Sunday, May 29, 2011

Down Right Crabby---With Salsa!

After a hard week at school, I wanted to start out our three-day weekend doing something  special. So after an easy supper, B and I dozed on the porch and then took an evening drive down to the lighthouse to the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. This is a place we go over and over to enjoy nature's bounty in our area. 

We had not been since March for one reason or another. The kindly gentleman who we were accustomed to greeting us at the gate was not there, as we knew he would not be. At the end of March, he had been murdered in his home, no doubt defending his daughter and her child from an intruder (who was the father of the baby.) It was a tragic event that rocked all who heard about it and especially those who knew him. A memorial has been placed at his post at the gatehouse.

It is mating time for the fiddler crabs and they were out in the thousands and probably millions. We first noticed them when some "kids"  hopped out of their Jeep to photograph them beside the road. Just yards further, the crabs were in the road, in numbers. We walked out to the little beach on the east side of the lighthouse and, sure enough, they were all along the shore.

The darkened area on the beach that is not the sea rack is a wave of crabs. This is looking first east and then west.

The crabs were on both sides of the Spartina grass that lines the shoreline there.

The sound of the crabs skittering in the Spartina could be easily heard above the wind.
And who knew that fiddler crabs like bubble baths?

Up on the drier areas, were many crab holes but I was not sure if these were crab holes.  These do not have the customary little balls of sand around them, so I think these might have been made by the willets that were nesting nearby.

Here are two males, sorting things out. (The females do not have the large claw.)

My guess is that with fiddler crabs, "size matters."

But take a look at this face on this crab.

You may have to click on the picture above to look at the "face"  on the crab's face. Can you see a resemblance?
Oh, well. Is my imagination running away with me again? I saw it immediately.

1 comment:

Native Mom said...

My sister and I had to scamper along scooping up fiddler crabs for my parents to use as bait when we were kids. Lots of squealing involved.