Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jean Lafitte National Park

This park is one of a few national parks in Louisiana. Jean Lafitte Park is not just one park, but many park sites across Louisiana. We visited the Jean Lafitte National Park: Barataria Preserve located in Marrero, LA (south of New Orleans).

This park is a great place to see wildlife, especially snakes. We saw many different types of snakes. One snake was crossing the path and David came close to stepping on it! Here are the snake pictures:

Dave found the snake skin on the porch of the visitor's center! I believe skin belonged to the last snake picture (a water moccasin, poisenous!) since it was sitting on a log next to the visitor's center. I'm glad we didn't come into close contact with a moccasin; they are poisenous and aggresive!

The visitor's center has a boardwalk trail leading into the woods. We saw the first two snakes on this trail.

The trail went through a section of woods that sometimes has standing water. The trees you see are bald cypress (state tree of LA) and they have knees! The cypress knees help with stability during periods of high water. If the cypress tree is old, its knees will be tall. The knees in the picture were about one foot high (average height).

These purple flowers were everywhere! I wish I knew the name of them. I know the white floppy flower is called lizard's tail, not sure about the purple one.

Now we left the visitor's center and are one another trail, Bayou Coquille trail. This trail follows the bayou and goes into the marsh.

This is Spanish Moss hanging from cypress trees. Spanish Moss can be found all over south Louisiana hanging in many different trees, but mostly oak and cypress.

On our way back, we came across this alligater! He's a small alligater, probably no bigger than 4 feet long. I'm glad we saw him, this was the one animal we really wanted to see.


  1. Hi Mary,
    What a beautiful treasure! I love places like this...the very soul of Louisiana. The snakes would bother my wife, but not my sons.

    I'm 90% sure the purple plant can be called pickeral weed. We have it here in the ditches sometimes. There's something else called arrowroot, so maybe it's one or the other.
    Looks like you'll be getting rain tongiht. Lucky!
    David/ Houston Texas

  2. Yes it is pickeral weed. Someone emailed me and told me the name. Glad you enjoyed the pictures!

  3. You took some awesome photos! I can't believe how many snakes you came across! Cypress trees and moss are one of my favorite scenes of the South.

  4. Creepy creepy creepy snakes, but they are really cool to see in nature. This place looks amazing!!! One day I'll get down there, but for now, thanks for sharing your pics and adventure there.

  5. The snake that shed, is a broad-banded water snake, not a water moccasin. Too many people can't identify snakes.