell ten feet from its mid-winter high, allowing some room for the current and future expected high water.

Rise and shine, Jim


Blogger Bryant said...

Great to hear from you again. Those are some really nice pictures. Hope to see you at the Eagle Expo.

February 13, 2010 9:15 AM  
Blogger Alma Allen said...

Hi Jim,

Love seeing the snowy day on the river...but I have so much here. We've had snow since Christmas...and it's still snowing today. I'm ready for spring!
My dad grew up in Foley, Alabama...they didn't have much money. He said they would cook robins for dinner....but blackbird gumbo? It just doesn't sound like there would be enough meat on these birds to be worth it!

February 14, 2010 2:12 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Bryant, thanks for the comment. Eagle Expo getting to expensive for me to do. I guess I will find some eagles on my own. But sorry to miss seeing you there.

February 14, 2010 8:16 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Alma, a little dusting is quite enough for us thank you very much. It was pretty from daybreak to about 11:00 am, and then it was gone. Blackbird gumbo? Oh yes. Sixty years ago it was a winter favorite down here. We could harvest the birds in the ricefields, where they were considered a nuisance species. It took a little time to prepare them, but what a tasty reward. Robins too, but not in quantity. I guess this would not meet today's wildlife ethics standards, but that was then, not now. Thanks for the comment. Stay warm. Jim

February 14, 2010 8:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home