When we got there, we drove over by the Tabasco factory. The smell of the Tabasco was overpowering first thing in the morning. They offer tours (for a fee), but we decided to explore the Jungle Gardens instead. The Jungle Gardens (http://www.junglegardens.org) are are set on 170 acres alongside Hayes Coulee.
We drove through a stand of Spanish moss covered Live Oak trees that are hundreds of years old. They provide natural air conditioning as the breeze blows through the leaves.
We stopped at a Marsh trail and walked for a bit. We saw a small snake in the water, and as we walked further, Sarah spotted a water moccasin next to the trail. We almost turned around, but the snake went into the marsh. On the way back, the snake was in the same spot again. Once again, it went into the marsh. We also spotted an alligator in the water. We almost did not see it, it was so well camouflaged.
Bird City began in the 1890’s as a conservation project. The number of snowy egrets had dropped due to overhunting. The feathers were used in ladies hats. Ned McIlhenny raised eight egrets in an aviary. In the fall, he released them to migrate across the Gulf. The next year, six came back to the spot (with their mates). Over the years, it has grown to the incredible preserve it is today.
Along with photos, I also made an audio recording of the birds. We were fortunate enough to be on the platform by ourselves for a few minutes. The sounds of the birds was fascinating.
When we got to Houma, we checked into our hotel and brought in the luggage. Then we drove down to Cocodrie along Grand Caillou. We stopped at Ceana’s Cajun Cooking for lunch. It was another great fried feast. Sarah had a shrimp po-boy, Kate had a catfish po-boy, and I had a bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo.