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March 12, 2011

Dassa big alligatah

On our second full day in New Orleans, we decided to go on a Swamp Tour, via airboat.  You know the ones, a boat with a GIANT fan strapped to it.  That was us. 

Here is where we checked in to ride the airboat, that was 20 minutes away.
I love this stuff.  You swirl it around and it'll just come all back together.
There's one of the other boats.
And there's the other, other one.
We drove about a half hour from the hotel and checked in at the Lafitte Swamp Tour.  That's where they told us that due to the local parade, the shuttle wouldn't be able to take us there, so we would have to drive.  No problem we thought, here we'd rented a car and this was the first time since we parked it, that we'd actually driven it somewhere.  So we decided to get a move on, since we'd heard about the parade traffic.

How much traffic could it be?  It was just a small little town. 

We would later realize that it took us almost two full hours to go approximately 17 miles.

Once we got there, we loaded the boat and spent the next hour and a half experiencing absolute excellence.

Here's an egret on the shore.
All I can think of at this point is the "Tick Tock" music from Peter Pan.
Such a cute lil' alligatah.
Let's go swimmin' with da gatahs.
We learned a million things about gators.  For one, they're more scared of you than you are of it.  I could have jumped in with Ole Wally here, yes I named him, and he would have just swam off to get away from me.  When you hear of someone being attacked by a gator, they were either A.  provoking it or 2. took close to Mama's nest or babies.  Crocs will attack and munch on ya, but not gators.  Good to know.

He's coming right for us!
If ya look closely in his mouth, you'll see his marshmallow.
I fell in love with these creatures.
And the place they live.
Fun fact number two about these gators in particular is, they love marshmallows.  That's right, marshmallows.  They lure them off the shores with marshmallows.  Evidently they used to use raw chicken, but the gators would then jump in the boats, looking for more.  Just like my dogs.  Another fact.  Alligators have sensitive skin, you wouldn't think it, but they do.  If you have soap, lotion, perfume or such on your hands and touch a baby gator, they will freak out because it hurts them.
Along our travels, we came across a boat that was blown in from Katrina.
Dassa big BIG alligatah.
Dassa baby alligatah.  I wish the Mister was a better picture taker.  I look horrible.
This is Alfonso.  He's about 10 feet long and probably about 60 years old.  He's amazing.
We also learned the other differences between gators and crocs.  When you meet a croc, you'll see all his teeth, a gator will only show a few.  Also, gators have shorter, rounder snouts.  Crocs on the other hand have longer, leaner and more square snouts.

I'm not sure what this little guy is, but I want one.
The might King Fisher.  This guy entertained us with some fish diving.
Beautiful Spanish Moss.  When you hear of things being stuffed with Horsehair, this is what they are talking about.
One of the many canals that make up this swamp.
We also learned, that while Spanish Moss is in fact beautiful, one should be wary of bringing it into the home.  You see, little microbugs live inside the moss and will then infest your clothes and furniture and cause you woe.  But if you peel back the grayish outer layer, you will find very strong black hair-like strands and that is what they used to use as stuffing in car seats and other things.  It's referred to, as horse hair and is still used to this day as a strong stuffing.

Well I hope y'all enjoyed my swamp tour as much as I did.  I will have more stories and more pictures soon.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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