The Secret Garden: swamp edition

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(sorry for the weird formatting–I can’t fix it while I’m at Starbucks for my half hour of internet access…)
Today was marked by both frustration and fun.  In the morning one team had another not-the-right-equipment moment (as well as an “oops we forgot the housekey” moment), and the other team found we had to mud more when we thought we were nearing the end of the drywall sanding.

But by the end of our half-day of work, there was texturizer

going on the walls in our room, and the other team had the baseboards installed throughout their house.

We stopped at lunchtime to go on a swamp tour for the afternoon…and it was fabulous!

We started our swamp tour by arriving about 2 minutes after 2pm (the start time of the tour)…and watching the boat pull away.  They were able to call the boat back for us and we got on the tour after all—hallelujah!

The tour was fantastic, with stories and music (including an authentic Cajun Accordion!), cool plants, and, of course, ALLIGATORS!

We got to see Ron (“A Cajun Man”) call some of “his” alligators over—animals he’s known for a long time—and feed them raw chicken legs on a long stick.  PeeWee and Mo both swam right up to the side of the boat and jumped out of the water to get the chicken—really really close to us!

It was very cool.  Mo even came when he was called—we spotted him off to the right of the boat, and Ron called him and he swam over!  When Ron said “HURRY UP, MO!” Mo even swam faster!!

We also saw crude oil tanks and pipeline, tanker barges, and natural gas pipeline caps.  In the middle of an environment that, for the most part, looked as if it had never seen a human being it was so pristine, these were a reminder that the modern world has intruded on this beautiful corner of creation in a lot of ways.  In the midst of all this, we saw blue herons, egrets, cranes, alligators, swimming grasshoppers (those huge black ones can swim!!!!!),

the bald cypress (whose roots curve up and poke above the water for better breathing), tons of Spanish moss, and the invasive water hydrangea.

It was a very interesting afternoon!

When we arrived back at the camp, around 4pm, we happened to notice the thermometer at the front of the camp….and it was H-O-T!!!

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