(From January 2011)
Not far outside of this small community in Louisiana I had the pleasure of working on a land-based oil rig that sat in, what used to be, the middle of a horse track. My work hours kept me busy until about 6 am each day. After my shift was up, a buddy and I would head over to a small boat landing where a bait shop/bar opened early to help gear up the locals. Everyone I met there was just as laid back and friendly as can be. Prior to Erath, I don’t believe I’d ever had someone offer me a cold beer at six in the morning. We’d usually shoot a few games of pool and then head off to bed. A few mornings though, my camera was begging to be put to use and it was certainly a great time of day for dramatic lighting. Inside the bait shop I had take notice of a few images of the aftermath of hurricane Rita. Devastation. Driving around Erath and the surrounding areas, you could still see the scars from it. Even the people seemed to have been left with a mark by such a violent change in their surroundings. What was there a day before was gone the next. I’ve no idea how I would deal with something like that. I suppose no one does.
I came across this home that was left in shambles after Rita came through. It looked as though whoever lived there just dropped everything and ran.
The whole area surrounding Erath is covered in rice fields and crawfish farms. The photo below is of a unique, shallow-bottom boat that uses a hydraulics-driven paddle wheel for propulsion. This design allows those who gather up the crawfish to go along in these flooded fields without crushing what lies just beneath the surface. Ingenious!
I came across this old tractor that was parked near a canal that ran the perimeter of a flooded field. The morning sun had just peaked over the horizon to give this scene a good bath in warm light. It was freezing cold that morning!
And another tractor I found before the sun broke the morning’s fog.
These fellas were along the dirt road that led to the oil rig. If I ever had land, I’d love to have a couple of cows, and for no other purpose beyond field adornments. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE me a good steak but I could never muster what it takes to turn them into meat. I get too attached.