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Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crab

Last month I had the privilege of being a presenter at a monitoring conference in Atlantic City. It was a treat to visit a part of the country that I would otherwise not go to, and to meet lots of interesting, smart people. I also went on a field trip to Reed Beach on one of the evenings. The purpose was to introduce us to the breeding tradition of the horseshoe crabs, and the timing was just right.

Now, a tradition is something that is passed on from generation to generation and stands the test of time, correct? Nobody reading this can lay claim to a tradition that has stood the test of time longer than the horseshoe crab and their breeding ritual. You see, these guys have been around for about 100 Million Years before the dinosaurs. Imagine that! Can you?

Actually these creatures are not crabs at all and are more closely related to the spider. And what a big spider they are! They take about 10 years to become sexually active, and can weigh up to 10 pounds when they do. They will live to be 17 or so, which is not old enough to vote, but certainly they can make babies! They lay thousands of eggs at a time and that is no doubt part of why they have lasted so long. And this is a very good thing for Delaware Bay shore birds, like the Red Knot, that depend on horseshoe crab eggs for their survival. Anyway, I was enthralled with this little visit to pre-history and felt that I wanted to pay tribute to a living being that will likely survive global warming better than we do.

Horseshoe Crab gourd is about 16 inches long from the seashell side to the end of the crabby tail. It is decorated with pyrography, leather dye, some embossing powder, and sits on a piece of wood decorated with sea shells. Inside the gourd are a few 'horseshoe crab eggs' made of Styrofoam, just for the heck of it. The backside has a Red Knot shore bird creeping up to have a snack of the little eggs as well.

Anyway, it is kind of fun.

I would like the money the sale of this gourd to go to the Esperanza Scholarship Fund at Lane Community College. OR, I am also open to having to a different non-profit that you desire, as long as it is for a good cause such as human rights, environmental protection, or public health.

Margie Lopez Read