National Geographic : 1979 Sep
Adrift in a ghostforest, anglers cast for bass in the shadows of huge cypress stumps (above). By the early 1930's, loggers had cleared the swamp of virtually all its first-growth bald cy presses, behemoths that often towered above a hundred feet. Called the "wood eternal," cy press heartwood infused dura bility into everything from cabinsto coffins. Bare-handinga more offbeat swamp resource, Kelly Falcon prepares to bag a nonpoisonous water snake (left). He sells such reptilesto both a roadsidetourist zoo and to a laboratoryfor study. A part-timeelectricianas well as a filmmaker, Kelly shares the many-hatted life-style that is typical of the Atchafalaya's siz able community of Cajuns. They are the descendants of French settlers who were ousted from British Canada in 1755 and trickled into what is now south ern Louisiana. 387 ^*^w"