Thursday, August 8, 2013

If smoke comes out, there’s a new crawfish pope

           We eat just about anything in South Louisiana, including the low man on the underwater totem pole, the crawfish. These creatures live in freshwater wetlands, which is pretty much all of South Louisiana. And because they love water, such as bayous, marshes, swamps, ditches and the like — again all of South Louisiana — it’s not uncommon that you’ll find them burrowing in your backyard.
            In summer the most common species of crawfish crawls deep in the mud and stays there for most of fall and winter. When they come out of their holes in spring, it’s crawfish season, meaning Louisiana residents gobble them up. It’s amazing the species has survived.
            One of the most unusual sites you will see in South Louisiana are little mud "chimneys" poking out of the ground. Inside these chimneys there’s a crawfish or two living in his underground tunnel.
            Since Bob Thomas of the Loyola University Center for Environmental Education explains it so much better than I can, here’s his take on things:
          “Crawfish chimneys are those “smokestack”-looking things that appear in ditches, fields, and our yards each spring,” he writes. “Everywhere you see one (sometimes a crawfish will make two), there is a crawfish living in a burrow underneath. Their tunnels may extend down into the earth 3 feet or more, sometimes being a single burrow going straight down, but more often being a main tunnel with a couple of side tunnels, each with a room at the end. They are normally full of water.”

No comments:

Post a Comment