Saturday, September 4, 2010


I had to sit very still, with my finger on the button and my camera set for speed, and still I was unable to capture all of the antics of this ghost crab. It was industriously digging its hole and displaying a great deal of caution, its movements orchestrated by instinct.
First it came out of its hidey hole and looked around. Any movement and it scurried back into its hole so fast it didn't even leave a blur. If the coast was clear, it went back down inside and did some excavating.

The next time it appeared it was carrying a load of sand in its claw and after the smallest of pauses, it flung the sand away. Notice the small pile to the right of the picture.

Then it returned to the hole to continue this very precise ballet--recon, excavation, disposal. Repeat as needed.

I watched this dance go on for quite a while, marveling at this little creature's diligence. In the midst of this observation, a little action (emphasis on little) caught the corner of my eye. And lo and behold there was the tiniest of ghost crabs doing the exact same ballet about 18" away from its larger cousin. It was so small I had to stare at it for a while to be sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. 

I wish I could have put a dime or something down to show you the scale of this little guy. But notice the grain of sand on its right eye and you might have some idea of how small this ghost crab was. 


  1. They definitely are small. The sand looks almost like sea salt, but of that would be more coarse. Fantastic photos!

  2. These are wonderful for two reasons: the way they look and also because I know how difficult they were to make. I've looked down the beach with my binoculars and watched scads of these critters hard at work but when I walk down the same stretch nary a one is to be found! Wonderful details, BL.

  3. I never have a camera at times like these. But don't need the dime -- I know they're little.

  4. Paula: I have to admit, I took these photos the lazy way. My sand chair just happened to be in the right spot. So I just sat there with my camera poised and snapped away. But you're right. I've tried before and these guys move pretty fast and all I end up with are photos of white sand.

    AH: I've missed so many good shots for lack of a camera. I try really hard now to go nowhere without it. My husband seems to think it needs to be surgically removed, but then again he's quick to point out photo ops for me.


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