Monday, January 16, 2012

Braving the Bayou

Last week I drove 45 minutes west of Baton Rouge to Breaux Bridge, LA to check out a bird/wetland preserve at Lake Martin. A Flickr contact, Image Hunter 1, posts the most amazing photos of roseate spoonbills and egrets and hawks. Now did I see any of that? No, but once I took a gander at the landscape and quiet beauty surrounding me, I accepted the lack of birds pretty quickly. The swamp, cypress trees adorned with moss, and beautiful blue sky were nothing to sneeze at. Okay, I did do some sneezing, but you know what I mean.

I raced home to see what exciting things I had captured with my camera. To my dismay the photos were sub-par! I think the sun was too bright which made the lighting rather harsh. In hindsight I probably should have lowered my ISO to 100 and shot on manual to control the shutter speed. One of these days I am going to jump on board with manual. Sigh! (Update: I shoot on Aperture Priority because that seems to work well..most of the time). :)
Taken with my iPhone - my phone actually produced better results!


This Cajun cutie wanted to pose for a picture. He feeds these stray cats every day. He was so friendly and sweet I wanted to take him home with me. :) 

Locks of silvery moss hung elegantly from old cypress trees.
We wore moss like wigs as children until spiders crawled out one day!


Who would be so STUPID?! This sign is probably specifically for Boudreaux. :/ 

Breaux Bridge is known as the Crawfish Capital of the World, so before heading home I stopped at a restaurant called Crazy Bout Crawfish and indulged. You can't pass through Breaux Bridge and not get crawfish. It's just not done. I dare you to defy this unspoken rule.




After I placed the order, I realized I would have to use their facilities. I had a choice to make:

OR

Finally time to go. This is the bridge that brought me in and led me out of town.


After that rickety structure there is the harrowing Atchafalaya Basin Bridge which goes over the largest swamp in Louisiana. The bridge is 18.2 miles long, but it might as well be 180.2 miles. I DREAD going over it! The wind was blowing so hard that I had visions of being swept off, plunging into the murky, alligator-infested waters below. It sure is difficult to relax after driving white-knuckled for that long.


But I WILL be back to get those Roseate Spoonbills!

28 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

(glad i'm not the only one stuck on 'auto'! i just recently 'advanced' to 'P'!) :)

that egret shot is beautiful! go iphone! and the cute cat cajun is sweet! i'll let you eat all the crawfish you want...

lisa said...

Gail, I absolutely love the silvery moss!
Really beautiful.

Question for you...you knew exactly what to do (shutter speed, ISO)...How come you're not shooting manual?????

xo.

Shug said...

I am very in tune with all these places! Sam and I usually make at least a couple of trips a year down to Lafayette, so we sometimes take a few off road adventures. We have driven over that long bridge many times and I am always in a panic in fear that I will have to use the restroom! Oh my, what would I do? I guess it is the wrong season for gators to be out and about, but at first I thought that was one in your picture. Now Gail, I (being a non-professional photographer) think your pictures are great...You really do capture some wonderful shots of some very interesting subjects..
Hope you have a fabulous evening..
hugs

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Quite an adventure and you did end up with some lovely photos of the wildlife and the views. 18 miles of windy bridge, wonder how the truck drivers manage. We drive a 14 seater van and any gusty wind is frightening as a driver.

missing moments said...

I laughed about using that moss for wigs. I would have done the same thing as a kid. I'll look forward to your spoonbill photos!

ladyfi said...

Wow wow wow! Stunning shots! Love the heron and those delightful turtles.

Kathy said...

What a fun day trip. Wish I could have gone along for the ride!

Pat said...

It looks like a beautiful place. I love the Cajun cat man and the sunning turtles!

Henrietta Hassinen said...

Locks of silvery moss hung elegantly from old cypress trees ARE AMAZING, so beautiful. That is something we don't have here. It is like many many christmas trees with decorations:)

Starla said...

Enjoyed the photos (phone or otherwise!).
I am still trying to figure out my new camera. So far I usually use aperture priority or the auto sport setting (since that is what the majority of what type of pictures that I take!!). I need to just get out and take photos...of anything and everything.

hootnonny said...

Interesting images Gail, even in bright sunlight. I try to avoid it so end up w/nothing. Hope Double D has no reason to worry.

Michelle Renee said...

What wonderful photo opportunities you have there...even if it was a little bit of a drive. Love the turtles and the silvery moss!

Butterbean Row said...

Gail,
I always shoot aperture priority too.
Looks like you had a fun and exciting visit.
Dont' take that Cajun home...DD would get mad!

♥charlotte

Anna said...

What a gorgeous place to take a photo walk! I love the silvery moss! Go for that manual shooting - I think you'll be happy you did.
Thanks for your comment at CE:)

Barbara said...

I think they turned out beautifully! I used to shoot strictly in manual but have recently started keeping it in aperture because I cross through so many fluctuations of light on my morning walks. Dare I confess I've never eaten crayfish? Used to fish for them with bacon, though. I've driven over that Atchafalaya Basin Bridge tons of times - it does go on forever!!!

Linda R. said...

hello my friend. I just love all your shots.. so glad you took your camera. I really enjoyed reading about your trip..

Hugs, Linda

Rosemary Aubut said...

Never thought I would appreciate cloudy days until I fell in love with my camera! The elusive Spoonbill they just sing to my soul! LOVE them! Worth the hunt. Great shots and quite the adventure! Wonderful as always Gail!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Beautiful shots, Gail.

Now, one would use the Clotile door if one was a lady, right? :)

Kerri said...

Now that is a place I would love to visit!! wonderful pics!
Have you tried using adobe lightroom to fix exposure issues. I've found it works really well

beth said...

i lOVE that moss....it's one of my favorite things every time we drive through alabama....i can't get enough of it...but thanks for the heads up....no capes for me :)

i can tell what a bright day it was and unfortunately our cameras don't like that. a lower ISO, a few steps down on exposure and spot metering would have probably fixed some of the issues.....or complete manual and telling that darn shutter speed what to do, like you suggested. BUT hey, i think they're still beautiful as we get to see where you live and what's around you.

xo

beth said...

sheesh...where did cape come from....i meant wig !!

Tricia said...

Well, that sounds like a fun day. Your photos look great, Gail, sun and all. I love those mossy trees...that's kind of creepy about the spiders though. Oh my, I think I would've about had a heart attack going over that bridge. I live here in Minneapolis where the bridge fell into the Mississippi a few year ago so I think about that kind of thing all the time.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

All are beautiful, Gail. Love saying "Atchafalaya" over and over again. My uncle and cousins live in St. Martinsville. My cousin's husband used to play for Edgar Winter Group and several others until he "retired." Rock-n-Rollers age too. :) My niece lives somewhere over in that area on the other side of Baton Rouge, too. Seeing all these pics makes me want to take a trip to visit. Regarless of aperature priority or not, I like all of them, esp. the cat man. :)

holdingmoments said...

What a lovely selection Gail.

The silvery moss looks so magical; and I love that sign.....don't feed the alligators lol

Hilary said...

I think they're wonderful. It's always a joy to see images through others eyes. And I love the cat guy. :)

icedgurl said...

trekking your superb blog! keep blogging and inspiring people!

cheers!
..TREK..

septembermom said...

Looks like so much fun! I wish I could go along with you. Great shots!

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