Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The rains continue.

I woke this morning in the complete darkness of night. The power has gone out--heavy clouds unload a steady stream of drops against the metal roof.
Down in the ravine, the creek flows furiously--the brown murky water tearing at the sides of its course.
Above it all, still the calls of peepers from across the yard.

Last night, as I walked out to check the pools, sloshing along through the several large puddles that have expanded to become yet another pond, I came across this uncooperative character. His “chimney” in my path days earlier, he scoots around this grassy pool tonight—invited out by the warm rain lapping at his door.
A "crawdad."

As the water recedes, so will he—back beneath the earth, into his tunnel, beyond his muddy doorway.

And the rains continue.

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nature tales and camera trails said...

I love the anachronistic theme portrayed in your photo by having the oil lamp placed alongside your computer. Nice touch, nice picture!

ncmountainwoman said...

Wonderful post. Especially nice for those of us who are also looking out at the (much needed) rain. Our little creek is also full for the first time in months.

We needed a rainy day both environmentally and emotionally. Glad to know you are sharing it with us.

Old Wom Tigley said...

A great picture for sure.. this is the very first time I have seen or heard of these creatures. When I get the time I need to read up on them.

Cathy said...

I love the coziness of the lantern light. I wish I had a metal roof. It does bring in the reality of the rain.

I'm curious, Nina. How gingerly must one handle these critters? I mean - just how 'uncooperative' was he?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Nina I hope your electric is back on now. We had all that rain too. Finally it has stopped.

Seeing the crawdad reminds me of my childhood. Catching these things and my parents putting them back outside at night after I went to bed so they could survive. I always wanted one for a pet. Once I put a crawdad into a bucket and what seemed like hundreds of babies came off of it, out of it?? I was so delighted.

Mary said...

I feel like I'm with you while reading your post.

I've seen many crawdads farther north but I never cared to hold one!

mon@rch said...

Amazing find and another reason to always go out and enjoy nature! You just never know what you will find! Thank goodness for laptops with the power goes out! That's exactly why I purchased a second battery!

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Laptop by oil lamp! haha... river crawdads are a special favorite of Wacissa River otters. They gorge in the summer, oblivious to photographers like me! Is this crawdad a land dweller? Does he live in that little mud volcano? or what?

nina said...

Crayfish (crawfish, crawdads) are most often found in water and need it to breathe/live. This species builds chimneys as it burrows deep into the ground. (see the little balls of clay it has dug out in order to burrow?) It lives just below the level of the water table, going very deep in summer(up to 3 feet!), and emerging to crawl around on the lawn after a soaking rain!
He was pretty cold when i initially found him, but as he warmed next to the light, he became increasingly irritated and did not like to smile for the camera. And he pinches HARD!

Speaking of soaking rain.....schools closed today for river flooding--the worst in years! Certainly making up for last summer's drought.

Marvin said...

Don't you wish you could hang on to some of that water for use in July and August? The same storm system passed through the Ozarks. It filled the ponds and no doubt added something to the ground water table, but as fast as the rain fell, most of the water is well on it's way to the Mississippi by now.

I'm familiar with crawdads from having lived on the Texas coastal prairie, but I haven't seen any here. I've always thought we were too far north, but obviously that thought was totally wrong. Maybe it's too rocky. I dunno.

I enjoyed your post and photos. The laptop and lantern is, indeed, a classic.

Jennifer said...

You have so many cool things right in your back yard. I need to buy a different house... Or I could move in with you... Do you have an extra bedroom? How much is the rent?

KatDoc said...


So cool to see the photo of your terrestrial "crawdad." I have seen the aquatic kind many times, but it wasn't until I moved here that I saw the mud chimneys of the land-dwelling variety. Still, though I find them often now, I have never seen the critter who lives there.

Thanks for sharing!