Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mud bugs

Hi all,
 Wendy and I have been talking about how we seem to have gone into vacation mode since getting here. While we were in Alabama we had gotten into almost a routine and thought we were really slowing down. But now in Louisiana we have been trying to cram everything in. And there is just so much that we want to see and getting in the local cuisine. Well with only being here for two weeks it should change after that (or will it?).
   On Tuesday we took a short 200 mile loop drive. It was part of the Creole Nature Trail. It was a nice sunny day with a cool breeze. This is the brief recap. From Abbeville we drove south on 82 passing many crayfish fields.( I will post more later on the crayfish). The south part of the drive hits the gulfcoast.
Rutherford Beach
Water wasn't very clear. Lots of shells
 We headed north on La27 and took the three mile Pintail Wildlife Drive (part of the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge). Which I thought was the best part of the trip. We then headed back west and took a drive by the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. The balance of the drive was mostly small towns and crawfish/rice fields.
Alligator splashed

Roseate Spoonbill  (2 alligators behind them)
Snow geese
  Along the way we saw many birds, some gators,turtles and a lot of marsh land. This area is a major bird flyway and would be awesome to see in prime season.
  Wednesday we took a short drive of only about 10 miles and toured Palmetto State Park. This park has only been open for three years so maybe that explains the light usage. It borders The Vermillion River. It has some old swamp and many palmettos growing.

Nice sites
  It has a nice campground with about 96 sites (water & elec) and some nice looking cabins. Both bath houses have a laundry (free).
 There are three small lakes fed by a small river that feeds into the Vermillion. It looks like a great area for a short canoe ride. A couple in the campground have offered their kayaks to us and if the weather gets better we may take them up on it.
 While there we saw some wild pigs and some more gators. Yeah, kayaking with the gators- cool.

Mama pig with babies
       Okay, now about crayfish, crawdads, crawfish, or mud bugs.
  As a kid in Wisconsin I had netted crayfish in the shallow running river in town. We maybe caught a coffee can full and sometimes gave them to a neighbor.
 Well, have we learned alot! These things actually live in the ground here. They thrive in the rice fields and have gotten more profitable for the farmers than the rice. Also gives them two crops for one field. And as they needed to flood the rice fields it is a perfect match.
  They add a sack of males and another of females as seed after rice is harvested. In December or so they place special baited baskets in the fields. They then use a small paddle wheeled flat boat to harvest them. This goes on until April when it gets to hot for the crawdads and they retreat deep in the ground. We watched them when they were picking and it was quite neat.
 If you want to see more view this short clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6k5qUCPFck&feature=share


  1. It looks like you had a nice drive. I'm not sure I would like to canoe with allilgators! what if I tip? Too bad you can't spend more time in the area so you don't have to cram things in. Do you have a workkamp scheduled soon?

    1. Hi Janice,
      I was teasing Wendy on using our inflatable kayak and tipping.)
      We have reserved here for two weeks and want to head west to New Mexico. We stsrt workkamp May 3 in S.D.