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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New State Park

A new park recently opened up about an hour from home; Bogue Chitto State Park. "Bogue Chitto" (the name of the river the park runs along and where my friend and I went tubing a couple of years back,) is Choctaw for "big creek." I've been just itching to go, although crowds have been large since it opened 2 weekends ago. Despite it being a holiday weekend, Charles and I went to check it out the other day. Admission for day use is a mere $1 per person. Who says our gov't doesn't sometimes get things right?

The park is sizeable and has a beach along the river for swimming, picnics or BBQ. The picture above is one of the funkier plants that grow in the beach area. Here's a wider shot of the river, itself;

(There was a great blue heron across the river just before I took this shot, but he flew away before I could get my camera up.)

The (noisy, crowded,) day use area (not shown,) has lots of splashy, water-based fountains and fun for the kids (and more BBQ pits.) We headed away from that, toward the hiking trails, where Charles spotted this small, American toad. In this area I also found a red-headed woodpecker's primary flight feather and we saw a prothonotary warbler.

There is "water, water everywhere" around this park, but here in S. Louisiana, that usually means gators, too.

See what I mean?

The river is beautifully clear. After checking out some of the upland trails, we went down to the boardwalk in the gorge.

Ebony jewelwing, a local damselfly (slightly different from dragonflies, although we saw plenty of those, as well.)

As temperatures increased, we appreciated the shade of the boardwalk. There's an area down here commonly known as "Frickes Cave," although that's a bit of a misnomer. Some people mistake the delicate sandstone spires for stalagmites, but the two are completely unrelated.

We didn't get down by Frickes Cave (where the spires stand a couple of feet tall,) but I did see some of the sandstone spire process not far from where I'd parked.

Summer azure butterfly (thanks to Ray Simpson for the ID.)

There were lots of people fishing (and lots of places to do it.) We didn't manage to explore the whole park--there are 7 miles of hiking trails (and 14 miles of equestrian trails,) after all--but we'll definitely go back to this beautiful area once things cool down a bit.

(Also, happy belated birthday to Roger Waters, who turned 67 on Sept. 6th.)

21 comments:

Sidney said...

Very lovely.

debra said...

lovely photos, Lana. Thanks for another look at the place you call home.

troutbirder said...

How neat. New state parks are a rarity here due to budget problems.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely fun. I want to explore the gorge much more.

Halcyon said...

This looks like a really nice park. And glad it's affordable so everyone can share in nature's beauty. :)

My MiL is in town from Germany. We're headed to New Orleans next weekend. We're definitely going to take her on a swamp tour.

laughingwolf said...

great fun, but beware them thar gators!

Erik Donald France said...

Those are way cool photos, looks like an amazing place~~~~~

"Bogue" was also slang in Chapel Hill for something along the line of "Bogus," but I'll have to check. Totally forgot that~

FreakSmack said...

I really like the beach plant photo, it's kind of trippy as it almost looks like I'm looking at it at eye level and not at a downward angle.

nothingprofound said...

Exquiite photos. Love the "water, water everywhere" one especially. Great textures.

Cloudia said...

You are the best rambling companion!



Charles too, of course....

Love your eye, Lana.



Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Natasha Fondren said...

Gorgeous! I love that toad! I love this post. I need to get out more!

Merisi said...

Beautiful! Light and shade in the last picture almost pull me in, I imagine the noises of nature surrounding it.

I grew up playing in and around swamps, albeit small ones, no gators involved (they greatest danger was sinking in on frail paths).

I wonder about the beach and swimming amongst gators.

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Lana Gramlich said...

Sidney, nothingprofound, Cloudia & blogger roots; Thank you. :)

debra; Anytime. Always glad to share! ;)

troutbirder; I know. In some states they're even closing by the dozens--it's very sad. I think that, were it not for the influx of cash after Hurricane Katrina, we wouldn't have this park, either.

Charles; Yes! I'm greatly looking forward to cooler weather!

Halcyon; It's a wonderful park & I hope to take full advantage! You definitely need to take your MiL on a swamp tour! It'd be a shame to come all this way & not take the opportunity! We've always enjoyed Dr. Wagner's Honey Island swamp tour, but it may be out of your way. There are tons of them around, of course.

laughingwolf; Believe it or not, gators are usually more afraid of you than you need to be of them. Caution around the world's strongest jaws is never a bad idea, though!

Erik; It really is awesome. My photos don't even include the lowland areas!

FreakSmack; I liked it, too. They were all around the beach area. I'll have to see if I can find out what they are...

Natasha; Thank you kindly. "Getting out" is what I'm all about, myself. I think the world would be a better place if more people enjoyed nature more often.

Merisi; Most of the nature noises around here days are cicadas. In some areas (like the Flatwoods,) they even drown out the birds. I think the river is relatively gator-free--after all, there are some campgrounds and a place to go tubing along it's length. Besides, there are plenty of other areas they'd likely prefer, NOT filled with splashing, yelling kids (which are likely to scare off any of its prey, anyway.)

Travis Erwin said...

I'm always glad to hear of new land set aside for the public to use and explore.

Maalie said...

Wow, what exciting pictures! You ceretainly have some beautiful national parks there. Some of those pictures remind me of te Everglades, where I have been twice.

letspaintnature.com said...

What a beautiful new park! I'm with you on the crowds...walk the other way! Thanks for the hike :D

Travis Cody said...

Sure looks peaceful!

eric1313 said...

That sure is a big creek! The wildlife is amazing.

Loved the rime of the ancient mariner bit.

timethief said...

Your photos are so compelling that when I view them I feel like I have been transported and I'm in the park with you.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind the history of Fricke's cave. #Deadmanwalking

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