Monday, October 1, 2012

The Bald Eagles have arrived to nest at Lake Martin, Louisiana, as they do every year in September. I saw them for the first time this past week, the last week of September. Exactly when they arrived, I am not sure because I haven't done very many tours this past month," imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" /> but usually they are here about mid-September, and begin the courtship ritual immediately." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />
It has been very interesting this past month with great weather, a good breeze, mostly mild temperatures and no one is coming to do swamp tours like we were doing all summer long, before the Hurricane Issac fiasco." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />Now I call it that because just like Hurricane Katrina exactly seven years ago, we here in southwest Louisiana were on the good side of the storm and thus were mostly unaffected by the tidal surges and high winds in southeast Louisiana." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />Here is a couple enjoying a sail in the mild temps and soft winds on Lake Martin just a few days after the Isaac storm...

Although people were being rescued from roof tops less than 100 miles east from us, here in Lafayette, Louisiana, we were actually experiencing the exact opposite of the tidal surge to the east." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />

The reason it is opposite of the east side is because of the circular nature of a hurricane, as it apporaches land if you are on the west side of the storm(the safe side), you get a north wind, and it blows the water out of the swamp and marshland, and you experience below normal tides as you can see in the photo below where the water is usually about four to six feet deep on the beach here where this guy is standing about 200 miles west of the eye of the storm. Incidentally, this photo was taken on Constance Beach near the Texas state line, during the storm and the next day, the water was back up to normal again." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />The bottomline regarding Louisiana swamp tours is: we here on the west side of the state, did not get any high winds, flooding, tidal surge or excessive rains, thus no actual collateral damage from the storm. Except that the tourists who watch the media generated worst case scenarios on the east side of the state, assume that ALL of south Louisiana is flood damaged and they stop coming to the southwest side even though we were mostly unaffected by the wind and high water that ravaged the east side of the state as seen in the photo below in La Place, Louisiana which is about 75 miles east of Lafayette." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />
So if you are looking to do a Louisiana swamp tour in October, we are open for business in the Lafayette, Breaux Bridge area and the water is normal here at Lake Martin." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />I am Marcus de la Houssaye owner and operator of de">">de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours at Lake Martin, Louisiana
, and welcome to my wet and wild Louisiana!" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">

" />

Fierce Bad Rabbit - "You!"

I had the pleasure of touring the swamp with some very talented musicians on Saturday who performed at the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette that night....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I,ve Fallen!

Old Father Hebert, the local parish preist, got tired of hearing people in the confessional always confessing to having commited adultery. One Sunday, during his sermon , he announced, " If I hear one more person confess dat dey commited adultery, Im gonna quit!"

Well, all of the parishioners really liked the old preist and didn't want to be the cause of him quiting, so they all got together and came up with the code word " fallen ", to be used by anyone needing to confess to adultery. This seemed to satisfy old Father Hebert, and he continued being their pastor for a couple more years , until he passed away.

The new priest that replaced him, Father Boudreaux, was a little puzzled, after his first couple of weeks, with all the people coming into the confessional saying that they had " fallen ", so he went to see Mayor Thibodeaux. He told the mayor, " You really got to do something about them sidewalks in this town. People are always coming into confessional telling me that they have " fallen."

Mayor Thibodeaux, popped out laughing, realizing that no one had told the new preist about the code word. Before the Mayor had a chance to explain it to him, Father Boudreaux, shaking his finger at him, " Mais, I don't know why you laughing, your wife told me she done fell three times last week.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours In The New York Times

photo by SETH KUGEL

I had forgot about this article...

Barataria And Jean Lafitte

Barataria by Francis Pavy 2012copyright protected

One character that made a major impact on the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 was Jean Lafitte. He was the last of the famous Caribbean pirates, his dates of operation were roughly from the 1800's to the 1820's.

A mythic figure, he looms large in Louisiana Folklore. Even in his day he was larger than life. Lord Byron's "The Corsair" was based on the life of Jean Lafitte. It sold 10,000 copies on the first day of publication in 1814. A novel was written in 1826 called The Memoirs of Lafitte, or The Baratarian Pirate; a Narrative Founded on Fact.

Jean Lafitte operated a warehouse in New Orleans dealing smuggled goods around 1805. After the embargo act of 1807, demand for banned imported goods became so great he and his brother opened up a port in Barataria Bay, smuggling these goods to the public in New Orleans. By 1913 the Lafittes were operating a 3 ship fleet seizing loot mainly from Spanish ships.

Their usual mode of operation was to sail into New Orleans with legal cargo. After selling this they would take on more legal cargo and make a manifest of these goods. Then they would sail to the mouth of Bayou Lafourche and add to their cargo and the manifest with contraband goods. Then go back to New Orleans after they "laundered' the new goods and sell them there.

Soon the merchants were complaining to Governor Claiborne about the Lafittes because they were undercutting their prices. The governor put a $500.00
bounty on Lafitte's head and declared the Lafittes pirates. Jean Lafitte countered the offer with a similar bounty on the Governor's head. Before too long, Pierre Lafitte was in jail.

The British saw an opportunity with the Baratarians. If they could get them on their side, then they would have a better chance of capturing New Orleans. In mid August 1814, the British approached Lafitte to try and get him to side with the British. There were great rewards for Lafitte, but if he refused, the British told him they would destroy his port at Barataria. He leveraged this offer by telling the British he would make a decision in 2 weeks and at the same time letting the Americans know that he would fight on their side if they would let his brother loose and pardon Lafitte and his band of pirates.

The Americans were not easy to convince and by September it was the Americans not the British that attacked the island. The pirates burned their ships and warehouse rather than fight the Americans. The British left to go back to Pensacola in disgust. Lafitte continued to have his allies in the legislature lobby on his behalf to side with the Americans, and before too long with the fear of the impending invasion of New Orleans by the British, Lafitte was able to walk free on the streets of New Orleans and the 80 pirates arrested were freed.

Lafitte joined Jackson so that he could help defend New Orleans and defeat the British. Once Jackson gave Lafitte his assignment, Lafitte got to work organizing his men and equipment. During the battle on Jan 1815 Lafitte and his men helped defend the line and repulsed the advancing British. After the Battle Jackson requested clemency for the Lafitte's and their men ,finally receiving a pardon on Feb 6 1815.

Patsy Cline "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lake Martin Sunset Time Lapse

2 hour long time lapse of sunset at Lake Martin, near Lafayette, Louisiana. Approximately 2500 photos, one taken every 3 seconds.

lake martin sunset time lapse from Kristie Cornell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


An original art work compliments of and copyrighted by Francis Pavy, and accompanying that, the story behind this piece...

Carencro by Francis Pavy

To the north of Lafayette about 6 miles there is the small town of Carencro.

When I was in college, there were classmates of mine living there so we were always going north from Lafayette, driving around the countryside communing with nature in our Volkswagens. Carencro is a small town with one main street ending at a church.

Passing by the church on Sunday morning was like going to an old car show.

If you take a left at the church about a block away there is a big house that most of the “back to the country” art crowd lived in at different times. For a while it was called the Amaranth Gallery. I remember going to a few art openings there and that’s where I met many of my future best friends.

The original French name for the town was St. Pierre, but the current name, Carencro, might come from several sources. Most probably the name comes from “Carencro tete rouge” the french name for the turkey vulture. But there are other colorful stories about the origins of the town name.

In one legend, the Creoles called it Carencro after the flocks of carrion crows or vultures that would roost in the Bald Cypress trees there. The Attakapas Indian legends state there was a great beast or whale that was stranded and died in the bayou and the flocks of vultures came to scavenge on it for weeks. The whale version seems far fetched, as Carencro is about 35 miles from the coast.

There is speculation that the great beast was a Mastodon, but they had been extinct by 11,000 BC. Local historians say there were bones found of a Mastodon in Bayou Carencro in the 1700′s, and they were taken away, but shipwrecked on the way back to France. A certain Mr.Guilbeau supposedly had a femur of a mastodon that he used to crush his Indigo with.

Another legend suggests the name comes from the spanish “Carnero” meaning piles of bones. The Spanish used to kill the buffalos and what was left after they took what they wanted was fodder for the buzzards. This seems more likely the source of the legend of the “great beast”. The area around Carencro is the southeastern edge of the range of the American Bison.

Until recently there was a racetrack in Carencro and plenty of horse farms in the area. As long as I can remember, there was a stockyard there, so regardless of the legends, the area seems to have always had grazing areas for livestock or herding animals and the buzzards feed on the remains.

In the early 70‘s one of my friends played in a rock & roll Band called King Creole. He lived in the rural country east of Carencro where his house overlooked the Coteau Ridge, which is the riverbank of an ancient stream bed of the Mississippi River when it flowed through here eight or ten thousand years ago.

King Creole played at Jay’s Lounge and Cockpit frequently. My friend wrote a song titled “Carencro” that they used to play on their gigs. It was the B side of a record and the A side was a song called “Sugar Cane”. I liked the song Carencro so much, that I made a ceramic sculpture that looked like a carpetbag and titled it “Carencro Bag”. I showed this in a few shows and I also told my friend that I had made a ceramic bag after being inspired by his song. He gave me a puzzled look much like most people when I told them I just finished a ceramic accordion shoe or a life size ceramic Cajun dance band.

A few years later when I was moving and cleaning house I was getting rid of some art work and decided to give the “Carencro Bag” to my friend. I called him up and he said he would be happy to have it. I had some time that day, but my Volkswagen van was broken. I called up my new friend Shannon, who wanted to go out that way to look for Indian artifacts. We climbed into his 49 Ford and set out for Carencro, going the back way and got lost.

We were half heartily looking for familiar road marks when we drove up the escarpment. Shannon was scanning the fields then pulled over and stopped suddenly. He said: “You see that little mound over there?” and pointed. I looked over to my right at a freshly plowed soybean field. There was a very slight rise in the field. “I guess” I said. Now you see the bigger mound that’s encircling that? He made a big circling movement with his arm. I squinted and yes there was a slight rise of about 4 inches farther off to the left and right. “OK, what’s that?”. He smiled and opened the door poking his head in through the open window. “The little mound is an Indian ceremonial mound and the larger mound was the village. It’s in the perfect vantage point on top of this ridge”. He hopped the fence and yelled: “C’mon”. I looked around thinking about the farmer, a shotgun and my butt. There was nothing but plowed fields as far as you could see. I slowly opened the door. it was warm and I was sweating. ”What the hell” I said to myself. I wiped my brow and looked up to see buzzards circling overhead.

I hopped the fence and made my way over to the small mound. As I walked over the rows, Shannon was doing a strange little dance. He puffed and said: “They didn’t plant yet, so don’t worry, the farmer won’t be around.” “What are you doing?” I asked. He went on to explain that the ceremonial mounds are where he finds his best artifacts. He started in the middle making a spiral outwards scanning and feeling the ground with his bare feet and sometimes his hands. “ After they plow it’s the best time to look, and you never know what you might find”. I started to look myself keeping one eye on the road.

Shannon bent down and picked up a clod. “Here, this looks good, hold on to it” and threw in in my direction. I picked it up , it was heavy. He bent down again, caught his breath, smiled, stretched, breathed out and walked off to the car not saying anything, like he was hypnotized. I followed him back trying to walk in between the rows. I caught up and held the barbed wire while he fit through and he then did it for me. We got in the car and he grabbed a shoe box from the back seat. It held a brush and a few sticks. He held the clod over the box and started cleaning off the dirt.

“What is it”? I asked. “I think it’s ..." he paused and started to clean harder. I looked down. It was a rock, red, and smooth. He worked on it with the brush. After about 2 minutes he held up the rock. It was about 5 inches long perfectly smooth like a beach pebble but it came a blunt point on the front. The front was about 3 inches high and tapered down to 2 inches at the back. “It’s a ceremonial cert” he said. “ A hatchet”.

I wondered out loud if he had some kind of Indian radar to just go walk out in a field and pick up any artifact that was out there. He laughed and motioned after handing me a rag. “Wet it with some of your coke”. I poured some coke on a rag and started to rub on the stone. The dirt turned to mud and I wiped it off and cleaned more. The stone turned bright red. He turned it over. I cleaned some more, there was a black swatch on the side. I cleaned more, and rubbing the stone again the black streak grew longer, then a wing appeared, then another wing, then a head. I quit rubbing.“Whoa, it’s a vulture” we both said. The rock puzzled us. It was not like any Indian arrowhead or hatchet I had ever seen.

The image of the vulture had been chipped with a tiny tool. It was slightly more rough in texture than the other part of the rock and had pigment rubbed in. We passed it back and forth turning it over and rubbing it for probably 10 min. The shadows were starting to get long so I told him I had to go. Shannon handed the rock back to me and started the car. We turned the corner and there on the side of the road was a dead deer surrounded by vultures. Most of them flew off as we approached, but there was one that stayed turning his head and watching us intently as we passed.

Finally we arrived at my destination. I took the sculpture down out of the trunk, made for the front door and knocked. The sun had set and the June bugs were flying around the yellow bug light on the porch. I knocked again, nobody was home. I set the bag down and ripped a page off the notebook nailed to the door frame. I sketched a picture of a vulture and tucked it in the screen door next to my sculpture, then followed the beams of light back to the car. We drove back to Lafayette in silence in the dark.

Francis Pavy

Francis X. Pavy’s “200” Collection featured at
Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans
Art Inspired by 200 Years of Louisiana Statehood

(Lafayette, La.) — Francis Pavy, visual narrator of South Louisiana’s vibrant culture, presents a new collection titled “200: Art Inspired by 200 Years of Louisiana Statehood.” The show will be on display at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, March 3 through March 31, 2012. The selected works are not historical representations; rather, they are all new pieces inspired by events, people and themes that have figured in the history of Louisiana.


Julie Gauthier – Phone: 337.233.1515

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Keiler greift Jäger an

Looks like he needs some cur dogs?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Monarchs Need Your Help NOW

In the past 10 years, over 75% of the wintering Monarchs from North America froze to death in Mexico as a result of three days of rain and sub-freezing conditions. They have sprung back in numbers but there is a Nationwide shortage of milkweed. Freak weather patterns destroy habitats and kill millions of helpless Monarchs. Habitat must be protected now to ensure their survival, before we see the day when this miracle of nature is only a memory. The Monarchs need your help NOW. Please plant seeds and ensure their survival.

A Milkweed in every yard!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Katrina - What Went Wrong - Dateline (Sep 9 05).mpg

Many people are still wondering what happened...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Swamp Tour Gator Encounter

Is it just me...or do you want the alligator to just bite the crap out of this guy?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Rookery At Lake Martin 2012

A Great Egret male snaps a twig from a nearby tree and flies back to the nest.

She is waiting for him, and he passes the twig to her,
and they settle it into the nest.

They do the "wild thing" and he flies off to gather another twig.

Right on schedule about mid January, the egrets and herons began to stage their nests.

All the trees are bare in January and February, so birdwatching and photography is easy and unobstructed by foliage. The main color of the swamp in winter is grey.

Soon the grass and clover will start to green things up as seen behind this Great Egret who is sporting some breeding blumage.

Although some people are surprised that the herons start nesting in mid-January, the first nesters of the season lay their eggs in the first week of December.

And that would also be the largest of the birds that nests here at Lake Martin,

the Bald Eagle.

Soon after the Bald Eagles begin nesting, they are followed by ospry,

owls and hawks,

and then the Great Egrets,

and Great Blue Herons about mid-January.
Those two of the heron family are the largest and a larger body mass may account for the early nesting. For about two months from mid-January through mid-March the large herons expand in population in the rookery to the tune of several thousand.

By late February or early March the Rosette Spoonbills are in courtship,

and soon after that, by March 15th, a riot of birds competing for nesting space breaks out as thousands of birds arrive every day. Tri-colored, Louisiana Herons, and...

Little Blue Herons,

along with Cattle Egrets, start pouring in by the thousands every day.

Black Crowned Night Herons arrive to nest in April, along with their cousins who sport the Yellow Crowns.

Here is an immature night heron...

By early May, the Black Bellied Whistling Ducks should be warming up some eggs

And last but not least, to start nesting at Lake Martin is the White Ibis,

and sometimes Snowy Egrets who also begin to nest as late as June.

all photos above are copyrighted and courtesy of Claude Nall

I am Marcus de la Houssaye,owner and operator of de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours

photos by Al GuidryIf you would like to contact me for more information about the rookery,

photos by Wolfgang Hasenstien
or to make a reservation for a Breaux Bridge swamp tour ,

the days have been warm and sunny here along the Gulf coast and

I can be contacted by cell phone at 337 298 2630

"I love dis country!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Red Stag and Fallow Deer For Sale

25-50 Trophy Red Stag and Fallow Bucks
also hundreds of yearlings, does and hinds.

A game preserve operator has lost his exotic permit due to new laws, and needs our help to move forward.

He has a herd of 400 exotics in a game preserve that must be transported live or culled.

Does anyone know of a large or small preserve interested in buying Red Stag and Fallow deer breeding stock?

Culling is a last option. My hope is, this is a win, win, win situation.

Of course my young blood tracking dogs will get an amazing opportunity to learn to track in this preserve,

but we want to make every effort to find a new home for the stags, bucks, does and hinds if at all possible.

The Whitetail deer can stay, but the exotics have to go.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

My cell phone is 337 298 2630

My email is:

I am Marcus de la Houssaye a breeder and trainer of Louisiana Catahoulas, and a professional blood tracker.

Welcome to My Wild Louisiana!

Should you be coming to south Louisiana for a visit, I would be glad to guide you on a Louisiana swamp tour. You can click the link here for more info.