California Boy Goes to Swamps

After three days on Grand Isle, it was time for our team to head to New Orleans. On our way to the Big Easy, we made a pitstop at Lafitte, a small town named after the notrious Gulf of Mexico pirate, Jean Lafitte. Here, we grubbed at a small mom & pop restaurant named Boutte's. I had the best red beans & rice here.

After a quick bite, our team journeyed to the Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Our team got the opportunity to walk the trails that run through the swamp and marsh. It was a biome unlike any other I've seen in California. For those who are unfamiliar with swamp and marsh, it may be hard to comprehend just what a swamp and marsh is; I definitely didn't understand prior to seeing it in person. While Wikipedia's pages may be of some use, hopefully my aural and visual records can help you understand the flavor of this incredible natural habitat. Sadly, we did not see an alligator…

The Sound

We’ll start with the basic soundscape of the swamps. You can here birds and insects filling the aural atmosphere. Occasionally, a breeze will rustle the leaves and add another layer. I captured this recording near the entrance of the trail, so some vehicle sound was captured. In order to remove the unwanted sound, I ran the track through a few filters, removing as much of the sound as I could without jeopardizing the integrity of the soundscape.

A bit later, the wind died down, so I took another capture of the general swamp soundscape. Since I was further along the trail, I was both closer to the animal sound sources and further from vehicles in the parking lot. This allowed me to turn up the gain of my recorder and get a clearer recording of the soundscape. Using moderate filtering, I focussed this track on the birds and insects of the swamp.

As our group journeyed further into the swamp, the sounds became progressively weirder. Here, we have an added layer of swamp frogs.

Then we encountered some interesting insect sounds.

But the granddaddy of all weird sounds has to be this strange, sheep-like sound. I am still unsure what kind of animal could produce such an interesting tone, but one of our teammates claims a frog was making this sound.

The Look