St. Martin Parish

The fleeting period of pleasant, early spring weather (warm but not hot, breezy, sunny and not humid) has given way to late spring’s humidity and daily thunderstorms. Yesterday was intermittently cloudy but there wasn’t any rain forecast, and after several weekends of not shooting I was chomping at the bit. I wanted to stay close to home, in case the weather got cute and decided to rain after all. I decided to explore some of St. Martin Parish, which is only a little more than half an hour’s drive. I’ve never really seen much of the parish outside of St. Martinville, the parish seat; and Breaux Bridge, which has several antiques stores that I like.

Fournet Cemetery

Fournet Cemetery in St. Martinville. I was driving past it when I realized I’d never been inside, the only cemetery in the town I’ve been to is the one behind St. Martin of Tours.

Durand Oak Alley

This is an oak alley that I was surprised to come across, I’d read about it but for some reason I thought it was on the River Road. It used to lead to a plantation house owned by a wealthy planter named Durand, but the house is long gone and now it’s just an exceptionally well-shaded rural road. The legend is that Durand imported a bunch of large spiders and set them loose in the trees to spin giant webs, and on the day of his daughter’s wedding he made his slaves climb the trees and blow gold dust into the webs. I guess I associate that kind of decadence with River Road planters more than Acadiana planters.

Station of the Cross, Catahoula Highway

This was the main thing I set out to photograph, I read about these stations of the cross in Acadiana: Louisiana’s Historic Cajun Country, which I got for Christmas. (Or rather, I bought it for myself with a gift card.) They’re nailed to oak trees along the Catahoula Highway, about a mile apart. I think the original ones were put up in the 1920s, but these don’t look that old so they must make new ones every decade or so.

Skoolie shack

This was in Parks, a little town between St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge, and I had to put my usual shyness about photographing private property on hold, because what the hell? I’ve heard of converted school buses, but this is like someone duct-taped one to a shack and made them into a single structure.

I couldn’t resist poking my head into my favorite antiques store in Breaux Bridge, Lagniappe on Bridge Street, before I went home. I found a cute Instamatic, but it was a model that shoots 126, Kodak’s proprietary cartridge film, which of course they haven’t made in decades. There were some models that shot 110, one day I’ll find one.

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