A few Saturdays ago Dave and I spent several hours walking through BREC Bluebonnet Swamp in Baton Rouge, LA. Although it is located off a major highway (Bluebonnet Blvd) the park is quiet and there are plenty of wildlife to be seen.
At the entrance/parking lot there is a small pond that has plenty of turtles and fish. The turtles were shy and sunk in the water if we got too close. We also saw a water snake swimming across the pond!
The park's walkways are almost all wooden boardwalks like this one.
This is one of my favorite shots of our trip. The white flowers in the foreground are Lizard's Tails (Saururus cernuus). They love growing in the boggy soil of swamps and I've also seem them growing on the edges of ponds. Notice the tree trunks in the background. They have buttressed trunks which mean the bottom portion of the trunk flares out. This helps with stability in swamps.
We saw a banded water snake just a foot or two away from the boardwalk. When I looked closer, I saw a whole group of the water snakes! There were adult snakes, teenager snakes, and baby snakes. It hadn't rained in several weeks, so the snakes were huddled in one puddle off the walkway. They didn't seem to scared of us either.
One of my favorite native plants is the Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica). Indian Pinks look best when planted in mass plantings (like these are). Here at the swamp they were planted right off the walkway in some shade.
I hate these grasshoppers! These are baby lubber grasshoppers. Once they reach adulthood, they will be huge! And they will eat anything they can. This one is sitting on Dave's fingernail and was one among 100 little baby grasshoppers.