By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
UNCERTAIN – If you want to see alligators, you travel at night, veteran Caddo Lake tour guide John Winn will tell you.
Winn takes Caddo visitors on bird tours, scenic tours, photography tours and the odd gator tour.
“You have to go at night to see gators,” Winn said. “So, I don’t do that tour much, anymore. I like my sleep.” “Most of my customers are from the city,” Winn related Wednesday.
“They want something totally different. I let them see wading birds, Spanish moss and take them into a whole different world.” The Caddo experience is a memory they will treasure. “It lets them feel like they have been to a place that time has forgotten,” Winn said.
On photography tours, Winn focuses more on what the photographer wants to see and do. “It may be sunsets, wildlife or wading birds,” Winn said. “I try to make those happen best I can.” Winn said he “fools around a bit with photography” and understands the photographer’s needs.
He did carry a Canon camera and lenses until he made an important discovery. “I found out a Canon camera and lenses can’t swim,” Winn said. Winn, a guide for 18 years, said he didn’t drop the camera in the lake.
“I grabbed my camera bag as I headed out on a three-hour tour,” Winn recalled. “I never pulled the camera out of bag. We walked up to the car after the tour and another car pulled up. When they left, I got in my truck and went home.”
That night a heavy downpour struck. When Winn came back the next morning water was two inches from gunnels inside my boat and the camera bag was under water. Winn hopes to save up to buy a new mirrorless camera.
Great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, ibis, bitterns, lesser herons, yellow crowned night herons, osprey, red shouldered hawks and a lot of barred owls are among the birds, Winn takes visitors to see.
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