Lacassine Pool in Southern Louisiana

The rain had stopped, but heavy black clouds hugged the sky to the south as we entered Lacassine Pool, part of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. We had driven on roads that criss-crossed the rice fields of southern Louisiana where dowitchers stood in the sodden fields with their heads bobbing up and down like miniature oil rigs.

Fishermen lined the banks of the canals on either side of the road, while egrets and heron stalked their prey nearby, seemingly unperturbed. As we drove slowly, mosquitoes danced on the car windows. Red-winged Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles squawked and guarded their territories as they perched on the still brown cattails and reeds. Tree and Barn Swallows swooped in and out over the marshes. Black and Turkey Vultures wafted on the thermals.

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