We opened duck box doors carefully, counted eggs, and saw brand new ducklings. Actually counted as many as 34 eggs in one box and on the way back, all the eggs had hatched and the babies were gone!
Then we went into some dead end bayou (I was lost by this time) where we saw an eagle’s nest with two fledgling birds peering down at us. They flew but landed on a nearby tree.
The day was beautiful and it was a wonderful trip.
Next on the agenda was the Putt Putt Boat Club gathering down river. There I chatted with a bunch of really great people, and saw some gorgeous boats and engines.
There were boats/people from New York, Washington (the state), Indiana, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and of course, Louisiana. It was a great gathering as always, with friendly people, as boating enthusiasts always are. Everyone was chatting, renewing friendships, taking boat rides, and talking about boats.
A man from Pierre Part, Edrian Breaux, brought a six-foot model putt putt boat, correct to every detail which he put in the water and remotely controlled. A lovely little boat.
Nicole Patin informs me that I have been writing this column for more than 7½ years. (This is column #400) Hard to believe.
I can recall when word reached me from Ken Grissom, via a mutual acquaintance, that he’d be interested in having news from this part of St. Martin Parish for the Teche News. I jumped at the chance ’cause I’ve always felt that Baja St. Martin (and the title was Ken’s idea – a good one, I think, since we’re in the lower part of the parish) was badly neglected. We’d sort of been a no-man’s land over here for many years.
This opportunity seemed a perfect chance to ‘toot’ our horn and let the rest of the parish know who we are over here. I’ve loved every minute of the column. And I think it has helped. At least I’ve not met anyone lately who said, “Belle River, where’s that?”
Crawfish season is booming, folks. Around 6 a.m., maybe earlier, the trucks and trailers are zooming by my house heading to the landing. The latter is packed by 8 a.m.
The levee board blocked off the spillway side of the levee for parking, but people are finding places to squeeze in anyway. Nobody wants to walk all the way across the levee when you come back from a hard day’s work.
The price has dropped to $1.50 to the fishermen. I imagine it would cost you and I at least a dollar more, but I don’t know for sure.
I stood on one of the metal walkways the other day at the landing and watched the fishermen launching and heading out.
It brought back so many memories of when my husband and I fished for a living. While he was parking the truck, I’d already be tearing into the bait box, cutting fish, melt, getting the first traps opened and ready, putting on slicker pants, gloves, arranging my bucket seat. Of course, this was back in the days when traps were put down by pole and it took two people to run things.
Now, it still requires two people (most of the time), but fishermen have metal trays built where they dump the traps, and the crawfish slide into hanging sacks, all very efficient. Necessary when you’re running a thousand traps.
Things have changed but the crawfish still taste just as good. We have family coming for a visit in a few weeks from Chicago and I’m looking forward to our first boil!
Teche News’ Lower St. Martin correspondent, Linda Cooke, can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.