Apr 11, 2009
Honey Island Swamp Tour photos
If you're staying in the Big Easy, but itching to get out of the city and see wildlife that isn't puking on a Bourbon Street sidewalk (or, worse, sidewalk vendor), then you'd do well to choose Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tour. Just over $20 per person ($45 if you require transportation) gets you two hours of thrilling education in swamp flora and fauna, especially if you're lucky to have Captain Cousins as your guide. Like the fertile waters at floodstage, Cousins' mind is overflowing with facts, delivered with unforgettably deadpan enthusiasm.
Crawfish. This is the closest I got all trip.
An apparently non-dangerous snake.
Can you spot the invisible skink? Put your nose really, really close to the monitor--close enough to leave a grease spot--and you'll see it. And say "skink" as many times per day as you can. Make it your mantra. I have.
A yellow-crested what-have-you.
This crane would chase the boat as we barreled upriver.
How do you tell the girl alligators from the boy alligators?" a youngster asked. Cousins: "From a distance, there's no way. In the younger ones, even up close you can't really tell. It would require digital manipulation of the cloaca." Pause. "That ain't happenin'." (The curious--and not overly squeamish--can learn how here. Cousins could have written this line: "...crocodilians generally object to such demeaning behaviour." )
Hero in a half shell.
In the more sobering parts of the tour, we passed "camps" battered first by Katrina, then, later, Gustav.