Black Lake Bayou National Wildlife Refuge

Kermit seemed to enjoy watching the various species of heron, egret, anhingas, and other water birds. 
My wife and I moved to Louisiana about a week and a half ago, after I accepted a position with the USDA. So far, I have found Louisiana to be a very beautiful state, and we are both excited to explore a different part of the country! While I absolutely love winter , I find myself appreciating the warm autumn weather here. It’s almost November, and I am still in a t-shirt and shorts!
Yesterday, I took Kermit paddling at Black Lake Bayou National Wildlife Refuge, in Monroe. The Black Lake Bayou NWR consists of forested trails, a lake, and baldcypress/tupelo wetlands. Last night I started reading the book, Bayou-Diversity, by Kelby Ouchley, since I have a great deal to learn about the natural history in the area. The book was recommended to me by a member of the Friends of Black Bayou nonprofit organization, who I spoke with at the beautiful visitor center found on site. 
I had the opportunity to see two alligators, which were swimming about 20-30 feet from the canoe. As I floated along, parallel to one, it stealthily sunk into the water, without leaving any ripples, and just a few bubbles to indicate where it had been. It was incredible! 
The flora and fauna down here is unlike anything I’ve experienced before, it’s exciting and fascinating! 




Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), is a deciduous conifer that has a limited range throughout the southeastern United States, and up along the Mississippi River to the southern tip of Illinois. 

Such an amazing ecosystem! I have wanted to explore a bayou for years, it’s exciting to now live near so many unique and beautiful areas. 

Just along for the ride!