Ghost crabs spend their winters right here in North Cape May, snuggled a few feet under the beach in their burrows, waiting for spring.
You get through winter several feet under the sand. You greet living again after a long months in your dark wintry tomb. And then you keel over at your doorstep as the sun sets, again, on your patch of Earth. There’s a lesson here.
If the beach is not crowded and you sit real still (their eyeballs work real well), you can see them going ghost crabby things during the day.
Enjoy their company and try not to step on their doorways. They’re locals, after all.
The mayor has taken “capture everything” to heart, and plans to use the drone to patrol the bay looking for “people who allow their dogs to off leash” in an effort to save our officers time.
Maybe Mayor Sippel should ask us which we prefer–putting up with the occasional ( and usually well-trained) off leash doggie or some five-figure eye-in-the-sky buzzing away as we (attempt to) enjoy serenity along the bay’s edge.
Having an officer stroll along the beach without the high tech would better serve all of us, a gentle reminder that there’s a human under that uniform.
And for those who occasionally nurse an ale or two, be forewarned. First they came after the dogs, then they came after the Dogfish. Heads.
The bay has settled down a bit–still wild, of course, always wild, but behaving today.
January is rough on local humans but it is devastating to much of the rest of the living around here.
These guys (Hemigrapsus sanguineus, or Asian shore crab) first showed up around 1988–you can find them all over now, and apparently they are as edible (shell and all)as they are damaging to the native species.
Gannets are usually seen in the spring and fall. Their fluorescent white wings tipped with deep black are marvelous, rivaled by their unreal blue beaks, usually only seen up-close in death.
The bright red of blood, the ghostly white feathers, and the stunning blue beak look out of place on the dull wintry beach.
A vulture feasted on yet another dead bird, now beyond identifying. The vulture sulked as I approached, took a low flight around me, then returned to its carcass as I was leaving.
The days are lengthening again, and the beaches will be filled with humans again soon enough. For now the sand pipers and the herring gulls rule the roost.