(Click to enlarge)
They look ghastly close up, but these are actually some of the thousands of one-inch long fiddler crabs that were popping out of the sand of the shoreline at the salt marsh the other day. The ones with the big left-hand claws are males; the ones with two equal-sized smaller claws are female. It’s easy to overlook them when they are hidden in their little sandholes– all you see are thousands of little 1/2- inch diameter holes in the wet sand next to each other. But then, all of a sudden, the crabs pop out of the holes and start scurrying around on the sand like so many spiders. They seem to pop in and out of the holes on cue together, like a disciplined army. I have no idea what they eat, but I occasionally see a shore bird with one of them between their bills.
My photo from last year gives you a less scary and more reassuring view. You can click on the title to view it:
Marine Park Salt Marsh
Brooklyn, New York