Black Bayou – located near Monroe, Louisiana – is one of my favorite places in the entire world.

This Acadian house welcomes visitors to the wildlife refuge.

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“Refuge” is the perfect word for this place. In this wild spot of earth, beings of the human kind can find a reprieve from being human.

Every time I go to Black Bayou, I get pleasantly lost in all varieties of flora and fauna.

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Fall is my favorite time to visit, when the splendor of the swamp is most evident – when everyone gets a break from the summer heat and prepares for the hush of winter.

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The boardwalk traverses the woods and takes me deeper and deeper into the shadows of the marshland. I don’t mind. Getting lost is part of my plan.

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And then when I return to the world out there, a beautiful old pin oak stands sentry on the bayou’s periphery, reminding me that I am not alone in the wide world and need not fear: Trees will always be near me.

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There is nothing like a swamp to make me feel at home on this planet.