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We'll go down to the crawdad hole...

Posted Sunday, April 1, 2012, at 8:27 AM

The fields in the Tillman region of North Stoddard county are peppered with these little mud chimneys.
What creature builds a mud chimney?

Funny the things you don't notice, as you drive to and from work each day... Just this week, I was driving home from work and noticed some little mud chimneys in a neighbor's untilled field beside the road.

Of course I knew what they were; I used to have them in the lawn where I mowed at the base of my pond levee. I'm sure they're still there, but the area is so grown up now, I can't see the ground, much less the mud chimneys.

It's been years since I saw a crawdad hole.

I googled the topic and discovered that the holes can go down five feet or more, until they reach the water table. I had no idea they were so deep.

My husband used to tell me how he would try to catch a crawdad by lowering a straw or a string down the hole. The crawdad would grab hold, and he would pull the creature out. I can see him in my mind's eye, a scrawny kid in old worn bib overalls, stooped over the little mud chimney for hours, fishing for crawdads. He would put them in a bucket and carry them off to the fishing hole. There, he would use them for bait on a hot summer day.

The googled article didn't furnish much useful information, except to warn landowners not to try to poison the crawdads to get them out of their yards. Since the holes go down to the water table, you would be poisoning your water supply.

Better get out the straw broom and pull out your crawdad catcher!

The song about those "lazy, hazy days of summer" is echoing through my head....

Have a good summer and don't let the crawdads bite your toes!

From the lazy hills of Tillman, Mo., this is your sleepy blogger Madeline, signing off on a gloriously warm, beautiful Palm Sunday!

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Using crawdads for bait is a sin, when I was growing up in Pascola, I liked this time of the year, time to 'fish out' crawdads, find an old coffee can, borrow some of moms bacon grease, build a fire and cook some Missouri shrimp. Now that was a treat after having beans and taters one day and taters and beans the next.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sun, Apr 1, 2012, at 3:32 PM

After going down to the Mud Bug festival in Louisiana, I can say that crawdads are NOT a part of my dietary delights...

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Apr 5, 2012, at 7:11 AM

I'd like to try'm sometime. Can't taste too much different than other arachnids we eat. "You get a line , I get a pole..." Us city boys (my brother and cousin and I) used to ride our ten speed bikes down to a creek just south of Pomona, CA where we lived and fish for crawdads. But we always threw them back in.

-- Posted by swift on Thu, Apr 5, 2012, at 3:48 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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