The Bayou

A little throwback post to the great time I had attending the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in New Orleans, beginning of August.

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Alligator floating through the Old Pearl River in the Mississippi delta

You can read all about the theme of the conference, and how that made me feel very much at home, in this blogpost.

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Old bridge over the Old Pearl river

Now, I just want to treat you to some pictures from the marshes, swamps and ‘bayous’ of the Mississippi delta, one of the natural wonders Louisiana and New Orleans are famous for.

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The green wonders of the Louisiana bayou

As I learned on our little boat trip during our half a day break from the conference, a bayou is a slow-flowing river in the flatlands. What I also learned, is that it often hosts a variety of fantastic animals.

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Curious raccoons

A more important thing we learned, unfortunately, is that Louisiana is experiencing rapid wetland loss in its coastal area, as a result of large-scale attempts in the last decades to get water levels under control.

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The bayous and marshes on the Mexican Gulf play a crucial role as coastal protection.

One of the devastating results of this rapid wetland loss is a much higher vulnerability for storms and hurricanes, which brings us back to the main theme of the conference: with weather events observed and predicted to become more extreme, and humans increasingly disturbing the landscape, the negative impacts of global change are bound to accelerate in the near future.

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Alligator

You feel that when you are floating on the slow waters of the bayou, I can assure you. And you just hope these natural wonders are here to stay for a very long time.

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A heron hunting for fish

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Alligator munching on marshmallow snack

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5 Responses to The Bayou

  1. Pam says:

    Who knew that alligators ate marshmallows?

    • I for one didn’t :). But the guide (a cool local guy with a good amount of love for all animals) convinced me that 1) they love it and 2) it’s not at all bad for them, it just melts away on their tongue and makes them happy.
      Raccoons loved them as well, the cute little eat-it-alls

  2. You got some really great shots of the wildlife. We have many of the same critters across the border in Texas. Humans need more consideration when deciding where to build, as we found out after Hurricane Harvey.

    • Thanks a lot! It’s lovely critters to see, as a European I’m always impressed by the American wildlife. And yes, we should have (or at least start now!) put a bit more thought in where to build. Here in Flanders, we know everything about that, so many houses in areas at risk for flooding!

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