Local Landscapes

Continuing our occasional series on landscape, I thought I’d share a few images from near home.

A cool front (the first in weeks) promised some relief from the heat and humid air but stalled out last night and gave us only clouds and light rain. But we could not have hoped for better. Not here. Not in July.

I picked up my friend Ida between showers and we made a quick tour of the Mississippi levee, starting near the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where they’ve built a rather grand access to the levee top. We worked our way south along River Road, back and forth as the river goes, past my house and much new construction and by all appearances back in time the farther we drove from Baton Rouge. We stopped somewhere in the 1950s (St. Gabriel) and took a left back to Highway 30 and home. Here’s a little of what we saw…

The new on-ramp to the levee walk

The view toward downtown

A working river

Back below the river and heading south

Classical FEMA Architecture in one of my old hawking fields

A crepe myrtle for Reid

A ruin from plantation days

A ruin from farming days

Cattle and cattle egrets

Some great faces!

Sugar cane: The region’s King Crop

A new road through the cane, outlining a new housing tract


  1. Thank you, Matt! Do you know what plantation that might be? For years someone has kept a field of sugar cane in Santa Paula not far from me. There’s no sugar production (though there was with sugar beets in the past) and I assume they sell cane segments as a treat. I have seen that in Louisiana and in Hispanic markets here. Long time since I’ve seen brahma cattle.

  2. I’m embarrassed not to know the name of that house ruin, Reid; I’ll keep looking and asking and get back to you. If I can “Google-Earth-it,” I’ll send you the link to the spot, at least.

    And I agree these pics look hunid! Pictures don’t lie….

  3. That is exactly what I was going to say– I can see and feel and almost taste the humidity!

    There’s something so juicy about the Sowth! It’s been 15 years since I was in Memphis. I gotta tell that story some day too…

    Thanks for the pix. Beautiful!

  4. Oh and if you’re bored…I put up another novel segment. You really should check it out actually, because it’s a bush party scene. It’s what we hicks do (or at least did)

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