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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Avery Island

Last weekend we drove over to New Iberia and visited Avery Island, where Tabasco sauce is made. Besides the fields, factory, and salt mines used in Tabasco production, the island (which is actually a salt dome) is home to the Jungle Gardens, a bird and wildlife preserve. E.A. McIlheny created it to showcase his collection of exotic botanicals and create a habitat for the snowy egret, then endangered. His aviary, and indeed the entire gardens. abound with wildlife.
You can take a 5-mile driving tour with stops at points to get out and explore, but we walked the trail. I definitely recommend walking: we brought binoculars and did a lot of bird-watching that we couldn't have enjoyed from a car. I wouldn't do it with kids, though: it's too far to walk.

Spanish Moss

Bayou Petit Anse

There is a 900 year old Buddha in a pagoda in one of the gardens.

The camellia garden

Snowy egret, the bird the aviary was built to save

Heron in the cypress knees

This is a stop worth driving out to New Iberia (I'd probably try to combine it with some other Cajun country activity if I were traveling). If you go, bring bird-watching binoculars and a camera.


  1. What an interesting landscape! So different than what I'm used to in CA or the mid-west where I grew up. I've always loved how Spanish Moss looks on trees - sort of romantic?


  2. Looks beautiful! I think walking was the perfect way to go,

  3. Beautiful! I really regret that I've never properly visited Louisiana & only ever just driven through. I'll get to visit for a conference in April, though! (Though it'll just be a week in New Orleans.)

  4. I've just gone to see the movie 12 Years A Slave and they had that moss over all the trees. I spent a good part of the movie trying to remember what it was called - no luck. Thanks for putting it in here. You've put my mind at rest.

  5. I can't remember for sure now, but I think there were a ton of Snowy Egrets at Baton Rouge around the lake by the University. I've got a picture of one in my race report. They're beautiful.