Although I can’t claim this as one of my best images, it’s a memory I want to hold onto for as long as possible in this rainy mess back home in Oregon. It seems like two months ago I was on a sunny, warm California Coast, focused on one of my favorite activities (it was last week). Tidepooling at low tide anywhere on the Pacific is just plain fun. It is rugged on the Lost Coast, a stretch between the towns of Fort Bragg and Eureka in northern California. But there are plenty of rocky sections accessible at low tide.
I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve been under the mistaken impression I could keep my feet dry. This was yet another one of those times. I was rewarded when I came upon an area where crabs seemed to be congregating. I’ve never seen this crab before. It was one of two types I saw with unusual projections on the carapace. I googled but the closest thing I found was the sharp-nosed crab. And that wasn’t really a great match. So if you know please tell me!
He was hiding in a mass of kelp that I stepped on. I was walking carefully and didn’t put my full weight on it right away. I felt the kelp moving under my foot and pulled back in surprise. When I peeled the kelp away I almost got a rude surprise. He was a feisty fella! Who could blame him, being stepped on. Pulled my fingers away just in time.
I found myself wondering what he tasted like. That’s my childhood talking. In summer we would go down to the nearby Chesapeake Bay, bare feet in the cool mud, and catch blue crabs. I let him be.