Baton Rouge LDS Temple and Bluebonnet Swamp

I’m really sad that this picture is crooked because Landon is perfectly 

One of the main reasons we took a weekend trip to Baton Rouge was to attend the LDS temple there. We try to attend the temple at least one time per month in order to learn, worship, and gain eternal perspective on life that helps us get through the day to day ups and downs everyone goes through. The culminating ordinance in the temple is the sealing of families together for eternity. This means that all of the family relationships we have here on earth will continue on after death into the eternities. There are not words to express how happy I am that I KNOW that I will be with my family forever as long as we all live our lives the way God wants us to. To learn more about temples, click here. There are some pretty stellar videos succinctly explaining about temples.

Baton Rouge temple is a smaller temple, and was built in 2000. Its design is very similar to to the Fresno, California and Kona, Hawaii temples, as well as many others. We took turns attending so we could watch Landon, and so Landon and I walked around the temple grounds and went to a nearby swamp nature center while we waited for Austin to be done.  
One neat thing about the smaller temples is the golden Angel Moroni statue on top seems much bigger because it is closer to the ground. Landon liked walking around the grounds and seeing Angel Moroni from all angles. 

Bundled and ready for trails

It was pretty cold that morning (high 30’s, balmy for my Chicago friends) so we bundled up and spent some time at the Bluebonnet Nature Center before enjoying the outside trails. They had all sorts of snakes, turtles, and frogs in little terrariums, as well as a fun gift shop. When it was a little warmer outside, we hit a few trails that led into the swamp. This was a freshwater cypress swamp with lots of bald cypress trees. This kind of cypress have the knees that come out of the water. The knees allow them to get some oxygen and also provide stability in the water.  I don’t think I had seen these before our trip to Louisiana, and I’m just fascinated by them and the landscapes they create.

Trees and their knees
There was a half mile loop and a 1/3 mile out and back trail that we explored. The 1/2 mile loop actually went out into the swamp via a boardwalk, so that part of the trail was very smooth and nice for the stroller. The other parts were gravel and aside from the occasional tree branch, were passable with a jogging type stroller.

Wildflowers

 Halfway along the out and back trail Landon fell asleep so I was able to take my time and get some pictures of the swamp and different interesting features of it. One thing I did not get a picture of was a small opossum that skittered across the trail and into hiding before I could snap a picture.

Mossy knee
Sleepy boy
Bluebonnet swamp

I appreciated the city of Baton Rouge. It had a small downtown area, and was relatively spread out and built around the swampy areas. It felt like a good sized city, but not too big and developed. It’s hard to explain I guess, but we had a good time there.

Fungi
Then we picked up this guy! What a guy!
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