Ghost Sentries

Today’s daily walk took us down the beach in search of some big shells. Along the way, we spotted lots of skittery little guys amongst the debris of the wrack line. The wrack line is the most recent high water mark that holds whatever floated up, most often grass-like weeds and scattered shells. It tends to form a dark line all along the beach. Today, we kept seeing little skittering creatures out of the corner of our eyes. They were sand colored and seemed to escape before you could actually look at them. After a few tries, I managed to see one here and there that had stopped outside it’s burrow to stand sentry over the beach. They were ghost crabs, about the size of my hand and the color of the sand. When we got too close, each would zip so fast into it’s hole that we almost wondered if we’d really seen anything there at all. Today was cloudy and cool, so I suppose that explains why they were out at noon. On hotter days, they will spend the day inside their burrows with a bit of sand plugging the entrance to keep themselves cool and moist. They position their burrows at a 45 degree angle facing the sea, so that the sea breeze will blow inside to help keep them cool. I guess they do most of their hunting at night. Perhaps some night, soon, Rob and I will go for a night-time stroll and see them scuttling about under the moon.

Ghost Crab on Sentry Duty

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