Friday, November 26, 2010

Hermit Crabs Beware

"Our Bahamas: Part 3:

Hermit Crab Beach"

In the quaint neighborhood we plan on moving to in four years, there is a fabulous rock and sand beach. It has a name. It's......something. But to us, it's called Hermit Crab beach.

There is not a lot of sand to lay out on or for Jerry to dig holes in, but where there is a lack of soft, pink sand, there is an abundance of hermit crabs.

On our first afternoon in The Bahamas, we donned our suits and went to explore the local beach that is just one block away from The Pink House.

After a few minutes of beach combing we found a few hermit crabs. And then a few more, a few more, more, and more, and holy moly are there a lot of crabs on this beach!

The crabs came in all sizes, from as small as a marble to as large as a tennis ball.

The kids and I had a blast searching for and collecting our invertebrate friends.

At one point, because I am both a science nerd and a homeschooler in training, we decided to make a terrarium for our collection of hermit crabs.

We collected rocks, sand, and shells from the beach and put in a handful of poor, unsuspecting crabs.

It was my bright idea to paint the backs of the shells and then try and take the crabs out of their shells to see which crab would go back into which shell.

Kind of a lesson in dominance and futility.

Just in case you didn't know, hermit crabs will not come out of their shells unless they want to. If you try to pull them out with eyebrow tweezers you will pull off their legs or claws.

I am very sorry, crabs #2, 6, and 8.

After our science experience failed with a few crab casualties, we decided to just leave them be and study their behavior.

A few hours the crabs had all managed to escape their pan of death and wandered off to some unknown location of relative safety.

By the end of our three week stay, when we would go down to Hermit Crab beach, we couldn't find a single hermit crab.

Maybe the kids had "picked" them all. Maybe they were hiding. Maybe they ran away.

Whatever the reason, the hermit crabs of Hermit Crab beach better watch out. Phoebe is two now, so there will be three crazy redheads running around collecting them.

Until Sam and Carson come and then their will be FIVE redheaded kids.

The crabs don't stand a chance.