In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”
Not everyone finds the place creepy, but I do. The air is hot and humid, eerily still as the electric boat moves slowly through the swampy waters of the Louisiana bayous whose trees are hung with ghostlike, gossamer-fine, Spanish Moss. I can’t see the shore because the branches of the trees that line the banks hang far into the waters, hiding just discernible movements and deadening the squelchy noises that drift towards us. Now and then a snake plops from an overhanging branch and the shadowy form of a nutria, an animal like a river rat on steroids, can be seen slipping into the murky swamp through the yellow and purple wild irises that cover the banks. Household pets are kept indoors in these parts, cats and dawgs are all the same to a giant Nutria.
Turtles, herons, and egrets share floating logs, but trail your hand in the water and the log will move swiftly to snatch at it, for this is alligator country and ‘gators will eat anything that moves. In the bayous, streams that are fed by the Mississippi River in the low-lying areas of Louisiana, these wetlands make ideal homes for alligators.
The culture of the bayou is Cajun: a banjo is playing from somewhere over to the left and low voices are heard. It’s not romantic anymore, it’s creepy and scary, as my memory flashes to Deliverance (1972) John Boorman’s brilliant, action-adventure film about four suburban businessmen who encounter disaster on a summer river trip. The banjo duet and the film’s brutal action haunt me still, and this river, this boat, is a perfect scene from that film.
And I’m in the middle of it. And the banjos play on.