I'm back from our week-long adventure in Florida, and there will be posts about the trip soon to come. But first, I have to make a quick Connecticut-related diversion, because look what was emerging from the ocean when I went to Silver Sands State Park this afternoon:
Mating Horseshoe Crabs!
There were several pairs of these creatures scattered along the shoreline, the smaller male clasping on to the larger female, ready to fertilize the eggs she lays in the sand. Apparently, Horseshoe Crabs come up to reproduce in late spring at high tide, so I guess it was just lucky that I happened to be at the beach at the right time. These are such crazy, cool creatures!
A few lone Horseshoe Crabs (actually more closely related to spiders than crabs, as Wikipedia tells me... weird!) somehow ended up on their backs on the beach, waving their legs around in the air:
I don't know if these Horseshoe Crabs were nearing the ends of their lives anyway, but I flipped them back over just in case they weren't. (Have I mentioned that Horseshoe Crabs are big, and much heavier than I expected? I needed two hands to maneuver these things, and it felt a bit like picking up a flattened, wriggling bowling ball.) This one seemed glad for the assistance, at least, as it dragged itself back into the ocean:
Soooo cool! I'm glad I got to see these creatures up close.
And here's a bonus picture from today's beach visit -- a bunch of Barn Swallows seem to have nests under the boardwalk, and one of the birds landed right next to me to twitter at its fellows:
Pretty bird. :)