Why am I here in Louisiana you ask?
Well I am sure I am captive here as payment........ for my wages and sins. But....there are some great things about Louisiana. For example...... every so often there is a woodpecker that knocks at my window in the early morning. Not just any old woodpecker...... but an ivory-billed woodpecker...Campephilus principalis.. It is the most rare bird in the world and widely believed to be extinct. There are other legendary, wonderful and even weird examples of natures gifts here in this swampy soup of life so abundant.
This swamp that has become my home. A home of people and culture that I have truly come to love.
It has it’s dangers, for example,
With deer season underway here in the land-o-bayou, it's generally a good idea to stay out of the woods. So for six weeks or so I've avoided my mail box in up in Tioga in fear of becoming a hunting statistic. We got to get there by poling my ole pirogue a few miles through the swampy bayou water. So today my dog Ginger, half golden retriever and half chow, and I loaded up and set off towards the Post Office.
A beautiful morning it was too, cool and crisp. The fog was pretty thick at first and we were navigating blind for a while, but the fog lifted pretty good by 7:30 A.M. or so. The gators were still slow because of the cool water from the night, we slipped right by them and they never seemed to notice us.
It seemed like the earth was still cept for Ginger and I and a family of playful nutria rats taking turns chasing after one another off the banks. What few snakes we saw were still hanging from the limbs of the cypress trees along with the spanish moss. Sometimes one or two snakes will fall in the pirogue and Ginger gets a snack if she times it just right.
After a couple of hours Ginger and I gets up to the dock and ties off and as we go inside the little Post Office on stilts, the old post master tells me that the coons kept trying to dig at my mail and he had to put a package of mine in the metal fire box. So he throws me a stuffed envelop, and it's from a yankee friend up north!. Qui c'est sa? (What's that?) the old man asked. Jerky! I told him. C'est fait ici! (It's homemade) I From the way the post master was looking at me and that envelope I realized that I should probably open it up in front of him and let him see for himself that it wasn't marijuana or some such. Raccoons and old cajun post masters also have a particular weakness for that funny herb. So I pulled out a piece of dried meat and stuffed it all in my mouth and in doing so handed one over to the old man, "Tchein, prend lait" (here take it)I told him, and Ginger and I headed out the door.
When I looked back I seen that smile on his face as he’s trying to gum that good old home-made beef jerky.
The poling home was extra special that day. It’s nice to have friends think of you.
Ginger and I had a couple of small wrestling matches over who owns the jerky. And a lot of time victory is determined by how you look at the battle.