Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Second Annual Crawdad Crawl

This weekend our family traveled northward for a few days of fun in a cooler climate. We spent two nights near Woods Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim. We eagerly donned wool hats and jackets in the cool mornings and evenings. It was a great break from our 100 degree weather.

We found many things to do to keep our family busy. There were activities to please everyone. Eamon, Aine and Benton built a house, found animal scat and ran around in the surrounding forest discovering a fort, rock city, mini forest and molecule forest. Dave gave the kiddos lessons on chopping wood, and each excitedly took their turns swinging an ax. I finished knitting Aine's shawl and started a pair of mittens. Dave and I were able to take a few moments to sit and just watch our children creating and exploring. We talked and laughed a lot.

With two cans of wildflowers decorating our table courtesy of Aine, our cookout retained a sense of refinement. We cooked our meals outside and enjoyed delicious chili, bacon and eggs, oatmeal, baked beans, fresh fruit, veggies, hot dogs, crawfish and of course many marshmallows. Eamon created culinary masterpieces that he willingly ate although they included marshmallows, oatmeal and berries. Benton loved toasting marshmallows and eating them despite tummy aches.

You may wonder about the eating of crawfish. Last year we stayed at the same campground with friends, and one of our favorite activities was fishing for crawdads in the lake. Fortunately the other families joined us again this year, and we again caught a lot of crawdads! The kids, armed with sticks, string and bacon, fished from the shore. One of the fathers build several traps which he placed around the lake. With the children fishing and the traps, we had a significant haul of crawdads. The kiddos loved holding the mini lobsters and watching them move. We talked about responsible handling of animals and their ethical treatment (prompted after the early demise of a crawdad under a water bottle). They also enjoyed cooking them in the pot of water. Eating the catch was not quite so exciting, but several kiddos liked taking the shells apart and producing the flesh for those who wanted to eat it. I think it was a successful 2nd Annual Crawdad Crawl.
(Crawfish are an invasive species in Arizona and cause quite a bit of harm to riparian areas. Catching and eating them is encouraged by our local game and fish department).

1 comment:

  1. How neat! I never knew that crawdads were in Arizona. Learn something new everyday :)

    Glad you all had a great time! Love the wood chopping image.