Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zombie Catfish

I've heard of walking catfish and seen a documentary about them. Years back I saw zombies in a grocery store on St Thomas in the Virgin Islands. (But that's another story for another day.)

Now I've seemingly met a zombie catfish.

Mostly, walking catfish navigate the wetlands and canals of southern Florida. Walking catfish can breathe air, allowing it to survive out of water. It can use its spiny front fins to waddle from wetland to wetland.However, they have also been recorded as far west as California and as far north as Massachusetts. (I guess some of those guys were training for the Olympics!)

I was startled to find a catfish in my driveway. This summer I am workcamping on a lot on a hill at Lake Hartwell living in the park where I volunteer. There is no public campground here. There is a big circular gravel driveway. On the inside circle of the driveway is a large grassy area.



I had company visiting (that's their car, I don't own a car) and they were helping me with the annual Lake cleanup. Setting out to walk the dog and pick up litter around the shoreline, I saw something strange laying in the grass circle of the driveway.

I just assumed he was a dead catfish, but later I nicknamed him a zombie catfish.

front view


head to tail, left to right

tail area

tail to head


After my work and walk, I planned to relocate him with the aid of a shovel and a bucket. When I returned from cleaning the lake shore area, I passed by the catfish again. My visiting friend offered to relocate him on my behalf, but I said "Let's wait, let me download the pictures, to make sure they came out clear."

We got busy doing other things (we've been resurfacing the motorhome roof) and forgot to move the catfish. He wasn't smelly at all.

Later in the evening, I noticed the catfish had moved. We ran over to see his new spot, but it was mushrooms I had seen and not the catfish at all. Matter of fact, the catfish was gone.

Poof.

Gone.

We never did find him either. Thanks goodness I took the pictures when I did. No one came by, we never left the campsite, because we were busy with the roofing. Then when it got too hot, we went inside to cool in the air conditioning, but my window shades are always up all day long. I love being able to see out every window during daylight hours.

Harley dog can't reach the catfish, even on his 100 foot tether, it doesn't go far enough in that direction. Besides, he was right by my side both outside and inside.

So WHERE did the zombie catfish go? Was he dead or alive? Was he the walking variety?

How could something or somebody come take him away, when we were right here the entire time? Did he get a second wind and just waddle away?

I am still scratching my head over this one.


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