December: Dauphin Island

Wow! I am still in awe. Due to the charity of dear friends, I was able to spend 5 days in December in their second home on Dauphin Island. And I am still in awe. Dauphin Island is the barrier island that helps form Mobile Bay. About 6 1/2 miles of the island are settled and constitute the town, another 6-8 miles are still in their pristine, wild state, and the town area is dotted with lovely little natural areas. The only one I was not able to visit was the Audubon Bird Sanctuary; it was closed due to hurricane…

November: Bayou Desiard

For my October feature photo, I stood on a bridge over Bayou Desiard. In November, I launched my kayak onto the bayou for the first time. The friend who first got me into a kayak had been telling me about this stretch of the bayou he thought particularly beautiful. Back in November, I was still reluctant to take the kayak a new place alone, so I prevailed upon him and the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went there. (Just wait ’til you hear about December!) What an extraordinary experience it is to glide quietly among the cypress trees, see the texture…

October: Bayou Desiard

Before interviewing by telephone for the job that brought me to Louisiana, I had–like a smart job candidate–done some research about the place I hoped to move to. I had found photos online of the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and so when the interviewers asked me if I had any questions, being a somewhat avid fisherman, I asked, “Are there any fish in that river that flows through campus?” When my interviewers stopped laughing, they kindly explained: “That’s not a river, that’s a bayou.” And when I asked about the difference, they further explained: A bayou…

September: BBLNWR

Yes, I truly did go there a lot this year! It is well worth it. Out of town photog friends, if you ever come to Louisiana, Black Bayou Lake NWR is one of the places I will definitely take you. And, back in my kayak. Here’s one of the great values of a kayak for a photographer like me: You can sneak up on birds better with it. For some reason, a human paddling a kayak is less threatening to birds than a human on foot. Or so it seems to me. I don’t know how close I got to…

August: Allen Acres

Allen Acres is one of my fave places to go. I hardly know how to describe it. It’s a garden, a natural area, a butterfly refuge, and a B&B–all developed and run by retired botanist Dr. Charles Allen and his wife Susan. It’s located in the southwest corner of the state, just south of Cravens, La., on the edge of the Vernon District of the Kisatchie National Forest. I did not go this year as often as I normally would due to Covid, but in August I went down for the annual butterfly count. Dr. Allen knows what to plant…