When we strolled along Kiptopeake Beach last weekend, we saw a little dog going nuts in the distance — running to and fro like a thing possessed. When we finally met the exhausted pooch and his owner, I remarked that the pooch didn’t look like it was having fun at ALL, to which the owner replied with a big grin that it had chased all the crabs up and down the beach.
Crabs? What crabs?
Turns out he was right. Further back down the beach closer to people, there weren’t any crabs. But here — where the people rarely came — there were holes all over the place. And some of the holes were big… bigger than my clenched fist! We began to catch flickers of movement ahead of us. And by that I mean that we would see blazingly fast movement at the edge of our field of vision — but when we focused on it, nothing was there.
Over and over this happened, until finally Cindy spotted the big ghost crab at the top of the page. He tolerated me getting within about six to eight feet of him before vanishing down the hole in the blink of an eye. After that, I let Cindy walk ahead of me down the beach while I remained sitting absolutely motionless on some drift wood for the next 20 minutes or so.
And the longer I sat, the more crabs that came out — until the beach was utterly alive with ghost crabs both large and small. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many before, nor have I seen any as large as they were there, with the biggest being larger than my outstretched hand, which spans 9 inches.