Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary

The Rainey Sanctuary makes up the wetland area north of Cheniere au Tigre,
leading up to Intracoastal City, where I was picked up daily by boat. Rainey gives
what is probably the best picture of what most of
Louisiana's coast looked like before countless canals were dug through the marsh,
upsetting the saltwater balance and eating up land.
There were vast areas of healthy wetlands as far as the eye could see,
and at the southernmost reaches of the sanctuary (second image from top),
the boat anchored in another "keyhole" canal, I could see the Gulf of Mexico
just beyond the scant tree line marking the coast. Even though the photo was taken
from half a mile off the coast, I could still hear the waves hitting the shore,
with a steady south wind carrying the sound toward me. The sanctuary is
as large and impressive as it is relatively silent - the closest comparison might
be the Everglades.
For most of the day, the only sound I heard was the steady low hiss of south winds
blowing through the endless marsh grass.

(Click images for larger view)