“Winter” on the bayou

Today, on December 14, in Louisiana, it was 70 degrees F outside! I was in shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals as I paddled through Black Bayou NWR with Kermit. This weather is the complete opposite of what I typically experienced this time of year, growing up in New Hampshire.

Below is a photo taken yesterday just down the road from where I grew up in Springfield New Hampshire. (It was taken with a cell phone and texted to me–thanks Mom!).

In contrast, below is Black Bayou Lake NWR today. 

The cypress trees have dropped their leaves, but before they did, they were a vibrant orange-red color. Despite the sometimes dreary-look of leafless trees, the wetland was alive with waterfowl, especially ducks, they were everywhere, and quite noisy!

Additionally, alligators were out on this warm December day, basking in the sun.

This was the bigger of the two I photographed. I saw four total. 

The smaller of the two, this guy was basking about 50 feet from the first one pictured.

Ducks flying overhead

Sometimes Kermit seems to get bored when I stop for too long to enjoy the scenery or compose photos. 

The idea of trying to get a photo of the ducks running/flapping across the water was a last second thought. I did not give myself any time to adequately consider or frame the shot, and I am not really happy with how these two photos came out, but hopefully they give you some idea of how impressive it is to see the ducks fly and run across water.

As much as I love REAL winters, and I truly do, I appreciate the interesting and mild (this time of year) climate of Louisiana, where I am able to paddle around instead of snow shoe or ice skate.