September 17, 2002- "Cypress Island Swamp Tours"

He's as much at home in the swamp as the alligators and nutria. Marcus de la Houssaye guides his boat through a stand of cypress trees at Cypress Island.

"We get caught up in our armchair view of the world, with our televisions and our videos, and we're missing the personal real experience of being in nature," he says.

He's Doug Kershaw's Louisiana Man in the flesh -- at one time even living in a houseboat tied to a big tall tree, a home for my papa and my mama and me. "I built a houseboat," he says, "so I could live in the swamp, wake up in the swamp, sleep in the swamp."

From his earliest days Marcus has loved the swamps and forests of the Cypress Island Basin. He has schooled himself in the history and ecology of this rich habitat. He and his two Catahoula hounds, Bob and Domino, are at home among the towering tupelo and bald cypress more than anyplace else on earth. That's why he's added seats to the same boat he once used to run the crawfish traps and find the fishing holes.

Now he guides tours through his beloved swamp. "I thought I would share this with a lot more people. I continue to drive the swamp the same way as I did as a fisherman, but now I have the benefit of making friends from all over the world, and I don't have to smell like dead fish."

Marcus's Louisiana is hundreds of years ancient, a pristine wilderness visible now from the boat of the Louisiana Man. You can find more information about Marcus and his tours at this web site --