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Bayou Liberty

Bayou Liberty

By far the grandest view in the park is on the bluff overlooking a wide bend in Bayou Liberty. Its next to the old trading post, an ancient building dating from the Spanish era and one of the oldest in St. Tammany Parish.

You can see a good ways up and down the bayou and watching the water's surface can be mesmerizing. Its like a visual symphony. Things drift slowly by like the clouds in the sky - clusters of hundreds of glittering water bugs of various types, creeping bands of “cat's paws” betraying where the wind rustles the water and murky swirls of floating pollen (or whatever the fallout du jour is from the local vegetation). Overlaying it all is the reflection of trees, sky and glittering sun on the shimmering water.

Additionally, the bayou teems with life in a kaleidoscope of activity. Its like submarine warfare out there. Schools of small fish leave gentle ripples as they move about. There is a random pop, pop, pop of violent attacks by gar and bass, each leaving widening bull eyes in the water. Unseen fish in pursuit of prey zip like meteors. Terrorized ‘Rain minnows,” the nervous Nellie's of the bayou, spook and suddenly flip out of the water in unison at the slightest danger. Its an effect like tossing in a handful of silver dimes in the water. Occasionally a tail breaks the surface when a fish makes an especially acrobatic move on a target. Sometimes a whole fish, usually a shad, will heave himself clear and make a flash-pose in the air. A turtle's head emerges and idly takes in the scene before resuming his hunt. Herons and egrets stalk along the banks. It all happens here and there on the bayou with the randomness of heat lightning.

 

Backlit Spanish moss frames the bayou in the late afternoon.

 

The rain swollen bayou slips away downstream.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 21:20

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