Monthly Archives: April 2016

Always going back to the swamp: Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve

 

Cajun bridal bouquet Black bayou Small Louisiana alligator Louisiana banded water snake

photo by Ryan Sparks

photo by Ryan Sparks

what does duckweed look like Palmetto

I know, I know. Another damn post about the swamp. Every few months I try to get out to Jean Lafitte to snap some new photos and fantasize about fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a park ranger. I can’t stop taking pictures of where I grew up. I even dedicated an entire zine to it (ahem, click here to buy).

Lately I’ve been working seven days a week between two  jobs, which leaves me with little free time. So when I got an unexpected day off from work recently, I called up my good friend Ryan Sparks and we high-tailed it to the West Bank. Just don’t tell maw maw and paw paw I went on “that side of the river” without visiting them. I kind of feel bad that I didn’t swing by their house. Old Cat’lic guilt dies hard, y’all.

Springtime is the perfect time of year to make the trek to Lafitte. March through May hits that sweet spot; the temperature is delightful, plus you can spot gators sprawled out on the banks without getting eaten alive by mosquitos. I’m also that weirdo that gets really, really excited to see snakes. Copperheads are my favorite, but as a former card carrying member of the Gulf Coast Herpetological Society, I appreciate all things scaly. Insects are another story. I want nothing to do with anything that has more than four legs. Banana Spiders, however, do not phase me. Go figure. If you want a reptile free experience, go in the cooler fall and winter months.

A torrential downpour let up right as we ponied up to the Bayou Coquille trailhead, which allowed us to play around with our cameras without worrying about getting our gear soaked. Be warned: I wore my shit kickers and I still almost ate it on the slippery board walk, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes. I do love the swamp after a good rain though. The duckweed turns the color of pea soup and the air shrugs off the tension of humidity. The canals were especially chocked full of vegetation on this trip, which created an illusion of carpeted clearings throughout the swamp. I wonder how many tourists try to step out and land knee deep in mud. I wonder how many of them know better.

You’re invited: Catahoula issue two launch party

William Seward Bonnie

art by William Seward Bonnie

 

Come for the zines, stay for the pretzel plate. The second issue of Catahoula is here! The Spring Issue features over 40 pages of art, photography, poetry and prose by artists and writers from New Orleans and beyond. The theme, “wander,” stretches the meaning of the word.  Poems and essays cover everything from daydreaming, being homeless, the exploration of one’s self, travel writing to seeing one’s hometown with a fresh set of eyes.

I decided to throw a launch party as an excuse to get together over cocktails. It gets lonely sitting at home editing copy with just a laptop and a few cats.  My friends at Sarsaparilla were gracious enough to invite us into their space. In case you’ve never been, Sarsaparilla is a weekly pop-up bar serving affordable craft cocktails and small plates every Tuesday inside Dante’s Kitchen. The mood is come-as-you-are; enjoy live music and board games while you stuff your face. Oh yeah, I’ll also have zines available for sale.

 

Catahoula Issue Two Launch Party

Sarsaparilla (inside Dante’s Kitchen)

736 Dante St.

Tuesday April 19 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

RSVP here on Facebook