The other day Jessie was having a rough day and I told her, "You guys need a beach day." Even as I said it, I knew we did too.
This morning she texted that they were indeed going to head over to Mashes Sands which is on the Ochlocknee Bay to the place they found a while back where you have to cross under a board on a half-destroyed dock to get to. It's such a cool little spot. Not really the beach because it's not on the Gulf but there's water and there's sand and there are birds and fishes and today there were lots and lots of hermit crabs in the tannin-stained, tea-colored water.
It was so fun. Mr. Moon and I stopped on the way down at a huge convenience store and got sandwiches and chips to take with us. Aside from the fact that we were the only people there wearing masks, it was a pleasant experience. Even the cops who'd stopped in to get their own lunches weren't wearing masks. Sigh. It's like everyone has decided that there is no more covid. Done. Meanwhile, of course, Florida is leading the nation in cases and deaths. Or close to it anyway. We are now calling our governor Doctor DeathSantis.
But hey! Moving on, we got down to the meeting place and discovered that the channel which "our" little island had sat in had all filled in with sand since we'd last been there, changing the landscape a bit but not too much. It actually made crossing to the area we wanted to go easier so that was fun. But it was odd. And a reminder that the coastline is ever-changing, ever mutating- a living thing.
Mr. Moon did a little bit of fishing and Vergil and the boys joined him in that but mostly we just lazed in the water and observed hermit crabs. They are so interesting. Here are a few being held by water-wrinkled child fingers.
I don't know why we saw so many today. We conjectured that perhaps they wanted to get across the sand and back to the bay, rather than in the little inlet. Some of them did appear to be attempting the climb but they were not capable of such a trek. Their passage way used to be so much easier because at high tide, the little island simply disappeared and so their access was uninhibited. We also wondered if perhaps they were lining up for a shell-house trade. I know I have posted video of that phenomena before but I will post another one because it is absolutely fascinating. And cool.
Those hermit crabs must live somewhere other than North Florida as our little hermies live in far more drab and utilitarian-appearing cast-off shells than the ones found wherever that was filmed. Some of the shells our native crabs lived in looked as if they had been used for generations- covered with barnacles. We wondered if that would be a help or a hindrance to a hermit crab. The house would be far more secure but it would also be so much heavier to drag around. I called one of those shells an "historic home." It reminded me of our own house, old and barnacled in its own way, built from heavy heart pine, sturdier than new houses. We saw some of the crabs approaching other crabs and definitely interacting, crawling on top of each other. Were they fighting? Mating? Measuring their shells for possible future occupation? So many questions! I need to do a little studying on them.
To add to the mysteries and wonders, we watched as a few small blue crabs came along to hunt the hermits.
They would approach the smaller crabs and reach out to hold them in their legs or claws, almost as if measuring them with calipers. If they found one they liked, they would take it a few feet into the water to feed on. It's a crab-eat-crab world, y'all.
And so it was a fine day and my despair has slid along and joined all of the other days of my despair in the ether, I suppose, where they wail and moan and speak of their ghostly regrets, building up one case after another against me. And it's not so much the body's changings that yanged their horrid voices yesterday; it was so much more about the things I have not done, or did do, that I wish I could go back and rethink and try to make right but never can.
But getting out of my house, out of Lloyd, out of my constant tape-loop of thoughts, helped tremendously. To be near and in the water with those grand-boys, our daughter, her very fine husband- it was exactly what I needed. I think we all needed it.
fascinating shell game! Earth critters are so much more rational than the human cancer.ReplyDelete
that looks like a lovely place, warm and wet and little boy-ish. Nice day!
It really is a very nice place to hang out and look at cool stuff and wonder about cool stuff and talk to cool kids.Delete
My animal loving daughter recently brought a shell home to Houston from Galveston. She always checks for occupants, so was stunned the next day to find the shell she’d left on the coffee table the night before walking across the living room floor with the cat stalking it. She got it into a shoebox and brought it back to the beach it had come from.ReplyDelete
I've been fooled before too! If a hermit has a big enough shell he or she can pull themselves so far in that you can't see it! It was good of your daughter to make the trip back to the beach to give the little crab a chance to take up where he'd left off.Delete
How wonderful to be able to change surroundings and spend time with family too. Such a great dayReplyDelete
Your day sounds like a soothing balm for your soulReplyDelete
So much so.Delete
Sounds lovely and I wish you sweet dreams.ReplyDelete
Thank you, e. You are so kind.Delete
I'm glad that your day was soothing and a good one. I hope you are sleeping now, as I type this, and that you wake tomorrow with a light heart.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Elizabeth. My heart was light enough this morning. It really was.Delete
I'm glad you got out for an adventure. I wonder if the inlet changed because of the recent hurricanes? Would they have been responsible for shifting the sand? I had no idea a blue crab would eat a hermit crab. Cannibals!ReplyDelete
We have had several storms although no hurricanes have hit here directly. But it doesn't take much, I guess, to change the topography of sand.Delete
I'm pretty sure that crabs don't feel a great deal of moral dilemmas about eating other crabs.
What an excellent day!ReplyDelete
And one I'll remember.Delete
That is an interesting clip about hermit crabs switching their shells! Amazing! Glad you had such a nice day!ReplyDelete
Isn't it? I love the way they line up in order of size. It's just so...logical!Delete
I have a mental trick that works mostly. whenever I find myself unwillingly going over some bad behavior of mine in the past I visualize grabbing it firmly, marching it back into it's room, closing the door and locking it firmly telling it to stay where it belongs. I have a whole hallway of rooms with locked doors. but, you know, a day on a little beach in nature works too.ReplyDelete
Trust me- I have my own collection of locked doors. The problem of course is that they don't always want to stay locked.Delete
The beach helps for sure.
How lucky you are to have such a beautiful spot all to yourselves!ReplyDelete
We are definitely not the Florida of Disney World here!Delete
A day in the fresh air with grandchildren, bliss and good for the soul.ReplyDelete
Loved the video of the hermit crabs. I had no idea.
Doesn't it make you wonder what else you don't know? It does me!Delete
Beautiful. So wise of you to suggest a beach day. MerMer knows.ReplyDelete