Friday, October 8, 2010

Horseshoe Crab

We fell asleep last night listening to the waves of the Atlantic lapping against the shore. We're staying at Fort Clinch State Park on Amelia Island in the northeastern part of Florida. We stopped here even though we could easily have made it home yesterday. We wanted to spend one more day at a beach.

We parked and immediately took a walk to the beach and started collecting shells. We walked the length of the beach almost to the pier. We were just about ready to turn around and go back when I spotted something big lying in the sand near the water. I gingerly turned the creature over with my foot wondering what it was.

A person walking behind us who we hadn't seen came up and explained it was a horseshoe crab. He picked it up and offered to clean the crab and told us all about horseshoe crabs which are related to spiders and not crabs at all. He said he collects the dead horseshoe crabs he finds, dries them, hand hangs them on his wall.

The shell is paper thin and if I hold it up to the light it looks like tortoise shell. I was a little saddened the crab had died, but I plan on taking the shell home to use it as inspiration for a ceramic piece.

There was so much inspiraiton on the beach. I can't wait to get home to make some pieces in clay.

I just know some of these shapes, surfaces, and colors will find themselves in my upcoming ceramic work.

There was a fishing pier in the distance.

Ships were coming in through the intercoastal waterway.

There was a boardwalk to the beach to protect the fragile sand dunes; and there was an outdoor shower along the way. Up next photos of Fort Clinch and Fernandina Beach, the closest town to the park.


  1. That is one of my RVing brother's favorite places, now I see why.
    Didn't know that about the horseshoe crabs. Interesting. Hope he doesn't smell with time.

  2. Hi Patti, thanks, the guy who we met on the beach said we should clean the reverse with a weak solution of bleach which we'll do today. It was so cool he just walked up behind us when we saw the crab and he knew all about them. Gary doesn't want to leave now, he said he's already home. Ha.

  3. Great account of your visit there. Makes me want to see Florida. Never been... It's a far cry from the ol' Kern County Fair, where I've been running around for two weeks! I'm finally back at my beach and my studio. Awwwwwww. Home!

  4. some years back i brought a horseshoe crab home from florida. i believe it came from a beach near Naples... we dried it and cleaned like you said and it never was smelly. i agree that the ocean is very inspiring, can't wait to see what you are making when you get home.

  5. Hi Patricia, thanks, there are so many parks and beaches to see, I don't think we could ever see all of them. this particular place was a real treasure for sure.

    Hi Michele, thanks, there are unusual creatures in the sea for sure, I can't wait to start back with the clay either. I am sure the ocean will have some influence.


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