April 10, 2009

Above the Bayou

A young artist I know invited me to tag along today for a flight over the  marshlands of southwestern Louisiana. 
For some time now she has been doing wonderful paintings of aerial views of this territory near the gulf, territory that was swept over and submerged by Hurricanes Rita and Ike.
As the pilot flew the Cessna Skyhawk, a four seater, at 400 to 500 feet I think I understood her attraction to this land-and-waterscape. The greens, browns, occasional lavenders, the sun shimmering on the water as its reflection races the plane, the remnants of the fog that delayed our flight still screening the horizon. 
She says the marshland is important not only as an ecosystem but as a natural brake on hurricane-driven floodwaters for communities inland from the Gulf of Mexico. But the marshlands have been contracting due to the erosive impact of man-made channels for oil pipelines and the inland shipping lane, and of the hurricanes themselves.
These are two of many pictures she shot with a digital.
At the top you have a view of the marshlands. The one below gives you an idea of the scope of open waters intersecting the marshes.
I like flying in small planes and this excursion in a single-engine four seater lived up to expectations. The pilot, Reagan, (I apologize if I've misspelled your name) was good company and seemed to anticipate just what the artist wanted to shoot.

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