Swamp Work


Chris and I have made it to our job site down here in S.E. Texas. I spent a little bit of time in Sabine Pass back in college when I was capturing and tagging Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Luckily I am in a bigger area and not so near all of the petroleum refineries this time around.

We’re working in the Big Thicket doing a wetland inventory for a bigger project that will be handled later. Much of the project area is similar to where Chris and I hiked in south Florida, similar to regions of Big Cypress and the Everglades and Water Conservation Areas. But, there are different plants and the water levels here are not dry like they would be typically in Florida at this time of year. Instead we are running into water anywhere from just soggy ground to 2-2.5′ deep. We had to cross a few channels today that were nice and deep, good gator territory (don’t freak out!). The Neches river flows through here and causes much of the wetlands here.

Here’s a sampling of what we’ve done the past few days:

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We have to cruise up the river to connect to tributaries and bayous.

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See the mud on Chris’ pants?

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Orange is not my favorite color. I thought we were going to get away from this on this project, but I guess not.

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Checking out a wetland, particularly the Iris virginica

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Today we were waiting for the weather to turn, just sitting in the boat in a bayou, when we spotted at least three water moccasins swimming across the water. Grrreeeat! Yesterday we scared up a banded water snake, or at least that’s what Chris thought it was.

So far the mosquitoes aren’t too bad but we’ve had a few bites so far. Not looking forward to a month from now when they get worse!

I’ll share more photos of anything interesting we find!

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