In spite of this forbidding sign, our little foray into the swamp surrounding Fairview Riverside State Park in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, did not wind up in disaster. I am happy to report that Heidi and I still have all of our appendages. We encountered zero alligators (or any other frightful creature) on this trip.

On the contrary, we espied burgeoning aestival greenery and a few interesting insects. You’ll probably love (as I certainly did) the yellow Creole cottage situated at the entrance of the park. Wouldn’t you just love to sit on that wrap-around porch and while away the afternoon with a glass of sweet tea – or better yet, a mint julep? (I’ve never tasted one, but I like the idea.)

Take a little tour of the park with me and Heidi, why don’t you? See for yourself the beauty of this hidden gem in southern Louisiana on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

 We were greeted by blue skies and sun – not always a given in rainy Louisiana.

This lone iris didn’t look lonely a-tall, just solitary. Alone can be a good thing. Thoughts arise like butterflies during the ebb and flow of alone.

Sometimes you find the most awe-inspiring sights when you look down, as I did when I chanced upon this gnarled old tree who had lost his battle with the swamp.

Nearby some lily pads floated in life – in complete contrast to the decaying tree.

Of course, Spanish moss abounded, and who could not be lured by its charm? I like to think of it as a decoration for the swamp.

Oh, look! An alligator! Not really. I just pushed the camera up in this lizard’s face to make him look ten feet long. Didn’t quite work, did it?

Before long, the clouds started rolling in, as they always do on a Louisiana summer afternoon. It’s ok, though – the clouds gave us a bit of a break from the heat. 

As we stumbled our way out of the swamp, this array of tree roots would not be ignored. It looks as though – perhaps – their placement is a matter of design; not by accident at all. Nature’s artwork, I believe.Heidi and I wound our way back to the park entrance. It was time to hook our thoughts again and reel them in, back to earthly reality. We had to say goodbye to the swamp – temporarily. We’ll be back.