An Unsinkable Shelter on a Barge in the Bayou

After the author loses her home in flood, she builds an unsinkable shelter on a barge and shares her experiences on the bayou.



Bayou barge 1
[1] Our bayou house sinks beneath the brown waters of the 1973 flood.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Bayou barge 2
[2] When the river receded, the raccoons moved in.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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[5] Crawfish catches provides us with food and cash.
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Bayou barge 6
The rich black earth of the Atchafalaya Swamp (made up of topsoil washed down by the Mississippi) produces a bounteous garden (though planting dates are sometimes delayed by floods).
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Bayou barge 4
[4] There's no fear of floods now that our spacious home can rise and fall with the water levels.
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Bayou barge 3
[3] Calvin at work on the barge "becoming" a houseboat.
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Bayou barge 8
[8] The swamp is rich in wildlife, such as these hawks.
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Bayou barge 9
[9] Learning to cooperate with the bayou environment has brought sweet rewards . . . including all the vegetables we can eat.
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Bayou barge 7
[7] Spring's high water level brings the fishing season.
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