Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Gators from the Atchafalaya

For starters, just remember that it rhymes with jambalaya. I'm referring to the remarkable swampland that wants to relieve New Orleans of the burden of the Mississippi River, leaving it high and dry. That is apparently what would happen if the Army Corps of Engineers were to let Nature take her course.

A visit to the waters of the Atchafalaya was on the agenda when I visited the Sson and family this past summer -- hence the assorted gators decorating this post. All were found at the visitors center midway across the bayous that seemed to go on forever. Turns out there is a mighty river just waiting to happen right in the middle.

I've just finished a John McPhee report on the Atchafalaya (in his book The Control of Nature). As he explains, a system of massive locks near Baton Rouge is all that is keeping Old Man River on its present course instead of pouring through the bayous. A curious paradox: New Orleans could be spared the worst of any more Katrinas -- but only at the cost of losing any reason for its existence. Final note: John McPhee is always an interesting read. Besides, one learns a lot reading his work.


worldphotos4 said...

Interesting post. We visited NO prior to Katrina. I'm not sure if we'd go back or not.

3Triangleforge said...

As long as there's Mardi Gras, there'll be a reason for New Orleans!

Granny J said...

steve -- I've never spent more than a day between trains in NO, back in the 30s, so I have no real picture of the town other than what I read...

3tf -- good point, though there are a lot of homier mardi gras celebrations throughout Cajun country.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Mamou has one of the best "homier" Mardis Gra parades and celebrations.

It's very Cajun.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- I was wondering when you were going to show up ... after all, it's a Cajun post1

Anonymous said...

I know, so sorry! LOL

I was working hard yesterday.

You know I LOVE every Cajun post you publish, GJ. :)

You're the Lagniappe in my every day.

~Anon in AV.

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