Saturday, May 18, 2013

Crabs, Kites and Castles

Under cloudy, threatening skies, calm seas, and a light breeze out of the east, I walked the beach to investigate the changes that had taken place since my last visit.

The Stites walkway is radically changed, with most of the wooden planks removed and a wall built to help control the dunes.

There are little ugly crabs with tiny pinchers washed ashore, some dead, some alive.

After researching awhile, I find they are Libinia emarginata or otherwise known as the portly spider crab, common spider crab or nine-spined spider crab. They are omnivores, not especially aggressive and burrow in soft sediment, as stated on this great site: I also found a interesting blog along the way that helped me identify this crab and the site has some great photos of the area and beyond:

The Atlantic Ghost Crabs or Ocypode quadrata have adapted to the changes along the shore by building holes in high ridges created by the tides, with their second entrances up on top. In the background, the dunes have grown taller with the vegetation capturing the shifting sands of the Point.

and despite the weather, there is still time for kites

and castles

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