living by the seasons in america's wetland

    Many people who live in America’s WETLAND live by the seasons, meaning that they acquire many of their food needs by harvesting Louisiana's bountiful natural resources.  This is a very important part of our culture, and in important ways defines our way of life.  Examples include:

  •  fishing in the summer
  • picking blackberries, dewberries, and thistle in spring
  • crawfishing in the spring
  • picking Gran au Volait (lotus) in June and July
  • collecting alligator eggs in mid-July
  • harvesting alligators in September
  • hunting squirrels and rabbits in October
  • hunting deer in winter
  • duck hunting (to fill the freezer) in fall and winter
  • trapping in December-February
  • "cooning" oysters (picking them from the water, named after raccoons that do the same) during cold fronts, low tides, December-February

The following figure is an interesting graphic presentation of how people in the Chenier Plain (coastal southwest Louisiana) live by the seasons.  This is from a 1998 book by Gay Gomez (A Wetland Biography.  Univ. of Texas Press. 0-292-72812-3).

 

The following table is another graphic illustration of how Cajuns live by the seasons in the Atchafalaya River swamps (from Greg Guirard’s book Cajun Families of the Atchafalaya,  p 29).