May 30, 2008

Hilton Head- coastal life

Here are a few of the coastal/sea creatures we saw along Hilton Head Beach.

We saw hundreds of these little fiddler crabs in the marshy ground under the boardwalk. Those are snails on the stalks of grass. They climb up the grass to get away from predators.

Apparently the horseshoe crabs were molting around the time when we got there. Allen and I had thought maybe there were just a lot of dead ones washed up, but when we went to the aquarium in Charleston they told us it was molting season. We must have seen nearly a dozen shells washed up in places on the beach.

Here's a picture of what typically washed up the shore's edge. It was neat seeing all the different crab shells.

I mentioned seeing a whole tidal pool of tiny hermit crabs (the one day I forgot to take my camera out with me). Well we stumbled across the granddaddy of them all. I didn't know it but there are actually different species of hermit crabs. Can't remember the names, but if you come across a tiny one that doesn't have striped legs you cannot in all honesty tell your small child they will grow up to live in a conch shell. It's the stripey legs who do that.

Speaking of which here's a picture of the smaller sort of hermit crab. If you look closely you can just see its trail.

There were a bunch of whelks scattered around on the beach. I caught this one in the surf with his front door open.

Tomorrow, I'll try to get up some Charleston pictures. They might wait until Monday though depending on what it going on around here.

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