Across all of these United States, each with its own flavor, Louisiana is the fetid jungle ― the haze, the density, the ragged rivers and lakes, swamps, bayous, black pools, algae blooms; the trees pushing against every fencerow, every field. If you walk carelessly under the dark canopy you will certainly be devoured, but slowly. Surely it is this that the land is one of the least populated, the least understood. You can only know a piece of it, at a good clip, and never entirely.

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