Spanish moss on a live oak tree in Louisiana

“I Am Louisiana” by Paul Ott

“I’m Spanish moss on a live oak tree
Cajun fried shrimp and a cypress knee
I’m Bienville, Captain Shreve, Beauregard,
Zach Taylor and Jean LaFitte
I’m New Orleans, the land of dreams
Creole cookin’ and a Mardi Gras king
I’m a thoroughbred racin’ at Louisiana Downs
Avery Island and a catahoula hound
I’m the Louisiana Hayride and the birth of the blues
The Evangeline, Chickory Coffee and Baton Rouge
I’m when the Saints Go Marchin’ In . . . the Superdome
The Atchafalaya and an old plantation home
I’m jambalaya, a catfish fry and a file’ gumbo
A sugar cane patch, Pete Fountain,
French Quarter and Satchmo
Well, I’m the Mississippi River
As it rounds the bend
I Am Louisiana
Ya’ll Come Back Again.”

It’s nice to get away sometimes and experience somewhere new or an old favorite again. Last week, Jerry and I visited my daughter and celebrated my birthday in New Orleans, a city we both fell in love

Southern live oak tree

with during the 10 years our family made our home there. We moved away just two months before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and this wass the first time we’ve had a chance to go back. While we were there, we hiked a portion of the Barataria Preserve Trails, which is part of the Jean Lafitte National

Historical Park located about 30 miles southwest of the city. We had never been there before, so the strange and beautiful flora of this classic Louisiana wetland was a pleasure to experience.

Giant blue iris - Louisiana state wildflower

Cypress knees and young alligator

Savinia in the bayou

Spanish moss and dwarf palmetto

Bald cypress

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  • About the Author

    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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