Nature! I get that I'm supposed to call where I live the suburbs, not the country, and that rabbits and deer (and the occasional fox, raccoon) are normal. I've accepted the snakes, frogs, turtles. That's just how it is. So today, when walking my semi-domesticated animal, I tried to be all blasé about the scorpion on the road. But I didn't feel all that blasé. (I also hadn't yet had coffee.) I took a (blurry - there was a poodle to contend with) photo, and showed it to my husband, and later to a friend (in NYC, where I'd gone to escape the scorpion menace), and we couldn't figure out what was going on. Various scary-scorpion stories were shared, Googled. Various theories born, mine all tremendously implausible and thus not to be repeated here. (OK, fine - I thought that because there were a lot of moving vans around, maybe one had been in scorpion country and accidentally imported one.)
And here's where Facebook comes in handy. Moments after I posted this photo there, one of my cousins commented that this was a crawfish. And these do indeed live in NJ. All this panic over what had basically been a walking... ingredient.