All Around Us
Cypress in the bayou,
Oaks on the shore.
Spirits of the past,
Ghosts of the future.
All around us.
Marking time.
Here long before us.
Here long after us.
Shouting quietly,
Waiting to be noticed.

-- Nancy Brister
Most of the photographs on this page were taken in the Atchafalaya Basin in
Louisiana.  The Atchafalaya is the largest river swamp in North America and
contains the largest contiguous bottomland hardwood forest in North America.
It's home to the 15,000-acre Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge and the
designated Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, which stretches across 14
parishes (dating back to its history of being colonized by the French and Spanish,
Louisiana is the only state made up of "parishes," rather than the more familiarly
known "counties" of other U.S. states).
The Atchafalaya is one of the most culturally rich and ecologically varied
regions in the United States and one of the top ten wilderness areas in the country.
There are a few photos from other places in Louisiana, as well.
                                                              --  Nancy
Never forget the importance of the past.  To know nothing of
what happened before you took your place on earth is to
remain a child forever.  -- Author Unknown
Living things have been doing just that for a long, long time.
Through every kind of disaster and setback and catastrophe.  We
can learn a lot from the survivors of the species.  -- Robert Fulghum
Anyone can find history in a museum, creative explorers find it in
places where others never think to seek it.  -- Robert Wendell
In New Orleans, our way of life is as old as the oaks that brush the
ground.  We tend to live our cherished past a lot of the time.  For us,
history is not a marker on the side of the road or a small district of
quaint shops.  Our past stands all around us, bears down on us like the
towers of Manhattan on a first-time visitor.  It is not just the
momentous events of our history which occupy us, a thousand small
things from the past inform the way we live in the present.  Our history
is a part of who we are, the great pillared oaks and the moss-draped
homes are just backdrop.  And if our history should consume us all one
by one, but the city lives on, that, perhaps, was what was always
intended.  -- Mark Folse, "Carry Me Home"