November "field" study on the Blind River

Each month, since January, I’ve ventured out on the Blind River in St. James Parrish, Louisiana. Here are a few of my photos from yesterday’s trip.

This monster is visible from Highway 61, near the boat launch. The river drops quickly in depth and pulls trees in with it. The tree shows many of the classic branch placements and angles you’d find in slanted bonsai. This is combined with classic bald cypress old growth patterns. I like to get out there early enough to get photos of the sunrise, but it looks like the sun is staying in bed under the covers.

Storms come and go and the river often disgorges it’s contents. This derelict wasn’t here in October. I know because there’s a tree back there that are my drone a month ago the way Charlie Brown loses kites.

Another leaning tree. There is plenty to study here. I’ve paddled around this tree thinking of how I could do a YouTube video on this tree alone.

Another perspective:

Minutes, and 50 yards after deciding I would do a video studying the tree, above, I realized I could do a YouTube video on just one branch. It’s difficult to see the intricacies of the bends, but there’s so much to see. I’ll visit this branch in late December or early January before buds break. Yes, a kayak trip to visit just one branch.

The good ship “Bill’s Folly”. The stabilizers are necessary because I reach too far when shooting the insides of hollow trees. Five years with this kayak and I finally figured out how to capsize it.

This tree needs work. Most of you know what to do with it. Feel free to discuss it in the comments.

Oyster mushrooms, maybe. Likely edible, but you never know for sure unless you know for sure. This is growing on a dead tupelo tree (Nyssa biflora).

If those were indeed oyster mushrooms, they’d go great with swamp chicken. Ol’ Mister Swamp Chicken was camera shy.

Another shot of tonight’s dinner with a note on the water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes).

When I began my year-long project I chose the southern side of Highway 61. There are plenty of great trees down there. Better yet, that part of the river is inaccessible to larger power boats. Kayak and power boats don’t mix well. Beginning in July, my access to the area was cut off by acres of water hyacinths. Damned invasive species. I had to rethink my video project and include the northern side of the highway. The kayak stabilizers help me with the boat traffic. Now in November, the acres of green is finally turning brown. By the time I get out there for my final trip in December, I should be able to get at the southern end of the river. I started out with three miles of river and ended up with six.


What an amazing landscape and beautiful trees. Thanks for sharing. :star_struck:

Thanks for saying so. It’s a great river.

What a place. Very special. Hope it stays that way.

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impressive pictures. I guess your approach is one of the more thorough in regards of reference for the species you work with. And thanks for sharing.

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“Thorough” is a good word. “Obsessive” might be a better word. I’ll be finishing up my year-long study at the end of December. In 2020, I’ll be going back for specific tree studies.

@Katsura45 has asked me to go along with him to study a different area. Might be at the end of this month, might be in January.

My son-in-law-to-be-when-he-finally-proposes bought a house that backs up to a swamp. I’ll be in there with my ATV.

A friend with land in North Louisiana invites me to go with him every year to collect trees. Might be January, might be February.

January is my own personal trip to locations unknown.

Six upcoming trips to do studies. 3 upcoming trips to do collecting/scouting.



hm, not to start nitpicking words now, but both tend to have a “negative” or troublesome connotation to it. Maybe something more resembling having found once true motivation?
This is something also found in japan. To really get into the finest details of the matter and strive to fully master it. Unreasonable or just a more and more forgotten approach and (elf-) expectation these days?

oh, and do not scare away the son-in-law-to-be with too much of when-he-finally-proposes ;-

best for your trips.