Beautiful Reflections along the Bayou
Today’s photo essay features shots I took with my iPhone while floating down the Big Cypress Bayou in Jefferson, Texas. It was hard to restrain myself to only sharing six pictures with you because I could not stop taking photos. It was that beautiful! If, like me, you enjoy dreamy reflections, then a cruise with Turning Basin Riverboat Tours is made for you.
East Texas History & Lore
Our boat was captained by John Nance, who kept us entertained with a mixture of historical information, local lore and facts about nature. After showing us a photo of a huge snapping turtle, John told us how a high school buddy of his earned the name “Stumpy” after having several fingers bitten off by just such a creature while noodling for catfish. (In case you don’t know, “noodling” is the term for catching fish by hand. Pretty crazy activity to do in snapping turtle country!)
Informative, but Spontaneous
One thing I love about the bayou tour by Mr. Nance is how spontaneous he is. You know how some tour guides read a script, and you get the feeling that their mind is off planning their grocery list as they drive their route? With John Nance, you can tell that no two tours are alike. He just starts talking, and sure, he probably shows the same photos each time, but the information he relayed was in direct response to our reactions. You could just tell that he is full of stories.
In some places along the bayou, the gnarly tree roots stick upright, in rows. These are called “cypress knees,” but to me they look more like curious prairie dogs watching from the shoreline. Oddly enough, scientists don’t really know what function these unusual root structures serve. There’s an interesting blog post all about cypress knees at this link: Cypress Knees, What Are They Good For? (absolutely nothin’?)
Snakes on the Water
One thing that freaked me out as we cruised down the Big Cypress Bayou was seeing my first water moccasin. I don’t have a snake phobia, but what made me shudder in this case is that the snake swam across the bayou! I’m from Washington State, and while we do have rattlesnakes up there, they don’t make a habit of swimming. On fishing trips as a kid, I always took comfort in knowing that I wasn’t likely to encounter a venomous creature while wading or swimming.
Turning Basin Riverboat Tours = Money Well Spent
At $8 a piece, I thought the hour-long riverboat cruise down Big Cypress Bayou in Jefferson, Texas was well worth it. The boat captain is entertaining, the setting is beautiful, and shutterbugs will be in photo-heaven. (Speaking of, there is a gorgeous photo essay about this same bayou tour over at Debbi Robertson’s blog entitled The REAL La Salle’s Riverboat Expedition. Check it out!) If you ever take a jaunt to east Texas, I highly recommend checking out the Turning Basin Riverboat Tours website and booking a trip for yourself.
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.