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Orgy

Bayou-Diversity (25 March 2018) For the past several days I have been witness to an orgy, the likes of which would have titillated the goddess Aphrodite had she understood it. This reproductive frenzy is botanical in nature and is revealed by the clouds of breeze-borne pollen that blanket every horizontal surface. Pollen is a powder-like substance containing the male sexual cells of flowering plants. Even in a small meadow or patch of woods, billions and billions of pollen grains are released for the sole purpose of procreation. For this to occur, pollen must come in contact with the female part of a flower of the same species. Barring compatibility problems, fertilization occurs and se

Backwater

Bayou-Diversity (18 March 2018) Few people in Maine, Wyoming or California can relate to the term "backwater" like those who live in Louisiana. It refers to the natural, cyclic overflow of rivers and bayous that inundates areas characterized by bottomland hardwood vegetation. Backwater generally occurs in winter or spring in response to heavy, seasonal precipitation on local watersheds or as far away as the upper tributaries of the Mississippi River. The key word in this definition is "natural" because backwater has created much of the land that we know here and continues to shape the flora and fauna. Backwater dictates the type of plants that grow in overflow areas by replenishing shall

Crow Concerns

Bayou-Diversity (11 March 2018) [Crows are very intelligent, have fascinating personalities, and when I watch them it’s hard for me not to personify their behavior – as in this case.] Old one-eyed crow danced around the fox lying on the roadside. He knew the miracle was coming. Still warm into death, the fox was about to give up his soul. Crow had seen this several times in his long life with possums, coons, armadillos, and once with a yearling doe. Regardless of his past experiences, crow never tired of watching the dreadful wonder. It reassured him; at least it had up to this point. Even now he quivered with excitement. In a while the fox’s prime winter pelt rippled as if by a bre

Grizzlies & Gators

Bayou-Diversity (4 March 2018) In 1978 I photographed a young marauding grizzly as he caused havoc at one of the construction camps for the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. The bear would come loping across the tundra in the low-angle light of Arctic evenings to forage on the camp treasures almost on a daily basis. Workers were transported in buses, and he learned that lunch scraps were carelessly left inside. In a short time all of the buses were doorless. The bear would insert his six inch claws between the glass and gasket on a truck and flip the unbroken windshield aside in his scavenger hunts. Of course this caused a frenzy of concern and a real danger to humans. Various scare tactics were

 

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