Friday, July 11, 2008

Fiddler Crabs

These are fiddler crabs which are in abundant supply all around my shoreline. Normally they're seen at low tide, and when you approach they scurry to hide in the marsh grass. When there are hundreds of them, the sound is pretty eerie. When they show up in unexpected places, eerie doesn't even begin to describe them.

Today I spent 28 hours on the John Deere cutting the grass. At about hour 12, I came upon a portion of the yard that I always approach with caution because there are hidden stumps that, when hit going wide open on the tractor, render me cross-eyed.

This was a particularly uneventful week for me, but that was about to change. To spot and avoid potential disasters and another trip to the hospital, I was glancing downward more than usual as the tractor hummed along. All of a sudden, my entire body went into rigor mortis as I pushed down the brake pedal to immediately halt the tractor due to the following completely unexpected turn of events:

Fiddler crabs in the yard.
Yes, fiddler crabs in my yard.
Fiddler crabs in the grass.
Fiddler crabs in the driveway.
Fiddler crabs out of their element.
Fiddler crabs in my element.

Fiddler crabs were in my yard. Way up in the yard. Way far away from the shoreline. So far they'd have to take a Greyhound bus to get back home. And they were not scurrying away like they're supposed to. They were having a fiddler crab convention where the topic was "7 Easy Ways to Drive Chesapeake Bay Woman to the Brink."

There wasn't just one or two random, stray fiddler crabs, there was an entire colony and as such I must hereby officially declare a state of Fiddler Crab Infestation.

Fiddler crabs are not supposed to be encountered when one is cutting grass. It just isn't natural.

Due to the extreme nature of aforementioned infestation, CBW must now close and say Best Wishes to all of her reader(s) because she must now go check into Eastern State Hospital.

If you don't know what that is, just google it.

Scarred for life at the prospect that I crunched up fiddler crabs with the John Deere even though with most things I gun it so I can destroy and ruin whatever It is. But I really didn't want to crunch a fiddler crab. Or see one propelled at high speeds out of the mower deck. Or do anything to invite them to seek revenge.


Mental P Mama said...

You sure have infestation issues. Are they still there? Or have they moved closer to the house? Or in?

Anonymous said...

When they're along the shore they're all, aw, look at the cute crabs and don't we sure love Bay livin'. But when they're in your yard, they're a nuisance! So how does one go about herding the li'l fellers back to the water's edge? Can the kids scoop 'em up with a net, throw 'em in a bucket and take 'em back?

And this is the first time in your life that you have see this happen after all those years of living by the Bay? It must be a sign of the apocalypse.

tj said...

...I know! They're comin' to eat the ants! They're there to help you and here you are shootin' 'em out of your mower like it's a food processor! Bad CBW...;o) If it makes you feel any better, I once did that to a teeny-tiny-just-days-old baby rabbit. I didn't want to and I didn't know I did it 'til it was to late. That sad part is that the little fella' was doomed from the get-go because no more it shot out of the mower it went right in the pond and a bass came up and "gulp!" kiddin'. I sat there on the mower dazed for a few moments at the turn of events that happened right before my bewildered self... :o)

...Um, we need to know what room you're in so we can send flowers. :o)

...And isn't it funny that while you were mowing yesterday that was the same exact thing I was doing. Life...(*sigh*)

...Blessings... :o)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

mpm & soup - I actually had to turn the tractor off and go inside to collect myself. I didn't even try to herd them or move them.

So the grass continues to grow in that part of the yard and I continue to wonder why they're there.

I took Son out to see them later on and he just laughed. (He does that a lot when he's around me for some reason.)

I have seen an errant fiddler crab or two make their way up to my garage before, but never this many at one time and so far from the shoreline. And they weren't afraid, which is very unusual.

If I see one inside the house, I'm moving to a place where no creatures can survive, trespass and take up residence with me.

AKA the International Space Station.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

tj - I feel your pain. I once did that with a huge frog. I had no idea he was there and would never have intentionally run him over or harmed him in any way.

Ants are a different story entirely...

Grandma J said...

Thank you for the fiddler crap story and picture.
I also think that they might be the answer to your ant infestation. You know, survival of the fittest (which will probably be the ants).

If PETA gets wind of this colony they just might have the crabs deemed an endangered species and your yard classified as a wildlife sanctuary.

Bear Naked said...

Well I goggled Eastern State Hospital and it looks like a lovely place.
They even have a gift shop and library.
Is there anything specific that you would like me to bring when I come to visit.

Bear((( )))

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

grandma - my yard and the INSIDE OF MY HOUSE could be declared a wildlife sanctuary. well wildlife habitat is more like it. sanctuary implies peace and safety.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

bn, please bring wine. lots of wine. thank you!

Big Hair Envy said...

I am coming over NOW! In my entire life, I have never seen a yard infested with fiddler crabs. What is that about??? I'll bring wine. We're gonna need it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they're rabid?

Grandma J said...

I just Googled Eastern State Hospital too, and while it looks lovely and shaped like a friggin four leaf clover, it doesn't have a pool, which means there is no Aqua aerobics class.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

bhe - i prefer red but am not picky.

sinaff- i had not considered rabies. i think the ants have it too.

gj - no water aerobics, but plenty of medicine and no responsibility for pest control....or crab control as it were.

MommyTime said...

Did you ever think they might be there to eat the ants? Give 'em a chance. You might be pleased...

foolery said...

Is it fair to say you now have crabs?

Big Hair Envy said...

Red? Is there any other type? Silly girl!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Wow, someone else on the east coast with "animal magnetism" issues. And I thought I was the only one. When I can remember, I'll do a recap of all my animal encounters (IN MY HOUSE no less!) just for you!

Seriously, if a glass of wine hasn't helped, you might wanna offer some to the fiddler crabs. If that doesn't work, well, like SINAFF said, it's surely a sign of impending doom/the apocalypse. In that case, just keep drinking the wine, because at some point just wont matter what makes its way to your doorstep.

Yours in Spirit (wine that is)


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

mommytime - I had not really considered that, however I DID wonder if they were in cahoots (ants and crabs). Actually, of the two, I prefer a fiddler crab infestation. Fiddler crabs won't lie in wait in your sugar bowl and pounce when you least expect it. Ants, on the other hand, are EVIL and gang up on you. They show up in places you least expect, such as EVERY SINGLE MINUTE CRUMB OF YOUR LIFE.

foolery - YES. It is fair to say I have crabs. Lots of crabs. Crabs in places they do not belong. Too many crabs in too many places.. YES, I HAVE CRABS. I admit it freely.

bhe - I adore the red but have to allow for the white in such cases as there is no other choice, with no bad feelings to anyone who loves the white. a wine is a wine. all wine is good. any wine is better than no wine. i believe thomas jefferson said that, so it must be true. even if he did not say it, it must be true.

auds: I attract all sorts of animals, but EVERY SORT of insect. Inside the house.

Happy Saturday, everyone.