Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Creole Nature Trail

This morning after breakfast we took off for the Creole Nature Trail.  This is a 180 mile drive through the Louisiana outback.  We did about 90 miles of it.  One of the spurs goes almost back to the Texas border, so we skipped that one and took the entire loop from Sulpher down LA27 and loops all the way back to Lake Charles.  There are several nature and scenic stops along the way.
The first area we went through was the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.  We stopped and took the one mile walk through the Blue Goose Trail.  There were mostly birds here, some interesting plants and plenty of fiddler crabs on the walkway.
The weather was perfect today, overcast and with a nice breeze.  We then stopped at the Sabine Wetland walkway.  We were amazed at all of the wild mulberry trees in this area.  The birds were just having a feast, with these and with the wild blackberries along this walkway.  One of the areas was called alligator alley, but we didn't find any there (thank goodness!)
We hit the jackpot at the Pintail  Wildlife Drive.  There is a 1/2 mile boardwalk through one of the areas and we saw our first alligator, a young one about 3 foot long.  I tried to lean over and take a good picture of him, but he got spooked and jumped into the water and took off.
From there we took the car through the rest of the drive and must have seen over 40 different size alligators from
babys to obvious adults.  Most were trying to warm up on the mud banks, but a few were in the water, lazily floating with the current.  We saw a black snake curled up doing the same thing. We saw Rosey spoon bills, egrets, some beautiful black birds with bright red bands on their wings, plenty of these small ducks that John called Coots, and all kinds of shore birds.  Oh, and turtles! Some good sized ones, too.  What a great way to spend the day.  We got back to the hotel around 3:30, just in time to get ready to go to dinner.  More about that later!

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