For the last six weeks, I have dwelled in places where the word "bayou" is unfamiliar to most people. Maps of the region are absent the names "D'Arbonne," "de L'Outre." "Teche, and the like. There are no such streams with their characteristic side-dressing of cypress trees and Spanish moss for a thousand miles. No alligators or alligator gar, no accompanying summer humidity to smother the aspirations of even the native-born.
It is not as if those distant places lack surface water. Though scare when compared to oursaturated landscapes, it exists in geologically young channels with tails atop snow-cappedmountains and sweeps downward through sagebrush desert yielding more elevation in a mile
than our bayous in their entirety.