Old Man Winter visits South Louisiana, offers unique snow photo opportunity
I went to bed Dec. 7, 2017, promising my wife there was zero chance forecasts of snow at our Prairieville, La., home would pan out. I mean, the weathermen are wrong so many times I almost don’t listen to them any longer.
When I stumbled into the living room at 5:30 a.m. the next morning, my wife cheerfully reported snow was falling. And, boy, was it ever falling.
An inch or so already had accumulated, but that was just a hint of what was to come. By 10 a.m., the count topped 2 inches — and then massive clumps of the white stuff began falling, pushing the accumulation past the 3-inch mark.
It was too much for this photographer to bear. I bundled up, pulled the ladder out of my shed and climbed over our back fence to capture some images of a field covered in something we see once every decade or so.
But my suggestion of driving to check out swamps in the area was too much for my wife: She all but threw a fit, expounding on how my truck would slide into a ditch and I’d die of hypothermia. It wasn’t until the snowfall slackened and buddy Leigh Rogers agreed to ride with me that she relented.
So I loaded my gear, picked up Leigh and headed to the St. James Boat Club to check out the swamps along Blind River. Oddly, there was less snow there, even though it’s only about 20 minutes from my house. Besides, the swamps I could reach on foot were pretty dirty (translation: they just weren’t all that pretty). I snapped a few images, but nothing that really got my creativity going.
However, as we drove across the bridge to head back to Gonzales, I glanced to my right and saw a marvelous sight: fog rising off the waters of the bayou/canal snaking alongside Airline Highway. Combined with the snow-draped trees, the scene was magical. I put the truck in reverse, nearly backed into someone’s car, parked and set up my tripod. The resulting image (above) is just magical.
As we drove back north, where the snow was thicker, Leigh and I remembered a swampy area off Cornerview Road. It often lacks water, but we headed there hoping the cypress trees and knees would be cloaked in snow.
It was perfect.
Water stood in the swamp, and snow was all over the place. The gnarly trunks captured the powder, which also surrounded the knees bordering the water. Golden leaves fallen from the cypress trees provided a beautiful contrast to the white snow.
We only spent about 30 minutes there, but I couldn’t be happier with the images.
Watch the entire slideshow of my day’s photography adventure by clicking the arrows above/below the photos, or click here to see the gallery of swamp images.