Thoughts From a Beach/Crabby Loews

I remember one Thanksgiving. It was raining but near 80f. I got off work and went there. This beach in FL. Warm storm walking the tide line. Totally alone I was a bit freaked out as there were storms out at sea and I got all thinking that everyone knew that there was some huge storm coming but me. Amazing to see miles in a 180 degree arc and not see another soul or boat. No storm but the ones at sea and the one over me. I sat down and there for hours until the sun set, entertaining the burrowing crabs as they entertained me. Their big deal is to make burrows just above the tide line able to scurry to the line to pick up bits of weed carried there. They certainly must be careful for the gulls and terns just think they are the best lunch available and are always floating above watching for the next bit of lunch. That’s why they make the burrows so close to the line. The problem is that they have to make the homes in dry sand because the sand below the tide line is mostly water. These critters have become air breathers and can only hold their breaths for so long I figure. The dry sand however is very crumbly. What I figure out was that while they are always scurrying about trying to find their crabby lunch, they are also balancing the need to find just that correct balance between dry and wet sand to burrow into and cover over. Dry sand is easiest if they can mix in some wet sand in the tunnels. They constantly watch for others who are excavating wet sand to carry and not watchful enough so they can  sneak in and steal a bit of it to shore up their own hovel built of too dry sand. So on a whim I went to the water line and scooped up some quantities of wet sand and I surrounded myself with little hills of the stuff. The crabs went nuts. It was like I had offered them gold when it sold for over $900 an ounce. . . wait a sec it does sell for over $900 an ounce! And what would crabs to with gold anyway? But I digress. So prior to my dispensing largess, the crabs were at the very least shy. Were I to as much as twitch they would take off. But after my offering, my god like mounds of wherewithal, all pretense of care abandoned. Burrows within fifteen feet erupted with crustacean cheers, I made that part up, and discharged their tenants on the run to check out building heaven. I had created the crabby version of Lowe’s. I had crabs running over my feet and legs to get to the wet sand. They placed it on their backs, who knew, and hauled it back to their homes. Within a few minutes the mounds reduced to small rises and the crabs had all disappeared. I was so proud. I had affected positively another world. I had given tools to my crustacean cousins and offered up a new religion. My reverie was short-lived however. It had become dusk and I was not paying attention. BLAMMO! Retching, tossed, doll like and multi directionally by a wave. The crabs, safe in their perfect sealed burrows were laughing at me. I made that part up. But I squelched while walking back to the car.


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