gallery - louisiana
The definitive Dixieland jazz sound features a trumpet playing the melody, and the other instruments improvise around that melody.
French Quarter has dozens of Music Clubs where the rhythms take over.
This plantation on the Mississippi river has a one-quarter mile "alley" of live oak trees (though to be 300 years old) leading to the front door.
In this 3,000 sq. mile swamp, beautiful lily pads are a problem. They are not native, as they come from Brazil....and choke out other plants.
Coerte Voorhies and his son Kim were our Swamp Guides with Atchafalaya Expeditions in Lafayette, LA. He speaks fluent French. When flood waters rose to the nest levels high in the trees, Coerte and Kim saved Osprey chicks...and were featured on national TV news.
Osprey, also know as a "fish eagle", nests throughout the swamps. Usually the swamp water lever is 6 feet, but with the 2011 floods the water level was 22 feet. As a result, you could get closer to the nests on tree tops.
Although there are alligators in this lake, we heard stories about teenagers fearlessly water-skiing in the open areas.
The legend is that a plantation owner had a beautiful Spanish wife with long flowing black hair. Indians warned them to leave their land by cutting off his wife’s hair and throwing it up in a tree. Over the years, the hair turned grey and began spreading from tree to tree...and now we have Spanish Moss.
Atchafalaya was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1984 to protect endangered and declining species of wildlife and birds.
On a hot summer night, kids play in the downtown square. For adults, a Zydeco band plays a free concert at Festival Plaza Friday night.
Lafayette, LA is ground zero for Zydeco music, which evolved in southwest Louisiana in early 1800's. The music is fast tempo, and great for dancing. Primary instruments are Accordion, Drums, Guitar, and a Washboard.
Billy Ray flashes his fresh tattoo.