Africa Lake- Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge

I took Kermit out paddling on Africa Lake in the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Africa Lake is an old oxbow lake of the Tensas River. The lake is smack in the middle of a large expanse of bottom land hardwood forest. This forest, the refuge, was the actually the location of the last confirmed sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the 1940s. 

It was a hot and humid day, but Kermit enjoyed being out on the water

I saw many alligators, I stopped counting after a dozen. The lake is very narrow, with very steep banks all around. I was the only person out on the lake, and I didn’t see anyone else on the refuge until I was driving out. Paddling down the lake among alligators, with great blue herons, anhingas, and egrets flying overhead I could almost imagine myself having gone back in time. In my imagination, I’ve also thought these great water birds resemble pterodactyls, and alligators are essentially dinosaurs. 

A great pamphlet, which includes info on Africa Lake and many other areas to paddle can be found here. 

The shore has many large and beautiful bald cypress trees along it.

This inlet leads to the “Cypress Cathedral,” and when the water is high to the second portion of Africa Lake.I intend to navigate through it sometime soon, and explore the rest of the lake. 

As I was driving out of the Refuge, I saw a green strip on the gravel road, I suspected it might be a snake so I stopped to check it out and found a beautiful little rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus).

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