January: Iced Gumbo

You remember January 1, 2018, right? Cold it was, at least in northern Louisiana. But I heard about a thing called “1st Day Hike” and the idea had immediate appeal. I was ready to get outdoors in spite of the cold, and I had nothing better to do.

It was too late to join an official 1st Day Hike, but I decided to go anyway, and to go to a place close to home I had never gone before: Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area.

I was not disappointed. The winter woods has its own beauty, and the bare trees and shrubs are better for seeing birds. A raccoon came straight toward me on an ATV trail, and I was so excited my photos are all fuzzy!

Iced Gumbo

But a highlight was the rare site of Louisiana mud holes covered in ice. In Louisiana, we call our mud “gumbo.” I’m not sure why, because the mud is a good bit gloppier and stickier than a good gumbo would be. It’s the kind of stuff that in a dozen steps, your hiking boots become cement booties that would make a mafioso happy.

Gumbo–the kind we love to eat–with that consistency would be a failure for sure!

Nevertheless, the name somehow fits. And it was a real treat to see that gumbo crusted with ice–not to mention easier walking. Take-aways:

  • I do better photographically with stationary targets. 😜
  • 1st Day Hikes are a real thing, and I’m a volunteer guide for one this year!

NOTE: This is the first of my annual “year in review” series, for which I choose one photograph from each month’s “take” that represents a highlight and helps me reflect on the year past and look forward to the year to come. Hope you follow along!

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