Spring Tides in Salty Water

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Spring Tides in Salty Water

Chirping and singing fills the air,

Tides peak on the border of a shoal

Beach grasses protect the Dolly Varden–

A crab that moves toward the muddy land.

It has a light colored shell covered with red spots and they are darkly outlined.

This is why some refer to it as a calico crab.

Remaining hidden with a thin rippling layer of water across it

At the low point of the ebb,

Here the water is so glassy,

And every detail is revealed.

Crystal clarity to the very bottom,

A little school of minnows flickers like silver sparks,

Bigger fish wander in along narrow passages and between the shoals.

Beds of Sunray clams rest in the deeper areas with whelks preying on them.

Crabs swim and bury inside the sandy bottom.

Life comes out of hiding with horseshoe crabs and a toadfish that hides in

A clump of eelgrass with neat black spirals and a banded tulip shell.

Others glide rapidly with a clear track in the sand,

Minute plant cells are a principal food of each new generation.

Pea crabs and ghost shrimp are alive, too.

Many of these effectively deceive the human eyes by being covered with seaweed.

As the tide ebbs away,

Great whelks are exposed and they glide across the surface in search of clams,

Microscopic plants are gathered inside as seawater streams from their bodies.

The stone crab is their enemy with a massive purplish body and two brightly colored

Claws; they lurk in caves and among the jetties with the rocks.

Gulls seize and carry channel whelks away,

Then, they drop them on a hard surface and the shell shatters,

 Their treasure is recovered leaving behind bits of shell.

It is a world of force, change,

And constant motion as the sand acquires new sea creatures

From the heavy pounding surf.

            –J. E. Cook ©2014

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Exploiters in the Sea’s World~

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*Exploiters~*

A mole crab uses nets so efficient that they obtain
Numerous microorganisms in which whole cities
Live and where the waves break and splash.
In a spectacular movement an area of bubbles; like of a flock of birds
Emerge with crabs digging into the sandy shores with a magical ease
By way of a whirling motion, they dig into wet particles and wait for
Returning water.
They are flat with paw-like appendages and their eyes are mostly useless,
Depending on their sense of touch to guide them through the surf.
Sensory bristles and their gnome-like faces appear in a floating instant in the
Liquid glass stream—fading back.
There is a magical quality in these curtains hiding a world containing shifting sands
And foaming water.
They begin life as an orange colored egg, however, their life span is short.
Towards a summer’s end,
Transformation to an adult is complete.
Young crabs can be carried as far as 200 miles off shore in a current they may travel
Further…
Remaining active in the winter season
And spring brings their mating.
By July, most males are dead.
Females carry the eggs for several months until
They hatch before winter these females die.
A new generation lives among the coquina clams,
Screw shells, and Terebra.
                                                                                                     
                                                                          –J. E. Cook ©2014~Revised~2017
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