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, May 17, 2011

2011 High Water - Eight

Things go slowly once you have done all you can do. We will not leave until we have to, either because the electricity has been turned off or the water has denied access in some way. In the meantime we took time to visit the people who have agreed to host us for the next few weeks. They possess a great depth of generosity.

The frogs and toads are anticipating having water for their spring cycle this year, and I would bet they're right. Some water will stay in small ditches and pockets long after most of this great volume has receded. Sensing this, Gulf coast toads, green treefrogs and gray treefrogs are singing in the early evening as we watch the water moving past the dock. And mosquitoes will like the small pockets of standing water too. As mentioned earlier, the big wading birds are very active along the riverbank: egrets and ibises, and even night herons are almost always in sight now, somewhere along the grassy edge of the waterline. Swamp rabbits and cotton rats are more and more displaced as the water rises. We have both in our yard, but not these individuals. Taken by Brad Moon last weekend.

The river has ways of teaching even those of us who think we have seen all that it can do. I let my attention be diverted late this afternoon while I was paddling the small bateau and I fell overboard, just like that. The boat zipped under the dock and there was no room for me to go with it. Splash. Camera, cell phone, wallet, keys (electronic) all went splash too. It was shallow so there was no issue with swimming, I just walked out, dripping. The cell phone and camera are now in a bag of desiccant. We’ll see how much good that does tomorrow.

The river is at 20.8 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge. It has not risen more than two inches during the last 48 hours. Is there a “calm before the storm” adage that applies to water? I don’t know. But starting tomorrow there is a predicted rise of one foot a day for at least the next five days. Five feet of water in five days is a lot of water in a short time. I’m pretty sure we will be out of here by Saturday or Sunday. I wonder for how long.

Rise and Shine, Jim


Blogger Amy said...

Just read on CNN that mandatory evacuation is effective for Butte LaRose as of midnight Friday. No one allowed in after 8 am Saturday.

I know you don't want to leave, but all your friends will be happy to hear when y'all have moved to the high ground.

May 18, 2011 12:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Yes, the notice has been given. We will probably leave Saturday morning. Thanks, Amy.

May 18, 2011 8:43 PM  
Blogger James Proctor said...

Hey Jim, I hope everything goes well for you with the high water and all.

May 18, 2011 9:13 PM  
Blogger Ken Christison said...

Hi Jim,

We are really enjoying your blog, though we hate to see what is happening down there right now. Be safe.


May 18, 2011 10:17 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Thanks guys. Your comments are always appreciated.

May 18, 2011 10:36 PM  
Blogger Rainman in Daytona Beach said...

try a bag of rice if the desicant doesn't work, it will absorb a ton of h2o! good luck and stay dry. enjoying the updates, be safe and godspeed!

May 21, 2011 8:05 PM  
Blogger jim said...

I might try it with the camera. The cell phone came back OK, but the camera may be gone forever.
Thanks for the comment.

May 23, 2011 10:35 PM  

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