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Raw Land

Bayou-Diversity (25 November 2018) No doubt landscapes tug on our psyche. Whether a snow-capped Colorado mountain or a shimmering gulf coast beach, our brains react to certain topographies in peculiar ways. We are all different in our feelings toward distinctive terrains – some attract, some are foreboding. For me there is a landscape in northeastern Louisiana that never fails to stir something below the surface of my consciousness. I can put rough boundaries around it – Bayou Macon on the west, Hwy. 65 on the east as it rolls through Lake Providence, Tallulah and on southward to Ferriday. My familiarity with it goes as far north as the Arkansas line and south to the Jonesville area. I

Senses of Thanksgiving

Bayou-Diversity (18 November 2018) Thank you, O Lord, in this bountiful season for the five senses to relish your world. Thank you for the succulent smells of the fruits of the earth in the kitchens of our mothers and wives. Thank you for the odor of rich delta dirt on a warm, foggy winter morning. Thank you for the smell of wood smoke, especially that tinted with lightered pine. Thank you for the stew of odors distinct to our rivers and bayous— cypress needles, primal water, mud and decay, life and life to be. Thank you for the sound of voices of those who came before us and those who will carry our legacies into the future— our parents, grandparents and our children. Thanks for the muf

Bayou Dogs

Bayou-Diversity (10 November 2018) BAYOU DOGS With haunting "glass" eyes and varied coats of mottled hues, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs blend into the aura of Louisiana's mysterious swamplands – an important landscape in the breed's origin. They wander through Louisiana history in legends that involve Jim Bowie, President Teddy Roosevelt, and Governor Earl K. Long. Officially designated the Louisiana state dog in 1979, the breed is also called Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Leopard Hound, Catahoula Hog Dog, and simply Catahoula. Regardless of the label, the breed is one of only a few that originated in the United States. Factual claims of the breed's origin lack cr

Spanish Moss

Bayou-Diversity (4 November 2018) Spanish moss is not. What I mean is that Spanish moss is not Spanish and is not a moss. It does not grow in Spain but rather in the southeastern United States down into South America. It is not a true moss like sphagnum but rather a flowering plant in the bromeliad family very closely kin to pineapples. Often associated with our images of southern swamps, Spanish moss grows on trees in long, draping, thread-like, gray veils where it absorbs moisture and nutrients from the air. The plants are not parasitic and don’t harm their host trees. Many types of wildlife use Spanish moss in their life cycles. Squirrels and birds use it for nest materials. Parul


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