Wednesday, January 27, 2010
January 27, 2010
A Case of The Crabs: We have crabs all over the sand in our front yard. Bulbous eyes on the tops of their heads, pincers waving in the air, they look cartoonish or horrific, depending upon your point of view. They remind me of a movie I saw when I was six, called the Giant Spider Strikes, so I avoid looking at them too closely. Bonnie, however, gives them chase, and they seem to notice her every movement. They dart out from under the sand, skedaddle sideways, and zip back into their holes when she approaches. Marilynn calls out HEY! and they disappear. Their sidelong gait is swift and efficient; their little waving pincers pick up the least movement or sound. They aren’t swimmers, so at the last minute, just before a wave crashes over, they burrow into their holes. They are very active all day long, chasing each other, trying to steal food from birds, no doubt communicating with each other as they wave or drum their thread-size legs. We’ve seen them fight one another, mostly a large one against a small one. Bonnie breaks up the fights when she sees them. Apparently crabs are omnivores, like humans, and if they have a mixed diet of algae and other food, they experience the fastest growth and the greatest fitness. Judging by how active our crabs are, and how often they beat Bonnie in her quest to catch them, food is plentiful on our playa. When I read about crabs on the Internet, it’s mentioned that they are family-oriented, helping each other find food, making sure the female has a comfy spot to lay her eggs. Amazing little creatures, they give us hours of entertainment.