Exploring the North Shore

As a new addition to the blog, I will be periodically posting photography highlighting different walks I take with my camera in hand. For this week’s post, I visited Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe, Louisiana.

On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, this refuge is home to 18,000 acres of pine savannah, bayous, and marsh land. This area acts as a barrier for storm surge to the surrounding communities, and a safe haven for a large variety of species, ranging from the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker to the American Alligator.

gator eye 5x7

In this particular walk, I chose the Boy Scout Road, just 10 minutes from the main office for the refuge. Of the parks and public lands I have visited over the last two months here in Louisiana, this walk has been one of my favorites. Since this was early April, the colors of the budding plants and blooming flowers made for vibrant, colorful shots.

iris and bug 5x7

Upon turning down the road, you immediately notice pine trees painted with large white bands. These trees are designated breeding areas for the endangered woodpecker. According to the signs and the website, this forest is maintained with controlled burns in order to keep the species in a suitable habitat for breeding.

Pine forest

One of my many, strange passions includes ornithology (At LSU, I even took Ornithology 4000 as my senior course to graduate). Much to the annoyance of anyone who fishes with me, I tend to stop what I’m doing to identify anything flying by. So naturally, I made sure to turn the camera at each unique bird that flew by on the walk. You’ll notice in the photos, I was able to get up close to a Pileated Woodpecker and a Downy Woodpecker. This walk also featured the Wood Duck, Great Egret, Red-winged Blackbird, Pine Warbler, and the Marsh Hen.

I hope you enjoy this weeks photographs. Prints are available for purchase on the Shop page under “Photography” or hit the link below.

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