Thursday, April 5, 2012

Armed for mortal combat

While my 2 youngest daughters accompanied their mother on a shopping trip today, I left them to pursue one of their favorite pastimes and I pursued mine. Not far from the outdoor mall, a small stream extended inland from the bay for a ways, one side heavily covered with red mangroves. I thought there might be an opportunity to spot some exotic birds or other wildlife so I started following it, walking along the open bank. Although I walked slowly and quietly I saw only the occasional fish do a back flip in the air. When I came to a point where I could go no further, I stopped, and as I put down the camera bag a movement caught my eye.

I stood very still and soon I saw more movement nearby. As I reached for my camera, I saw little creatures scurrying at top speed along the bank and disappearing into little holes. I waited quietly for several more minutes and slowly they reappeared, many of them brandishing what appeared to be a sizable weapon. I watched through the telephoto lens as they jousted with each other.

It turns out that these fierce little creatures were mud and sand fiddler crabs. The males are adorned with one large claw, which can be either right or left handed (clawed ?) and with which they hope to flag down a passing female, or thwart a male rival. I think the object of their desire is the subject of the last photo (although to me she looks a bit like Darth Vader).

(all photos made with a 70-200mm lens with 2x extender, ISO200, 1/320 - 1/400 sec, f6.3)

click on photo to enlarge




21 comments:

Lúcia said...

They are very interesting creatures, the way they walk, their eyes, their claws...
I can see you had fun!
Have a great weekend Rick! ;-)

Stephanie said...

They are illustrious creatures with those claws and funny way of walking. Great post!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I always wondered why they only have one big claw and one little one! These are fun photos! You are lucky to catch them in action! They are very fast.

magda said...

You're a wonderful photographer Rick, your photos are wonderful!
Many greetings and Happy Easter!

Cloudia said...

how wonderful that your wise waiting yielded such intriguing views of another world. . .

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Bitch said...

A crab wedding..
Very interesting pictures!!
Wish you nice holidays!!!!

BlueShell said...

Hi...I missed you!

What a battle!
What magnificent shots!

Leslie said...

Yes! I definitely see that Darth Vader resemblance ;)

Fábio Martins said...

Well registed. Good pictures

imac said...

Well Rick, my friend, just what luck you walked into and to show their crabby sences.
Well captured Rick.

teca said...

You had a good idea to walk away from shopping, because faced with a fun animal. The photos looked great.

Good to see you again in Sedimentos... I missed your words of friends...

Have a nice Easter together yours.
Sweet beijos and a warm hug.
Love.

darlin said...

Wow, you don't miss a thing do you Rick? I am impressed with your watchful eye and how stunning your photos are. You have such passion and it shows through your shots... even one handed crabs (I like handed vs. clawed ;-)) I admire your passion and your energy. I'll let you in on a little secret; sometimes when I'm in need of an energy boost all I have to do is come visit your blog and I borrow some of the vibrance you emit... so if you're ever down a quart, you know who's got it! lol

Wishing you and your family a very blessed and Happy Easter!

Betty Manousos@ CUT and DRY said...

hi rick, what can i say? i'm in awe of your photography!


crabs are very interesting creatures...the way the walk always amaze me.

have a great weekend!

Joke van de Klift said...

Schitterend Rick, wat heb je weer mooie foto's van gemaakt, prachtig en zo scherp!!

Ik wens je fijne Paasdagen toe.
Groetjes, Joke

Amelia said...

Hi Rick,Good to see you back in action.
oh... crabby..crabby so cute. Excellent click and you capture it so well.

Happy Easter and have a nice weekend.

biebkriebels said...

Geweldig dat je op het juiste moment daar was om zo iets bijzonders te zien. Fijne Pasen, Marianne

lisa said...

They're actually kind of cute Rick, and these shots are great!

Elizabeth Grimes said...

I've seen these on the beach before! It's so odd to see their one large pincher. Creepy little things, but kinda fun to watch. :) Good eye to spot them.

Michelle said...

I like the shot with those eyes!

joyce said...

Scary looking creatures, and great pictures. One day i will learn about lenses and Fstops and ISo and all that jazz.....one day.

ioan moldovan said...

Beautiful photos as usual!
Thank you very much for your visit on my blog!I'm honnored!
Best regards,
Ioan