Sunday, November 18, 2007

i'm in love with an alligator

I’ve always wondered what a bayou was, so we set out today to find out first-hand. We went on a swamp tour that was actually quite fun and informative. Our guide was a local guy, a former firefighter, who was even better than me at spotting snakes in the bushes. We saw lots of alligators, turtles, egrets, herons, trees, remarkably misplaced houses (thanks to the 30+ft storm surge from Katrina), etc.

The guide was rehabilitating a little (2 ft-ish) alligator, which he brought along on the boat. I got to hold Allie the Alligator for about an hour after everyone else squealed over him/her for a few minutes. Petra was the only other person on the boat who wanted to really cuddle with him/her, but was kind enough to let me co-opt his/her attention. I am in love. Allie is soft, cuddly, smiley, adorable, and has beautiful eyes. I know Allie is really a vicious wild lizard, but that knowledge does not dampen my affection. I miss him/her. I want a pet alligator now. Petra says I’m not allowed.

In other news, there are massive marsh fires east of New Orleans that we’ve been watching from afar for days now. The smoke reaches all the way over the city, and we can smell it outside the bunkhouse here when the wind blows the right way. The smell reminds me quite a bit of India. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets have resulted from the pollution. We got up early this morning and walked almost all the way downtown and back (4+ miles) reveling in the especially-golden light.

We could see the smoke from these fires all the way from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where we stopped to play on the beach after the swamp tour. The area was devoid of most human inhabitants, as the eye of the storm destroyed this part of the Gulf coast, but it was lovely. White sand beaches, bathwater-warm salty salty water, palm trees, live oaks (of course), and silence. (photos of the beach and morning walk added to the sidebar slideshow.)

If I go missing, you might find me happily hiding with my pet alligator clan in the Gulf Coast bayous. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. :)


Reed said...

Tortoises and alligators… such interesting animals to dole your attention on.


Your trip sounds amazing, and all your activities continue to impress.

Love you guys…

Reed said...

... some great pictures too!

Sylvia said...

unfortunately, alligators are illegal as pets in MA...