Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Master Crab.

A couple Saturdays ago I checked on online tide table for Blaine, Washington, which is Tsawwassen’s winking partner across Boundary Bay, thus gives a good estimate for Centennial Beach. (Which is in Tsawwassen, in case you were wondering the relevance.)

Outgoing tide.

It was one of those rare gifts of a day when the sun was bright, the air was warm, and the tide was going way way out, hitting low at about 1:30 pm. Perfect. An hour later we hit the shore at about half-tide. It was fun standing a quarter mile out with a river flowing around your ankles – flowing outward from the beach.

Eel grass beds are habitat for Dungeness Crabs, Cancer magister, and it is common to find their exuvia in tidal puddles (very shallow tide pools). They make you wonder where the live ones are. Oh they’re there, but they’re hiding -- in the sand. They burrow down and hide there when the tide goes out.

Except for this one, who found himself in the tidal outflow and had become uncovered a bit.

Thanks to me, he became uncovered a lot. I wanted to show a big, live, feisty crab to my son.

He quickly reburied himself, shuffling his legs to displace the sand beneath and settling into the depression created. You can see from his eyes, he was not pleased to meet us.

One last angry look.

By the way, the Latin name, Cancer magister, means "Master Crab."

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