...you should have been with us today.
There was an actual pleasant breeze this morning, prompting Kim to call and talk me out of sweeping up dog hair (no arm twisting involved) and into an adventure. After reviewing our options, we ended up having a light lunch at one of the trendy chain restaurants near the mall, then visiting Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, just a couple of miles down the road from there.
The Bluebonnet Swamp is a much more controlled, people-friendly environment than McElroy Swamp, the one I showed you back in March. That means it doesn't have the abundance of both beautiful and frightening wildlife that McElroy Swamp has, but it's still a wonderful, peaceful place to be.
This is a display of snakeskins on a table inside the Visitors' Center. All of these were found on site.
There are three designated trails through the nature center, varying in length to accommodate different levels of physical stamina, and wooden bridges and boardwalks lead through the wetland areas.
I took dozens of photos of trees and plants and cypress knees, but the lighting wasn't great, and most of the pictures were unspectacular. I did like these big, loopy branches, though.
Early on we encountered this bright spider, who appeared to be waiting patiently for her lunch.
A couple of curves later, this blue-tailed skink scurried beside the trail.
We saw clusters of these beautiful berries throughout the swamp. If you know what they are, please tell me.
Spiders like this one were all over the place, too, always suspended just above eye-level.
Our most exciting encounter was with this snake. Fortunately, we were on a wooden walkway when we saw him, and he was on the ground below us. This is the only shot I got of him that wasn't blurry, but I wish I could have captured one that showed his pink, forked tongue. He was waggling it rapidly, no doubt disturbed by the scent of us.
Judging by the broad shape and triangular nose of this insect, I believe he was some kind of stink bug. Whatever he was, he was big, almost two inches long.
As the day grew hotter, the trail seemed to grow longer. This photo was my last shot of the day and was taken at a moment when I was anticipating cold, refreshing relief. These beauties grew next to the menu beside the McDonald's drive-thru lane.
It makes me feel good to know Baton Rouge's park system supports a place like Bluebonnet Swamp. We'll go there again.