7.27pm, Monday 5th November, Breaux Bridge, St Martins Parish, Louisiana, USA
Evening nature lovers, I’ve just boxed up my dinner and headed back to the Bayou Teche Bed and Breakfast because there’s been a severe storm warning issued for Central Louisiana, including St Martins Parish … that’s me. So I’m finishing my fried shrimp – they’re in season right now, all local Gulf shrimp, nothing frozen – salad inside whilst the lightning is playing 360 degrees around the sky outside. It’s been hailing 20 minutes away, so we’ll get that shortly. Out with the candle and lighter … just in case! I got the USA ABC Channel 9 News ‘Stormtracker’ free app put on my iPad for whenever I’m over here, and it’s been worth its weight in peanut shells! It’s let me know airport delays and 5 day forecasts ongoing, and right now has big orange sections – that’s ‘danger, danger’ stuff – right where we are, just east of Lafayette.
So cross your fingers it will blow through tonight, as I want to be on the road tomorrow.
Good thing Norbert Le Blanc – our Bayou King swamp guide – took us out on Lake Martin early and got us back in before it all started getting ugly. What a great way to see the bayou – the giant blue herons, white herons, tortoises , the cormorants, the live oaks covered with Spanish moss, the yellow swamp dasies that only bloom this time of the year … and the gators!
Yep, it all looks OK on that Swamp People TV show! But it’s all a little bit close when you’re in a 14 foot flat bottomed tin boat with 8 inch sides, barely above the water! And there those eating machines are … right there on that log over there 15 or 20 yards away. Thank goodness Norbert has top swamp sense and just idles the boat by – no Hollywood heart attack moments for him! He says they’re not really interested in us at this stage of the day, they just want to be left alone to laze in the sun, because the heat helps them digest what they ate the night before. They’re not aggressive, and no sudden moves, and they just watch us with those evil eyes as we glide by. It’s a little bit unsettling though, as that log floating by just a few yards away kind of flicks and swims slowly off in the opposite direction, or just slowly sinks…..hopefully well under the boat!
I’m glad I did the tour, but have no desire to go be an extra on Swamp People … they can have that all to themselves!
And PS … the moonshine was corn and fresh peach base, 45% and clean as a whistle!
See ya tomorrow, heading for Alexandria LA, then the Texas state line. I have to be back in Houston Thursday for 3 more days of Yalumba events, then home on Sunday.