The Things I Find in My Yard After a Heavy Rain
Posted on July 14, 2015 Posted by John Scalzi 73 Comments
Here you go.
Close up of the crawdad, say? Very well, here you are:
Also, I found this, too:
I don’t know what kind of fish it is. I call it a “yard trout.”
Both of these things were perfectly alive, incidentally. The yard trout was slightly beached on the grass, however; I gently pushed it back into the “river” with my toe and it swam away in the direction of the creek down the road.
You find such interesting things in your yard after heavy rains, I have to say.
That’s crazy – a fish in your lawn!!!
It’s happened before.
Looks like a Bluegill. Them’s good eatin!
That crawdaddy thing is actually from Vega. They want their marshmallows back.
Very Fresh food delivery ;-)
Amazon should take a look into it as alternative to drones….
I have to say, I’ve never seen a crawdad that big. Kinda impressive!
wow, and I was expecting an interesting mushroom…
i remember taking a train across Ohio in the spring of 2007. It was like taking a train across a new Great Lake.
I am sure you will hear from Ursula Vernon on this, but it’s entirely possible that crayfish was in your lawn before the heavy rain: http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/the-case-of-the-burrowing-what.html
You could probably just cast a net. There’s no telling what kind of critters you might catch, lol.
Sunfish of some sort. Been a long time since my Fishes of the Midwest class.
That was just an aquatic probe doing a swim-by of the Scalzi compound.
That crawdad looked both huge and delicious. Seriously, those are fantastic eating. Missed opportunity.
At first glance I thought that was a lobster… Which would be a truly bizarre find in Ohio…
Looks like a green sunfish to me – or at least according to this handy chart: http://www.2lbgil.com/panfish/ and I think it’s in spawning colors, so maybe you want to keep a safe distance because that has never turned out well in sci-fi.
Is “The Yard Trouts” going to be the name of your next band?
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I prefer floods to bushfires as natural disasters go.*. At least they happen at a pace that allows for getting away without any unseemly running.
*We get both here. Come to sunny Australia they said, it’s beautiful they said…
@FossilFishy, try some Central Texas flash flooding where the water can come up feet in a few minutes. That sends folks running, too! Stay safe and avoid the bushfires!
Did you also find a large boat built in units approximating your forearm?
I too have had sudden streams running through my horse pasture down the hill this summer and am sure that there have been transitional bluegill and bream from my pond. Just hopin’ that my earth dam survives the next few big floods! And I think there is a pretty good chance the crawdad was already there :) seen any tiny towers of mud lately?
As long as you don’t see any sunken cities….
Thanks bbarth. The land round here isn’t conducive to flash floods so far as I can tell, too much vegetation perhaps? Strange for this land that seems so bent on being dangerous. Mind you, that same vegetation actively wants to burn…
The Black Saturday fires happened the year I arrived and one section of it came three kilometres from my place. It took out eight houses and killed two people.
I had spent most of the 90’s cultivating tinnitus in various nowhere bands and I still have a lot of gear. Once our go bags were packed and our refuge confirmed (the local pub, literally a quick sprint away, we had no car at the time) I stopped to consider if I could take an instrument without endangering myself, my wife or my three year old child.
I was still contemplating when the sun went down and three quarters of the sky lit up with an evil glow that had nothing at all to do with the cozy colours of a campfire. All the reports said it was heading right for us and we were warned to prepare for ember attack. We were saved by a 1:30am wind change, and I learned something very important that night.
It can all burn.
All of it, every last thing I own can go to ash and cinder so long as my wife and child are safe.
We own a car now, bought specifically to flee in, and high summer has become a time of vigilance rather than ease.
So yeah, I prefer our non-flash floods. The big one a few years back only made it to 30 meters from the back door and it took a whole day to get there. Sure, some homes were badly damaged, but their contents were saved. And best of all, no one came even close dying.
Australia is sunny, and it is beautiful, but the rural parts of it have challenges that I never expected.
I think the fish is a war mouth, named for the blue ‘war paint’ near its mouth.
Wow. Flashback. I grew up near a small stream that would sometimes overflow a hundred feet during spring melt and a rainstorm. Crawdads. Frogs. Snakes. Dont think I ever saw a yard fish though. Always fun to stomping around in the rain when the creek was over the bank. Have fun!
At least it wasn’t a giant blue crawdad, handing out hardlight hallucinogenics.
Ooh, I like throwing fish types into the voting pool! Do you folks get Pumpkinseeds your way? https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Lepomis_gibbosus_PAQ.jpg
Just how big was that crawdad?
That made a most excellent share for my family of nature buffs
That’s a good photo of the crawdad. I’m not entirely sure what the difference between a lobster and a crawdad is, but I’ll take your word for it.
@Fletcher, Lobsters are (primarily) saltwater, and Crawdaddies are (primarily) freshwater. Also, Lobsters get FREAKING HUGE and Crawdads probably max out at about the size of the one in John’s picture up there.
@FossilFishy, I live in California, where flash floods are a terrifying horrible thing that can happen.
Part of this Climate Change your Sleazebag Congressman, John Bo-NER, denies is happening, Scalzi…?
Time to get rid of him, By Any Means Necessary.
Wow, the only animals we ever got around our place after/during a flood was a truly prodigious infestation of ants. (My parents live on a hill, and central IA has taken to having “100-year floods” every other year for the past 6 years or so now) If we’d’ve gotten fish, the local feral cats would’ve never left the yard. In NorCal now – wouldn’t mind a bit of flooding, tbh. The drought’s getting fierce.
I particularly like the crawdad pic. Beautiful!
Any means? Just what means would you consider?
Out of curiosity, how large was the crawdad?
Thanks for the beautiful video of your yard, crawdad and fish with the sun shining on a beautiful day. At least yours was outside. I live in Columbus (OH) and have had Lake Erie 2 in my basement. Not Fun.
The crawdad was about the size of my outstretched hand.
Somebody beat me to the “Green Sunfish” ID
Aaaaah, how wonderful! Yard crawdad and yard fish! Those photos are gorgeous.
I hope you still have your lovely gravel.
One time, my friend and I picked a crawdad about as big as the one in Scalzi’s picture out of a stream with nothing but a pair of tongs. It was hilarious when we tromped back into camp with our prize in a bucket, and all my uncles just stared at it and us. I guess we’d pulled the biggest crawdad of the day, and my uncles all had traps — we just had a pair of tongs. That was a good family reunion.
I spent a lot of time in my youth screwing around in rivers and creeks, and I’ve never seen a crawdad even close to that size. Wow.
Oooh, bluegill! When I was a kid in upstate NY, fishing with my father, I caught a fair number of them. Lots of bones, but tasty.
And yum, crawdads! (Aeons ago, I worked for a swimming pool company in San Diego. We were very near the (channeled into concrete) San Diego river, which flooded a couple of times, one of which, in addition to rising high enough to soak everything in the lower desk drawers in the office (hint: NCR paper copies of work orders do not survive immersion), filled some of the display pools. One of those pools had many, many crawdads in it, and our construction superintendent was out with a net, gathering enough for a nice meal for many people.)
(TL:DR for reminiscence.)
Well, at least dinner’s covered.
@rmgiroux – The Yard Fish, would that be like the Yard Birds, but with more bass? (yeah. sorry. It is sort of a compulsion….)
It turns out that crawdad-vs.-crayfish is a fairly strong marker of where in the USA one is from:
How did the new gravel on the driveway hold up?
I tend to call crawdads (or cray fish) what they look like: freshwater lobsters.
wow yard trout !
That there is the granddad of crawdads. Would be so tempted to eat him.
Don’t think that’s a river in your yard, though. More of a crick.
John, please donate your celebrity to help convince storm clouds to drop their water over the west, rather than waiting until they get to you to dump it all. It’s a campaign for everyone’s good. After all, who wants dust bowl refugees from California moving to Ohio? We’d push down local wages and mess up national politics.
Someone with more water-bug knowledge than me: would I call a crawdad a yabby? If so, John; watch out for platypuses. They love the little critters. Mind you, yabbies are bluer than that, usually.
I’m pretty sure John is safe from platypi in North America.
Yeah, as it says in that link above about crawdad vs. crawfish vs. crayfish, that in Australia, they’re yabbies.
Properly, the River Scalzi.
That wasn’t a crawdad, it was a land prawn.
@numenaster That’s what the little buggers want you to think, but your average platypus is a cunning little thing. Where there are yabbies, they needs must lurk. Even in the wilds of Ohio.
Reasonable sized yabbie, then. Or maybe a small marron. Yabbie is more likely – they tend to be brownish, while marron are more blue.
(Marron: [Cherax tenuimanus.] Western Australian freshwater crustacean somewhere in size between a large yabbie and a small crayfish(lobster). Usually dark blue in colour).
But the North American and Southern Hemisphere ones are different species and even genera.
That li’l guy, living as he does in the US Midwest, is indeed properly addressed as “crawdad”.
“The crawdad was about the size of my outstretched hand.”
That’s mucking huge for a crawdad.
imagine moving into this neighborhood and no one told you that you need flood insurance. I would flip out and have trouble sleeping I believe flood insurance doesnt activate for 30 days to keep people from buying it if they see bad weather reports.
We moved in in February so flooding wasn’t really a concern for us at the time; also, of course, we saw the land survey so we knew what our flooding chances were. But, yeah.
I accidentally posted this on the wrong thread, so here it is on the right one.
Anybody looking to buy a house should look at two things: the FEMA flood map for their vicinity ( https://msc.fema.gov/portal ) and a topographic map (a map showing how high and low things are; you can access that through Google Earth or the USGS (or the Ordnance Survey in the UK)) to see the general drainage patterns around the neighborhood. And always assume the FEMA map isn’t quite paranoid enough.
So basically you’re telling me that EVERYTHING THAT LIVES IN AUSTRALIA is trying to kill me, not just the spiders, snakes, drop bears and yowies? Thanks for the nightmare, dude.
I agree that your yard trout is a green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) unfortunately my crayfish identification skills are not as good. If you find any freshwater mussels, though, I’m your gal.
If you found that crawdad in a flooded part of your yard, I bet there’s lots more in the nearby creek. You might consider throwing a simple crawdad trap in there and see if you can get a dozen or so. They’re mighty good eatin’ cooked up with something like Zatarain’s crawfish boil, or heck – make a gumbo :)
The good thing about Australia is that, while it seems true that all the animals and plants are trying to kills us off, the people are super friendly :-)
Unexpected crawdads are, for some reason, a recurring theme in my life. I should look into that.
I concur with the identification of the Green Sunfish. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/Species/1724/
I think that “crawdad” was actually a tiny Rosharian chasmfiend, sent by Brandon Sanderson to spy on the Scalzi compound.
At least they aren’t in your basement.