Friday, September 9, 2011

Muckin' in the Marsh...

The only way to navigate the marsh trail at the Wetlands Institute a few weeks ago was barefoot. (I happen to love the smell of marsh mud, but it can really stick with you. Wouldn't have been so bad had I thought to rinse inside the cuffs of my jeans…)

The puddle held its bitty wee tiny minnows (marshland = nursery) and the creeks on a low tide held mud snails. Lots and lots of mud snails, most following the water down the banks to concentrate in what little water was left when the tide ebbed. [Click on photo to see 'em.]

Some beastie had a successful crabbing trip, but after eating out the entire body left the best parts! Guess they didn't have claw crackers. (No need to ask why they are called blue claw crabs, eh?)

A lifetime picking and eating these and I hadn't really paid attention to the two different types of teeth. The one claw looks like it has molars!

A familiar sight in the high marsh: fiddler crab burrow.

Uca pugnax! Okay, so I try not to overwhelm my readers with scientific names but I've loved this one (along with Uca pugilator [sand fiddler] and U. minax [red claw fiddler]) from the moment I learned them. That over-sized claw on male fiddlers helps attract the ladies and fend off other males. (It also means that they have only one claw with which to eat.)