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Canoeing the Tchefuncte River
We are extremely lucky to have a scenic river in our backyard. The Little Tchefuncte River and all of its tributaries are protected under the Scenic Rivers Act, but in April, 2007 it took quite a hit when some misguided post Katrina cleanup went really wrong. Periodically, we take a ride up the river to check for damage and to see if the river is healing itself from the severe damage that was done to its banks. We also like to see what flowers are blooming and what animals are out.
Lazy Little Tchefuncte Flowers and Animals
Come with us on a virtual, photographic canoe ride down the lovely and scenic Little Tchefuncte River, in southeastern Louisiana. The Tchefuncte and its tributaries are protected by the Scenic Rivers Act.
It begins as a spring north in Washington Parish, somewhere near the Mississippi line and meanders down through Folsom and Covington. In Covington, it joins with 2 other rivers, the Bogue Falaya and the Amite. We canoe on the area down stream from Folsom, around Covington, upstream from where the 3 rivers meet.
We'll see many of the plants and animals that live in and along the river. Your guides will also tell you some facts about the river and its inhabitants. So, get your virtual life preserver on and hop into our canoe for an afternoon of fun.
Come join us on a virtual canoe ride on the Tchefuncte River. We launch from our little sandy beach and start up river. This is a shot of downriver and as you can see when the water is low it's difficult to go that way.
Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.
Our river is teaming with wildlife and we were lucky enough to see some interesting species as we paddled along. Our first sighting is a tiny damselfly which decides to hitch a ride. There are so many beautiful dragonflies and other insects that live along the river.
Because the Tchefuncte is protected, removing natural fallen trees and snags is prohibited. This adds to the beauty of our little river and also makes canoeing an adventure. We must wind around trees and crisscross back and forth across the river as we make our way up. Sometimes, when the river is a little low, we have to get a running start in a couple of places to make it across logs. Our canoe is made by Grumman so it's pretty sturdy.
Rio usually comes along. He'll ride for a short while, but he really likes to run along the bank or swim beside the canoe.
Rio the Part Catahoula Dog
Fish of all types are plentiful and the water is usually clear enough to see them. Catfish, Perch, Bass and Garfish are the most common.
Arrow Wood Viburnum
Many beautiful native plants like our native American Wisteria, Horse Sugar, Honeysuckle Azalea, Cardinal Flower and Arrow-wood Viburnum bloom during the different seasons along the river.
Native Pink Azalea
Little Tchefuncte River
The Little Tchefuncte is spring fed so the water is very cold and it's not comfortable for swimming until July or August. It originates in Washington Parish and widens when it joins the Abita and Bogue Falaya down river from us, then it finally flows into Lake Pontchartrain.
River Turtle and Catfish
Reptiles - Turtles and Snakes
Various river turtles and pond sliders sit on logs or on the shore and plop into the water when we pass.
Broad-banded Water Snake
Diamond-Backed Water Snake
Flocks of goldfinches and indigo buntings bathe in and drink from the cool water. They are stopping off at our place before they head north to their breeding grounds.
Pairs of wood ducks fly at almost every turn and a Belted Kingfisher fusses at us when we disturb its fishing.
Immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds like to nest along lazy rivers like the Tchefuncte. There's an immature one and I think I see an empty nest.
Hang on while we negotiate these twists and turns through the fallen trees and roots.
Red Shouldered Hawk
Oh look, one of the pair of Red-shouldered Hawks is eating some prey. It looks like a Mourning Dove.
Herons and Egrets are often seen wading in the shallows or in the trees along the river.
Great Blue Heron
We often see evidence that beavers have been there during the night. Gnawed Chinese Privet branches are often left on sand bars or on the rivers edge. We're really happy when we see dead Chinese Privet because it is one of the invasive exotic plants that chokes out our native plants, forming mono-cultures of privet.
- Brings you a comprehensive profile on beavers. - Filled with stunning color photography.
Raccoons are always somewhere near water and we have large troops of them living along the Tchefuncte.
Occasionally we'll see a river otter pop-up and then gracefully glide through the water.
Amphibians play an important part in the cycle of life on the river. They are our pest control crew. There are frogs and toads of all sizes, from the big Bullfrogs to the tiny tree frogs, all do their part by eating mosquitoes and other insects 24/7.
Gray Tree Frog
This is as far as we can go when the river is this level, so we'll pull the canoe up on the shore and walk a little further to see more.
After our walk we'll paddle back down the river. It's easy on the way back, so we'll let Al do all the work!
Tchefuncte River Map
Videos down river, on the Large Tchefuncte
© 2008 Yvonne L. B.