When we think of the visitors we have to our gardens, we often think of insects, rodents, small mammals, and birds. But one Redditor was shocked to see what she thought was a mouse burrowing into her raised garden bed was actually a crustacean.
The original poster shared their shock with the Reddit Permaculture community, where they explain they set up a trail cam on their garden expecting to see a mouse in a small burrow they found.
“That moment when you set up a trail cam to see the cute mouse who is living in your hugelkultur raised bed only to discover it’s A FREAKING CRAYFISH?!?” they wrote.
The video, which is fixed on a small burrow near the side of the raised garden bed, shows the unique visitor crawling back into their burrow.
The post originally appeared in the r/permaculture subreddit. Permaculture is a form of agriculture that focuses on the growth of ecosystems in a self-sufficient and sustainable way. A good example of permaculture is the Redditor’s hugelkultur garden bed.
Hugelkultur is a traditional way of building a garden bed made by layering logs, branches, leaves, compost, and soil.
So why do the logs matter? Well, they most accurately mimic nature (that’s where permaculture comes in). Much like a forest floor, the wood decomposes to produce nutrients for your plant. It holds water to help use less water and combat drought, and it also promotes biodiversity as worms, bugs, and bacteria help break it down.
While the crayfish garden guest may be a bit surprising, it’s actually a really good sign for our Redditor. Since it’s in a garden bed, it’s safe to assume the little friend is a burrowing crayfish, which live their lives on land.
They’re also considered keystone organisms. This means they’re a huge benefit to their ecosystem. Burrowing crayfish help decompose other organic matter — which feeds other organisms, along with being part of more than 200 species’ diets, as well.
Aside from commenters thinking the garden guest was “cray” (we see what they did there), they were thrilled for the Redditor.
“OP, you best keep him,” one user wrote. “And may I say congratulations on doing permaculture right, if native keystone critters move in.”
“Ok this is the coolest thing I’ve seen and learned this morning,” another commented. “I had no idea they make their dens on dry land! He’s so cute getting all snuggled in, I can barely even take it.”
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