Crawfish is what Oregonian’s call small stream lobsters. Sandy River has them! Have you seen them?
Growing up as kid in the Rockies wandering fields and meadows exploring nature and life is one of my fondest memories as one gets older. For some reason, Rocky Mountain adults called them crawdads?
Nature challenges one naturally; but it is not a competition like in a school play ground. It saddens the soul; some modern kids today practically live in cars ushered from classroom to videogame to bedroom?
My parents would routinely take the three boys outside to run in the sun & to burn up the excess energy and save the home from “ruck-housing” – or destruction! When parents were busy, being the oldest, the author was expected to watch over the brothers and show them “the ropes” or take care of each other, exercise out in the sun or rain, how to be safe and do no harm.
Now that I have gray in my beard, the endless childhood memories stream back at choice moments seeing moose strolling in the meadow, and mountain lion sleeping in the sun up a tree, and a foot long, red crawfish in a stream – like the two in the cover photo. Of course, we had to explore how the claws worked. We’d picked it up from behind the claws and one brother always would allow the crawdad pinchers to crush a stick. Then, we’d put him back gently and move on to another nature discovery or adventure.
Innocent times; but unforgettable for all us brother.
Officially Wickipedia explains:
Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads – members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea – are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related. They breathe through feather-like gills and are found in bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom; they are also mostly found in brooks and streams where there is fresh water running, and which have shelter against predators. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Crayfish feed on living and dead animals and plants.
Some kinds of crayfish are known locally as lobsters, crawdads, mudbugs, and yabbies. In the Eastern United States, “crayfish” is more common in the north, while “crawdad” is heard more in central and western regions, and “crawfish” further south, although there are considerable overlaps.
Children never asked; but adult enjoy knowing:
Fossil records of crayfish older than 30 million years are rare, but fossilised burrows have been found from strata as old as the late Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic. The oldest records of the Parastacidae are in Australia, and are 115 million years old.
Oddly a brand new species of crayfish has been discovered this January 2011 by scientists in Tennessee!
Giant crayfish found in Tennessee is new species
Taylor and Guenter Schuster of Eastern Kentucky University found their first specimen of the new species under one of the biggest rocks in the deepest part of a commonly explored Tennessee creek.
The new species, called Barbicambarus simmonsi, is about 5 inches long and has antennae covered with a sensitive fringe of tiny, hairlike bristles, called setae.
More than half of the 600 known species of crayfish in the world are found in North America, Taylor said.
“This thing had not been seen by scientific eyes until last year,” he said.
“We spend millions of dollars every year on federal grants to send biologists to the Amazon, to Southeast Asia — all over the world looking for and studying the biodiversity of those regions,” Schuster said. “But the irony is that there’s very little money that is actually spent in our own country to do the same thing. And there are still lots of areas right here in the U.S. that need to be explored.”
Ironically, Portland readers many people are concerned about our children’s future well being without NATURE:
Recommended websites for parents:
How children lost the right to roam in four generations
the Daily Mail, UK – June 15, 2007
By DAVID DERBYSHIRE
When George Thomas was eight he walked everywhere. It was 1926 and his parents were unable to afford the fare for a tram, let alone the cost of a bike and he regularly walked six miles to his favourite fishing haunt without adult supervision. Fast forward to 2007 and Mr Thomas’s eight-year-old great-grandson Edward enjoys none of that freedom. He is driven the few minutes to school, is taken by car to a safe place to ride his bike and can roam no more than 300 yards from home. Even if he wanted to play outdoors, none of his friends…
Get Outdoors: A New Prescription for Health
Health professionals near Atlantic City, New Jersey are finding new ways to help kids and families get well and stay well: They are prescribing outdoor activities for their patients.
Getting outdoors for health is the main idea behind the Nature Champions Program, a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Environmental Education Foundation and a variety of health care professionals and organizations. AtlantiCare Health Systems, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlantic City Champions of Youth Program, and Gilda’s Club of South Jersey are three groups that are actively involved in the program and are beginning to prescribe outdoor activities to their patients.
Three other National Wildlife Refuges in the Northeast and several refuges around the country also participate in this National Nature Champions program. To learn more about the program or how you could get involved, visit the National Environmental Education Foundation website at www.neefusa.org
PORTLANDERS & OREGONIANS, Take the family outdoors; as spring is coming!
Other quote to consider:
“Like a man travelling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them.” ~Benjamin Franklin
“All is going on as it was wont. The waves are hoarse with repetition of their mystery; the dust lies piled upon the shore; the sea-birds soar and hover; the winds and clouds go forth upon their trackless flight; the white arms beckon, in the moonlight, to the invisible country far away.” ~Charles Dickens
“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr