Monday, October 26, 2009

Driving Hazards

Here we have a picture of some fiddler crabs around my basement shoreline.

I often talk about the fiddler crab infestation in my basement this county. In certain lower lying areas they like to lounge around in the middle of my garage of the road making it nearly impossible for a driver to avoid running over the entire herd. (Any more than four fiddler crabs makes a herd, in case you didn't know, and like mice there's never just one fiddler crab.) The ladies who attended Blog Fest last summer can personally attest to the fact that these pint-sized crabettes scurry and dart right out in front of you, cackling with glee and pointing their oversized claw up in the air in defiance.

There are many parts of the country and the world with unusual driving hazards. Once when I was in Montana a stray horse came out of nowhere and just took off down the center of the road with no rider, no saddle, no bridle. In Wyoming it's nothing to see bison crossing the road. (Remind me to tell you about the time I was chased by one of those creatures. True story. True nightmare.) But I defy you to find a place where crabs--which by the way live in or near the water, not in or near the middle of the road--are driving hazards.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, I'd like to share a recent article about crabs on Interstate 64, a mere 40 or so miles from Mathews County, further inland.

Here's the story from the Daily Press:
by Mike Holtzclaw
10:46 a.m. EDT, October 23, 2009

"A section of Interstate 64 was shut down for about two hours this morning after a truck overturned and spilled live crabs across the highway.Lauren Hansen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said I-64 westbound was closed to traffic near mile marker 230 at Croaker around 7 a.m. after the box truck carrying crabs flipped over and spilled its payload.State police and private cleanup crews worked to clear the roadway, which was reopened around 9 a.m."

So there you have it, folks. Mathews County has herds of fiddler crabs darting in front of cars and nearby interstates are covered with bushel baskets of live blue crabs. Road kill takes on a whole new meaning. Wikipedia suggests that "roadkill can be eaten and there are several recipe books dedicated to roadkill."

I'm thinking Mathews County's submission into such a cookbook would be called "Seafood Splatter."

Have you ever seen crabs in the middle of the road? How about in your basement or garage? Or how about in your yard when you're cutting grass? Am I really the only one? What sort of a parallel crab universe do I live in, anyway?

If not, what have you seen in or beside the road that might be considered strange or unusual?


Annie said...

Guess that comes with the living below sea level territory, cbw!!

When walking or driving in my suburb/town, we are constantly confronted by scurrying scrub turkeys! Just amble across the road when they feel like it...and rake the ground bare in my back yard....with their huge turkey mound of leaves there too. They are protected, so I can't do a thing about it! At least I do have screens on windows or doors, or I am sure they would be in the house too! [Have heard of such happenings]. Just this morning I heard one fly up to the roof of the house , (two storeys) sounds really weird when they walk around up there. But not quite as bad as the snake I heard in the ceiling once!! slither slither. argh. Probably just a python. I have heard someone say that poisonous snakes don't climb...I hope they are right!

I haven't had time to mention mice and rats (at various times), cockroaches, spiders. Sounds like I am living in a third world country. Perhaps I am?

Magpies and plovers that dive bomb you when nesting are also pesty in the spring.

Oh and the possums are frequent visitors too... I am so pleased I have screens (again).

Right now I am waiting for the RAIN...that is just visible on the rain since June here..dry dry dry (with very stringent water restrictions...half an hour twice a week)...wish I lived beside the sea!!!

Pueblo girl said...

Around here, I'd have to say that the worst things on the road are those little electric cars that run off a battery, do 30kmp, and YOU DON'T NEED A LICENCE TO DRIVE. On the road.
Who thought that one up?
Everyone around here who is too infirm now to renew their licence (or simply never had one in the first place) has one. They scuttle unpredictably about the road pretty much like the fiddler crabs you describe.
On the other hand, I quite like the fact tat the road is not yet king here, and people think nothing of stopping in the middle of the road to chat to someone they've just seen going in the other direction, and no-one toots.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Confession... I have never seen a fiddler crab. And no, please don't send me a box of them. Unless they eat mice?

Back in the UK, our ancient neighbour was given to wandering along the lane, stark naked, carrying only his equally ancient shotgun. It is very difficult to hold eye contact when accidentally meeting said naked neighbour....

Diane said...

I have seen Fiddler Crabs in the road... on one of our excursions to the shoreline. I actually scared Momx2 by yelling "Stop the car" so I could take pictures of them for my daughter who loves the episode of Daffy and Elmer Fudd in which it is Fiddler Crab season!

PS ~ I have seen many Moose in the road. They are dumb.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I prefer to see crabs in the middle of my PLATE or TABLE than my road. The thought of a whole truckload of blue crabs being spilled over the road makes me sad. Such precious cargo!

Having been a passenger in CBW's vehicle, I can personally attest that fiddler crabs wig her the hell out.

Anonymous said...

When I was pregnant with my oldest child, one of my best friends and I were following a crab truck full of those big garbage cans of blue crabs. It took the corner too fast and one of the cans fell off. Well, we were only 1 mile from her she drove home to get baskets while I tried to herd the little devils into a ditch (I had help from a few other cars that stopped). Not being from Mathews...and deprived of seafood all my life because my Mother didn't like it....I had no idea how to get those scissor clawed devils into the basket. My friend; however, was quickly picking them up from behind and had about a 1/2 bushell before I even had 5 crabs in my basket. Fortunately, she and a couple of my fellow herders helped my get some crabs in my basket after they had gotten their fill. I had to go looking up recipes for crab meat (remember, I was seafood challenged) for the next week. Ah, those were the days.
Happy Monday everyone!

Daryl said...

Oh there are crabs here ... every Monday morning I turn into a crab .. usually by midday I am more human ... usually

Linda said...

You are seriously creeping me out and I am reconsidering my intentions of tent camping in your yard! LOL!

mom x 2 said...

I remember those fiddler crabs. Do you go, do you stop, what do you do? There should be a joke about that or something... Why did the fiddler crab cross the road?

TSannie said...

When I was a kid a truck carrying chickens overturned on the highway across the valley from our house. It was a very loud mess!

Annie said...

I forgot the buffalo in the road when we were touring away from our home in the Northern Territory...had to wait for him to shift!

wv smatichy...that sounds an interesting word..a bit like me and my blogs and words..

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie - OH how I love your comments, especially on Mondays when I'm beaten and downtrodden after a long day. Thank you.

Pueblo girl - Your description is absolutely hilarious. No license needed? I understand about stopping in the middle of the road, we do that here to chat or to take photos, for example. But the miniature car with no license sounds unusual to me, especially given who you say are the drivers. Around Mathews those very people are on bicycles pulling carts or on scooters or...yes, it's true: lawnmowers (with six packs of beer strapped to the deck).

Mrs. F - No, they don't eat mice, they are more LIKE mice in that they show up on your turf uninvited. HA!!! About Mr. Neighbor, if you have a blog (and I can't see it on your profile if you do) that would make a *wonderful* story, it has all the right ingredients up to and including an eccentric lead character. I love, love, love eccentric characters, and good thing since they're so pervasive around here.

Diane - Yes, I remember seeing you in the middle of the road photographing the crabs, it was hilarious to me. Your daugher has impeccable taste in cartoons. Even now I watch Looney Tunes on DVD and crack up even though I can recite the lines from almost every one on the disk. Good stuff.

Meg - I know. Someone said that the estimated value of those crabs was ...$10,000. I"m just telling you what I heard, not sure if it's accurate.

Ms.Seabreeze - Thank you for that wonderful story. I thought you were going to tell me you were herding them into some container so you could release them back into the water to live long, prosperous lives. I actually admire your courage for tackling live crabs in recipes, you're a braver soul than I am.

Daryl-I see your crabbiness and raise you. MOndays are The Worst, and thank goodness this one's almost over.

Linda - NO! Don't reconsider. You can definitely tent camp here - I'll just put you on higher ground, away from the creek. They only convene on the low end of the house closest to the water. Over on the other side the only thing you'd have to worry about is Gustave, my mother's killer goose. Story for another time, but don't worry we'll keep you safe.

Momx2: Indeed there should. Why did the fiddler crab cross the road? To get to the driver's side. Or to get under the driver's skin. Or cause the driver to go insane. Or something.

TSA-We have tons of chicken farms over on the Eastern Shore, the other side of the bay, and I've seen those trucks laden down with chickens, feathers flying everywhere. I can only imagine the squawking and chaos of an overturned chicken truck.

Annie-If smatichy means funny, then I'd agree.

Have a great, crab-free evening.

well read hostess said...

I'm sort of in love with this.

Every now and again a turtle will make its way across our dirt lane, but I think the crabs are just so Piratey spooky halloweeny wonderful.

Annie said...

I was thinking more along the lines of ..."smatichy"...a smattering of this and a smattering of my ADD brain at the moment...!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

WRE-Turtles are a special sort of hazard, because they can only go so fast, and that's really not at all. (My mother stops for turtles and moves them out of the road. This could be Route 198 or the Autobahn, she doesn't care. The main thing is the turtle's safety.) The fiddler crabs are really not as diabolical as I make them out to be, they're just a nuisance sometimes. Especially when they leave their habitat and claim mine as their own.

Annie-No, if you have ADD then I have some new form of it that is off the charts. Your words are wonderfully coherent.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I don't doubt it, with how much they charge for a dozen or a bushel. I just know how much work goes into getting them into that truck... GAH!

foolery said...

CBW, this was a really fun post, but I'm having trouble concentrating after reading Annie's "probably just a python" statement. I have no idea what I came here to say, and now I need to go barricade myself in the bathroom.

ghostless said...

I have been following your blog for a week now...we are moving to Mathews,,,what is the term...the "come heres" for the infiltrators!!! I originally was doing a search for ghosts in Mathews/Onemo because we are looking at old houses. I won't share my reasons for my interests I would rather people get to know me, they will think I am nutty enough without adding to it!
But the reason I am writing is I had to laugh about the fiddler crabs. The realtor was driving us back from bethel beach and there were all these things in the road that he was running over. And you are listening to someone who slows down for butterfies, ...ok...nuttiness slip is showing! Anyway, they looked like large beetles. Age is also showing I didn't have my glasses on. When I asked him what they were, I was amazed. We where some distance from the water. I was also pissed that he was killing all of these cute little crabs, but then I eat crabmeat so...!!!
Well, in 30 days I guess I will be dodging them myself. And you can bet I will be reading your blog regularly!!! You have quite a sense of humor!!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Dear Ghostless - Welcome to Mathews and welcome to this little bit of insanity on the internet.

To answer your question, in Mathews there are essentially two categories of people: Come Heres and From Heres (aka Been Heres or Born Heres). The From Heres are people who were born in Mathews and have a couple of generations (usually) of family that were born here. The Come Heres are essentially everyone else - transplants, people who were not born here but who either have a vacation home or moved here. I wrote a post on this back when this blog was an its infancy. If you do a search on Come Heres it should come up. If not, just click on the 2008 archives, around the first couple of months and you should see it.

Welcome, again, to Mathews and good luck with your home search. Oh, and don't worry about people thinking your nutty. The nuttier the better, it's a requirement to read this blog and to live in Mathews.

p.s. We have lots of ghost stories here - I am posting today and tomorrow about some of the Old House Woods stories, plus I think I encountered a strange ghostly perfume the other day when I was taking pictures. Anyway, I'll shut up now, but welcome. E-mail me if you have any questions or if there's anything I can do to help your transition (to the county, not the blog, there's no real help for easing into the blog).

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

p.s.s. - Ghostless, I wrote the above this morning before I'd had any coffee, which is always bad. I now realize you were not asking what a Come Here is. Anyway, welcome to Mathews and let me know if I can help you in any way.