Oak Valley to Baton Rouge 78 river miles

We began the day with our boat secured to the shore and a visit to Oak Alley plantation located over the levee. This has to be one of the most lovely avenues of trees in North America.

The plantation is famous for its 300 year old live oaks and all the blooming azaleas and other flowers were a welcome sight for our winter weary eyes.

Spring phenology is fascinating when you travel south to greet it.  Yellow-rumped warblers - the first of the warbler wave were in the trees beside the Mississippi.
Red winged blackbirds, red bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse, mockingbird and starlings were near the plantation house along with Fox squirrels.
 Red winged blackbird
 Northern mockingbird
 Fox squirrel
 Back at the river in the trees and shrubs we found fish crows, cardinals, Carolina Wren, blue-grey gnatcatchers, ruby-crowned kinglets and a few other elusive birds.
 White Pelicans
Blue grey gnatcatcher

Flowers were abundant in the gardens, but there were also wildflowers mixed in the brush along the shore.

 Live oak flowers

And to add to the spring story there was a fresh population of dragonflies that have emerged from the water.

Kate gave our afternoon talk - bird migration on the Mississippi Flyway that was well received and then we settled in to watch the river go by.  From here to Baton Rouge the river looked like a thick chocolate shake.
The shores are industrial with patches of green that hint at its original, natural state.

Great food, music and the river rolls beneath the keel.


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