The Things I Find in My Yard After a Heavy Rain

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.

73 Comments on “The Things I Find in My Yard After a Heavy Rain”

  1. SD Gates – I work in the medical field, but really want to be a full-time gardener or writer or something that does not require me having to take a shower every morning. I have to work to buy my plants. My favorite thing to do is sit on the patio, with my puppies, writing, staring at the garden, daydreaming the day away.
    SD Gates

    That’s crazy – a fish in your lawn!!!

  2. I have to say, I’ve never seen a crawdad that big. Kinda impressive!

  3. Hillary Rettig – Author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific and The Lifelong Activist. Vegan, kidney donor, foster mom, and lover of people and animals. Visit to learn more about me and my work.
    Hillary Rettig

    wow, and I was expecting an interesting mushroom…

  4. Hillary Rettig – Author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific and The Lifelong Activist. Vegan, kidney donor, foster mom, and lover of people and animals. Visit to learn more about me and my work.
    Hillary Rettig

    i remember taking a train across Ohio in the spring of 2007. It was like taking a train across a new Great Lake.

  5. SilentHill22 – Just someone who wants to break the silence through social media. Not trying to be dramatic, or famous. I just want people to relate to my blog.All kinds off people. Can't reveal my identity for a reason. All I can still tell you is that I'm a teenager who just needs to break the silence. I would love to reveal my identity ASAP with all your support. :) You can always contact me on my e-mail :

    Just someone who wants to break the silence through social media.
    Not trying to be dramatic, or famous.
    I just want people to relate to my blog.All kinds off people.
    Can’t reveal my identity for a reason. All I can still tell you is that I’m a teenager who just needs to break the silence.
    I would love to reveal my identity ASAP with all your support. :)
    You can always contact me on my e-mail :

  6. 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…

  7. @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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. @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.

  13. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. asakiyume – This is the wordpress profile of Asakiyume, who blogs at One day my blog may shift to here, but for now, content is over there.

    Aaaaah, how wonderful! Yard crawdad and yard fish! Those photos are gorgeous.

  17. Jessa Slade – <strong><a href="">Jessa Slade</a> is the author of the <a href="">Marked Souls</a> urban fantasy romance series (NAL Signet Eclipse), the <a href="">Steel Born</a> paranormal romance series (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings), and award-winning self-published science fiction romance with <a href="">Hotter on the Edge</a>. You can find her online at all the <a href="">usual haunts</a>.</strong>
    Jessa Slade

    I hope you still have your lovely gravel.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.)

  21. @rmgiroux – The Yard Fish, would that be like the Yard Birds, but with more bass? (yeah. sorry. It is sort of a compulsion….)

  22. Kenny – Folkestone United Kingdom – Gravatar runs alongside my Wordpress blog about life at college and studying the automotive industry. See you over on the college blog /// @ . Kenny

    wow yard trout !

  23. 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.

  24. Heteromeles – Heteromeles is the genus of toyon, a shrub in the rose family that occurs from San Francisco south to Baja California. It is the "holly" of Hollywood fame

    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.

  25. 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.

  26. Yeah, as it says in that link above about crawdad vs. crawfish vs. crayfish, that in Australia, they’re yabbies.

  27. @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.

  28. megpie71 – Australian, female, fat, born in 1971. Been hanging around the internet (first Usenet, now blogs) since about 1997. Far too cynical for my own good.

    The crawdad was about the size of my outstretched hand.

    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).

  29. 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”.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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 ( ) 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.

  33. @vian:

    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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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 :)

  36. Alana Dill – Alana Guy Dill is a face painter, body artist, graphic artist, and writer based in Alameda, California.

    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.

  37. I think that “crawdad” was actually a tiny Rosharian chasmfiend, sent by Brandon Sanderson to spy on the Scalzi compound.

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