White ibis

White ibis
Ibis

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Paddling on Lake Maruepas

I've been spending a few days with my Louisiana friend, Hulin.  He and I took a little time off today to do a short paddle on Lake Maurepas. This is a lake a little west of Lake Pontchartrain but can only be seen from one place on Highway 55. The bad news is that I brought my new camera to try it out BUT left my memory card at home in my computer.  (I was cleaning it off this morning and just didn't put it back.)  So I'm using some pictures Hulin  and I took on his cell phone, as well as a sunset picture he took earlier there. I've been here many times, including a few night paddles but all my pictures are on my hard drive at Natalie's house.

Flowers growing in the pass
 We managed to find a beautiful sunny day, between cloudy days and more promised of the same. It was so warm, we were both in shorts. We put in under Highway 55 were it crosses the bridge over the pass to the lake. But soon we were deep into a little channel that ran through the marsh along the lake. We saw a couple of small alligators, a pair of great horned owls, two great blue herons, one great egret, a half dozen double crested cormorants and as many anhingas. Small sparrows, and  marsh wrens, sped across the channel in front of us.Yellow-rumped warblers bounced around in the cypress trees. I caught a glimpse of an eastern towee flying low across the marsh  to a stand of little trees.  of As we wound through the marsh, several belted kingfishers went rattling by. Menhaden leaped and then fell back into the water on their sides. Turtles popped their heads out of the water for a quick breath and a look around then disappeared again. I felt as though as though I  was rocking on a porch, except my scenery was slowly changing.

Hulin
Our little channel was too small to have a name and kept getting smaller.  Finally Hulin wanted to turn around so we could paddle a little along the shore of the lake. I particularly enjoyed paddling near the shore and watching the reflections of the cypress twist in the waves.

The small waves made the cypress tree reflections corkscrew
 We only paddled a short ways in the lake before we were both starving. Hulin had promised to take me to Mittenforf's Resturant, located only a few more miles south. This extremely popular restaurant features crisp, paper-thin fried catfish. But when we got there there was a line outside  and we found we would have to wait two or more hours. We were too hungrey to wait, so we went to another restaurant and got a less than satisfactory bowl of gumbo.

An Earlier Sunset
Now I'm about ready to start cooking for a dinner we're throwing tomorrow. I'm going to bake sweet potatoes tonight along  with a rum cake.  Tomorrow I'll bake a broccoli slaw salad, adding toasted slivered almonds and Ramon noodles plus sunflower seeds to a package of broccoli slaw, then dressing it with a mix of olive oil and rice vinegar, seasoned with the flavoring from the Chicken Rammon Noodles. I'm going to marinate a pork loin in honey, Dijon mustard, and apricot preserves, then roast it tomorrow. I'll also have green beans with shallots and mushrooms and sweet potato biscuits. I started saving calories yesterday in anticipation of all that.