Our tour guide for the swamp tour was born and raised on the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp. During our tour he talked a lot about the expulsion of the Acadians down into this area of the southern US. He told us that the Acadians used to live in communities of houses on floating logs and that his grandfather used to drive the school boat.
This particular alligator was well trained by our tour guide because when we floated into a little cove off of the swamp, he started banging on the side of the boat calling to her. After a few bangs the alligator came, knowing it would get a meal. Our guide then threw some meat into the water for her.
All of the trees here are called Cyprus Trees.
The moss that grows from the Cyprus trees is called Spanish Moss and this moss lively entirely off of the moisture in the air. The Acadians used to use this moss to fill pillows and stuff in the cracks of walls of their homes, along with many other applications. Apparently, Henry Ford also used Spanish Moss to stuff his car seats.