Bug Shot Austin Days 1-4

What we choose not to do matters.Seth Godin, 5/20/16

Two years ago I heard about Bug Shot workshops given by some entomologists who are also great photographers. I was too late to register the first year I heard about it and the second year was in California. I was hoping that this year it would have moved back east, but it was in Texas, further than I would have liked, but close enough to be feasible. I decided to drive and explore several wildlife refuges along the Gulf coast.

We left on Sunday and the first two days were strictly travel. The fun began on day 3. In the morning we stopped at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge (N 30.45124; W 088.65537). Saw a couple of cranes by the side of the road outside the refuge but couldn’t safely stop. Although we couldn’t photograph cranes, we saw loads of great bog plants including yellow trumpet and parrot’s beak pitcher plants, and dwarf sundew. Also Orange Candy Root and Yellow Colicroot. The Refuge did a great job with little signs by various plants that were really helpful as was the volunteer manning the visitor center. We also stopped at Bayou Davis, the mainland part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Nice visitor center, saw an alligator, but the half mile nature trail didn’t produce anything but mosquito bites. Then onto New Orleans.

Traffic and traffic patterns were so crazy we decided to bag going downtown. A local (we stayed in Gretna which was half the price of downtown) restaurant, Cafe 615 Home of Da Wabbit, recommended by the hotel served a a great shrimp etouffe with two fried fillets; service was excellent, kitchen was fast, servings were large and reasonably priced.

The next morning off to Lake Charles. In the afternoon we went to Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. The “Lacassine Pool” is the main attraction. Saw coots and ibis. Tried to go from Lacassine to Cameron Prairie NWR; got lost, but finally found the visitor center at about 3:45 to find that it closed at 3:00. Two miles down the road however was a wildlife drive and a very nice boardwalk loop through a marsh. Marsh was gorgeous, but it must have been wrong season or time of day for wildlife.

Tomorrow will head west to Bastrop, TX southwest of Austin. Workshop starts at 6:00.

Yellow Trumpet Pitcher Plant, Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge. 10 image stack

Yellow Trumpet Pitcher Plant, Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge. 10 image stack

Egret at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge.

Egret at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge.

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