|Heading east out of New Orleans, we decided we wanted to get up close and personal with a swamp. We took a 2 hour swamp tour around Honey Island with a group and an informative guide. Our timing was not the best. Many of the reptiles have gone into hibernation because of the cold weather and the leaves haven fallen from the trees. Can only imagine how beautiful it is in the summer. We were lucky enough to see lots of "slipper" turtles (so named because when you get close, they slip into the water), several beautiful Blue Herons and even a couple of younger alligators who were out sunning themselves. They hibernate down in the mud during cold weather as they can't survive the cold. Their body temperature is the same as the water so they can freeze if it gets too cold. An exciting yet eerie feeling surrounds you as the boat glides through mostly cypress trees with their cone shaped trunks standing in the water, hanging thickly with Spanish moss and some tupelo trees. The swamp is homes to a large variety of animals, many different species of snakes including the only place in the southeast where the Western Diamondback rattlesnake can be found. Louisiana is home to more alligators than any other state, claiming to have between 1.5 and 2 million of them while Florida has between 1 and 1.5 million. During the day, dragon flies are seen flitting through the swamps but at night, the mosquitoes are out in swarms and it's not a place you want to be! We glided by many fishing camps, accessible only by boat and many new homes that have been built at the edge of the swamp after hurricane Katrina.