By Oliver A. Houck
The reduce Mississippi River winds previous town of recent Orleans among huge, immense levees and a rim of sand, dust, and bushes known as "the batture." in this distant and neglected piece of land prospers a humanity exact to the region-ramblers, artists, drinkers, fishers, rabbit hunters, puppy walkers, sundown watchers, and refugees from Immigration, alimony, and different facets of recent life.Author Oliver A. Houck has frequented this position for the previous twenty-five years. Down at the Batture describes a existence, pastoral, from time to time marginal, yet remarkably fecund and astounding. From this position he meditates on Louisiana, the kingdom of the waterway, and its better environs. He describes all of the actors that experience performed lead roles at the fringe of the mightiest river of the continent, and contains in his narrative plantations, pollutants, homicide, land grabs, keelboat brawlers, slave rebellions, the Corps of Engineers, and the oil industry.Houck attracts from his adventure in New Orleans because the early Nineteen Seventies within the perform and instructing of legislations. He has been a participant in lots of of the problems he describes, even though he doesn't adopt to argue them the following. in its place, tale through tale, he makes use of the batture to discover the forces that experience formed and spell out the way forward for the quarter. the image emerges of a spot that---for all its tangle of undergrowth, drifting humanity, moving dimensions within the upward thrust and fall of floodwater---provides respite and sanctuary for values which are unique to the United States and ever in danger from the homogenizing forces of civilization.
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I thought immediately of the sculpture students, and that they had really outdone themselves this time. It even seemed to beat with the slightest pulse of breath, but it was otherwise as frozen as a museum work, elegant. The dog broke the ice. She had stopped, too, perceiving long before I that we had a couple of humans here, and she needed to get their drift before going forward. Now she was ready, and giving a small “woof ” she padded around the tree and towards what she probably hoped was food or at least a pat on the head.
I blame my dog. The Pearl runs down from northern Mississippi to form the border with Louisiana, where it braids out and floods a wide forested swamp. The lower Mississippi used to look like this, too, and the early towns like New Orleans hugged the banks of natural levees and hung on. Back behind them in the flooded woods was a woodpecker so spectacular in its size and coloring that locals named it the Lord God! bird, because that is what people would exclaim when they saw it. It is intensely wild by nature, - 36 - Elvis and James Audubon tells of one chained to a desk in a hotel room where it proceeded to destroy the desk leg, the its own leg, and die.
It is intensely wild by nature, - 36 - Elvis and James Audubon tells of one chained to a desk in a hotel room where it proceeded to destroy the desk leg, the its own leg, and die. The ivory bill lived in tall cypress trees past their prime, infected by grubs, and that was where she fed, hammered out her nesting holes, and raised her young. We wiped them out. We shot them, of course; they were big and pretty so it was not hard to kill them, but, in the end, we cut down their trees. All of them. The last ivory-bill families were up in Avoyelles Parish, and their woods were logged to liquidate some debts of the Singer Sewing Machine company.