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June 2017: On a cloudy, soupy and humid Sunday, with less than a day to kill before I started shooting a conference in New Orleans, I decided to go on a tour of a Louisiana swamp.
The tour of Bayou Barataria started at the dock of Crown Point, located just 12 miles from the French Quarter and adjacent to the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. Lafitte, the infamous pirate, used the bayou as his “highway” to New Orleans.
The tour included bayou views of a 200-year-old above ground cemetery known as the Indian Mound. We also saw herons, a couple of pelicans, and the inevitable alligators.
A couple of interesting facts from our guide at the Louisiana Tour Company:
• The major difference between alligators and crocodiles is gators hibernate for 3 to 4 months a year.
• Male alligators typically grow up to a foot a year until they reach 6 feet. They continue to grow — reaching up to 13 feet in length and more than 500 pounds — but the rate slows at about age 6.
• Female alligators are smaller and grow less quickly than males. They can reach 9 feet in length and more than 200 pounds.
• Alligators are color blind. It’s one reason they like, believe it or not, marshmallows. It’s true; I’ve seen it up close.
All in all, an interesting experience and an opportunity to take some fun photos.