Posts Tagged ‘Bayou Teche’

On Sunday morning we paddled on Mother Earth’s church, the Bayou Teche. The day was near perfect with a little cloud cover and moderate temperatures. We invited friends to join us. We actually saw an alligator. He was a juvenile about 3 feet long sunning himself on some concrete rip-rap. I got a good picture of him. He was totally still, not spooked at all by our moving closer to him. He smiled for me.

Gator juvenile, downtown New Iberia, LA. photo by Margaret Simon

Bayou Cinquain

how light dances
on bayou’s belly rolls
washing us with soothing hopeful

Margaret Simon
Bayou Teche, New Iberia, LA (photo by Margaret Simon)

The Progressive Poem is with Janet today at Tabatha’s blog The Opposite of Indifference.

Read Full Post »

Looking at the calendar-chart plan for this month, I realize I haven’t written a cinquain yet. This form is a five-lined verse with a syllable count 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. Yesterday was the most perfect spring day after a raging storm the night before. The air was breezy with a touch of cool. Perfect canoeing weather, so Jeff and I seized the day and paddled for a couple hours. One of our goals for each paddle is to clean up crap junk from the bayou. Yesterday we retrieved a basketball, a soccer ball, and a few cans and water bottles, one large piece of styrofoam. A small part, but we had a good time finding and trying to retrieve it.

how light dances
on bayou’s belly rolls
washing us with soothing hopeful

Margaret Simon, draft

Read Full Post »

Yesterday was Jump Day for our first clutch of wood ducks this year. We had a good mother and only one. Sometimes two will take a box and you can end up with 2 dozen eggs, but not this year. One mother, one clutch, one dozen. She sat for 32 days. I was so relieved they didn’t hatch during this past week’s cold front. They waited for warmth to return. Only 8 of the 12 eggs hatched. This ratio is typical, we’ve learned.

I wanted to watch the jump, but it was a school day. I kept checking the Ring camera and the mother was calmly cuddling her chicks. At 10:15 I went outside to plan a butterfly garden with my student. Then I packed up and left that school for my next school. Yep, that was when they jumped.

My mother-in-law came to our house for the big event with a book and binoculars. She texted me that 8 ducklings had jumped. Four eggs were left in the box. Enjoy the video from inside the nest box. There always seems to be one that has trouble figuring it all out. We cheer for this little guy.

New Chicks

Gentle peeps echo.

Jumping onto mother hen,

New chicks jitterbug.

Like petals on a pinwheel

fluffy down spins together. 

Wood Duck Diary Tanka, Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
A quick video of an egret in flight on Bayou Teche, Louisiana.

What do you do with a perfect day? The temperature was just right, 70 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. Humidity low. Sunday is our day to catch up and get ready for the work week. We go to church and come home to our individual chores: cat litter, trash cans, lesson plans, laundry, grocery…and I had writing group. “You think we can squeeze in some paddle time?”

I decided that there were a few things I could put off like vacuuming, so I said a resounding, “Yes!” Perfect days are rare, so I feel we must embrace while we can. So we made a date for 4:00 PM. Jeff hosed out the canoe (ants), I grabbed the paddles, and off we went.

Heading directly into the sunset, the colors change. The old leaves on the oaks are a dark green while the new pollen fuzzies are a golden yellow. People complain about this popping of the pollen. It aggravates allergies and covers cars in a fine sprinkle of golden dust. All part of the healthy life cycle of a great live oak tree.

Pollen on the Grandmother Oak

Some, not all, of the cypress trees are showing new growth. These tiny needles are the brightest neons of green. The truest sign of spring.

cypress needles against blue sky

As we paddled home, Jeff noticed a plastic chair wedged in some tree roots across the bayou. He said, “I think that’s our lost chair.” A few storms ago, the water had risen and taken with it a plastic chair from our yard. Sure enough it was ours. Jeff managed to back the canoe next to it and grab it with his paddle. The chair was a little muddy but still in tact. I had to take a selfie to get a photo of it, so the angle and perspective are odd, but you get the idea.

Jeff rescued our long lost backyard chair.

We were home before the sun set and were treated to the appearance of a great white egret. Grace from God to praise this perfect day. Click on the video above to see this majestic bird in flight.

Great white egret

Read Full Post »

Thirty-four days. Our wood duck hen sat for thirty-four days. We were losing hope, afraid the freeze back in March did it. On Sunday morning I got a text from a bayou neighbor, “Today is jump day for one of our houses!”

“Our duck has been sitting for 34 days. No hatching yet. I’m not sure we should keep waiting.”

“Mine sat for longer than usual.”

So I flipped over to our RIng app. Did I hear cheeping? Mother hen was eating a shell. They were hatching!

You probably want to know how many, but it’s nearly impossible to count when they are little blurry black blobs wiggling.

Monday was Jump Day. It was also a school/work day. We had to rely on the camera. Jeff set up a new Ring camera outside of the house in order to record the jump. Around 10:00, I checked the cameras. Gone. All the ducks had jumped. I missed it, but the camera did not.

As I showed the video to my student, Avalyn, she named the little ducklings. “Come on, Tiffany, you can do it!” she urged as one of the babies hesitated to jump. Avalyn also wrote a poem-song (impromptu) to celebrate Jump Day!

Wood duck, wood duck
open your shell.
Come out, come out, come out now!
Little duck, little duck,
quack with your snout.
Little duck little duck, little duck
don’t you frown
Come play in the bayou
and make no sound.

Avalyn, 2nd grade
Jump Day, 2022: Watch the lower right corner to see Momma Duck come back to get a wayward duckling.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

I am proud to be a council member on the TECHE Project. This weekend the final touches on a kayak dock in downtown New Iberia were installed. My friend and TECHE Project member David Dahlquist designed kiosks for every town along the route of the Bayou Teche. For this kiosk in New Iberia, he placed my poem I am a Beckoning Brown Bayou from my book Bayou Song. It warms my heart to know someone will read this poem every day.

The TECHE project also works to improve the water quality of the bayou. The ultimate goal is to restore the waterway to be a safe recreational area. The work is ongoing and requires participation from many entities. Yesterday afternoon, Jeff and I did our small part. We picked up two plastic chairs and pieces of 3 styrofoam ice chests. We also had a beautiful paddle on a gorgeous spring day. What a blessing the bayou is to us and our neighbors! A place of peace in this crazy world.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Saturday brought warmer winds and time. My husband suggested a paddle on the bayou. Living on the Bayou Teche, we try to take opportunities to go out in the canoe. We know that too often we are too busy, or it’s too hot, or too cold, or too ___ fill-in-the-blank.

Our paddle to the East–
soft breeze,
flock of yellow-crown night herons,
waves to friends on their back porch.
Stop for a beer break, turn back toward the sunset.
sun majestic on the water,
an Eagle sighting,
simple beauty.

Eagle over Bayou Teche at sunset, photo by Margaret Simon (iPhone)

Read Full Post »

Welcome to a weekly writing prompt. The steps are easy, if you choose to try them. Listen to your muse. Write a small poem in the comments. Leave encouraging responses to other writers. This is a safe and sacred place to write. Begin.

Butterweed by Margaret Simon. I took this photo on my iPhone using the app Camera+ 2.
Cypress knee with butterweed, photo by Margaret Simon

I took these photos in my backyard on Bayou Teche in Louisiana. These are wild flowers known as butterweed that grow before my yard man (husband) has a chance to mow. Sometimes he will mow around them because he knows I love them. They offer a bright spot in a winter yard of bare cypress trees and brown lawn. Here’s a bit of research I found.

Weary of its winter bed
bursts of yellow whisper
secrets of Eos.*

Margaret Simon, draft *Goddess of dawn

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Ruth in Haiti.

Happy New Year! If you are looking for a way to feed your writing life, subscribe to Poets & Writers’ The Time is Now. I do not do their prompt every week, but this week when I was feeling out of touch with writing, I opened it to find a prompt that worked well for me.

“Mars Being Red” by the late poet Marvin Bell lyrically explores the color red as a state of being, likening it to a list of images that both physically resemble the color and provide memories, such as that of youth. In this compact, twelve-line poem, Bell begins what seems to be a portrait of the planet Mars and then delves into a series of digressions that find resolve in a meditation on the possibility of change: “You will not be this quick-to-redden / forever. You will be green again, again and again.” Inspired by Bell, write a poem that serves as a portrait of a color. Use physical descriptions to begin and then personal memories to develop a transformation in this study of hue.
From The Time is Now

Bayou Being Green

Being green is the color of an amaryllis
bud before blooming. Color of time lost
in growth, of soul lost inside
meditation. Green of grassy meadows
we walked with the dog, while our steps
made time disappear for a moment.
Contemplation becomes green in your eyes,
emerald of stars, early light reflects
sage from the bayou surface where green
water darkens as we stroll west toward
sunset, away from dawn into an age
of white on white on white. 

Margaret Simon, draft after Marvin Bell “Mars Being Red”
Bayou Teche in November, Margaret Simon

If you are looking for a weekly photo writing prompt, subscribe to my blog, I am posting a photo each week on Thursdays and invite you to write a small poem response. This Photo Wants to be a Poem.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

I’ve always enjoyed good photography. The summer of my 15th birthday, my family took a cross country trip from Mississippi to Wyoming. And when we got to Denver, we looked in the phone book (no Google) for a reputable camera store. I remember being amazed that we found one. I got my very first “good” camera, an Olympus OM 10 SLR. That school year I started taking pictures for the yearbook and eventually became the yearbook editor for my senior year.

Once I moved on to college, then marriage, then babies, I left that part of me behind. Like the poet I once was, she hibernated for a long time. The poet emerged around 1995, but the photographer is still in hibernation. I got a “good” camera for Christmas 2015 before a big trip to Africa the summer of 2016: Sony 6000.

I took gorgeous pictures in Africa that summer, but everything else paled in comparison, so I put the camera away for the next big trip. I thought of taking it out in the spring to learn more about using it. It was on my list of possible pandemic projects. For whatever reason, and I think these things cannot truly be explained, I’ve finally taken the camera out again.

Da, da, tada! I present to you a gallery of amateur photographs. I admit I have a beautiful setting to photograph, so why not? Maybe I’ll keep it out this time.

Great Blue Heron on Bayou Teche, Margaret Simon, November 2020
Fall on Bayou Teche, Margaret Simon 2020
Red flower morning, Margaret Simon 2020

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »