Thanks Nat Geo for helping us get the word out there about conserving the Horseshoe Crab (and our own species)!
Here’s the ending that didn’t get published and what I did after counting only 2 females and 4 males the night of the full moon:
In the back of Bobby’s truck there were at least 100 crabs already piled upside down on top of each other. Their their legs and tails clicked against each other like a thousand knitting needles. Dr. Matt Salvani of the Cornell Cooperative Extension says volunteering “isn’t just for fun. You are really helping. It’s a real hands on experience. All you need to do is walk the beach and count…” Or in my case drive.
On my way to my car, I grabbed two females and three males out of truck. The female’s sides were full of eggs, I could feel them squish between my fingers and I am grateful that now she can lay them. A little male lies quietly upside down in my lap, as if he knows he’s just been pardoned.
Volunteering is a real hands on experience. As I place the crabs back into the water, they unfold their ancient shapes and slip back into the freedom of the bay and a bashful full moon winks down at us from behind the clouds. Bobby, if you are reading this, I owe you six bucks. I wish I owed you more. (all photos by Veronique Louis)