Kayaking is a great way to view wildlife from the water
We’re sharing some pictures taken recently at Bayou Deloutre (Bayou of the otter) which has a landing just 10 minutes by car from Antioch, Louisiana, but feels a world away in terms of isolation. As my brother said “Outre” indeed! It was a touch cooler than it has been recently (in the low 90’s°F)and we were alone on the bayou, there was a sweet breeze running up from the south that cooled us off every now and then. We are getting better at Kayaking and are now thoroughly sure that it is the best way to explore the bayous. Really fun! Deloutre is lovely. Lined with Tupelo trees and Bald Cypress it has an intimate feeling, it’s just the right size for a kayak expedition.
About the width of the Thames above Medmenham and with no discernable flow, it is as easy paddling up north or down south. The water runs from Arkansas down to connect with the Ouachita River (the upper reaches of which we canoed with my sister and her husband). Wildlife sightings We had lovely sightings of Kingfishers, Herons, Swamp Turkey (Anhinga), many frogs of various sizes, a Broadbanded Water Snake and a raccoon!
We saw turtles, but they dived before we could get within identification distance – the canny little critters. We could make out the ridged shell of a Map Turtle.
There are so many places that you can access only by kayak, aluminium fishing boats have a deeper draft. Motors are so noisy. Kayaks are perfect!
In the shallows you can see tangles of wood, and fish moving about amongst them – also the aforementioned prawn about 2 inches long that was scooting about in the shallows of a sandy bay. It is a humbling thought that Louisiana’s amphidromous crustaceans develop from eggs in brackish waters of the marine Parishes and then migrate upriver as adults. Please see Professor Bauer’s webpage on Macrobrachia for more information. Our encounter with a raccoon was delightful. We came upon each other quite quickly and the surprise was mutual.
At one stage we had to wriggle our bums to get over a very shallow submerged tree, something had dined off some river mussels on the riverbank nearby, we noted! Another surprise was a sandstone bedding plane exposed in the bank. We rarely see stone around here. This bayou is very quiet and offers a lot of lovely views. One of the nicest was at the junction with a clear stream pictured below.