specimens No.1

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a tiny Jonah Crab and an Atlantic Rock Crab

I could have easily (except maybe for the physics, chemistry & math part) been a marine biologist. I am totally fascinated by sea creatures of all types and sizes. Perfectly fitting, I guess, that I've been sloshing around in my rubber footwear avec les chiens (the absolute best beach combing companions ever) through many a tide pool for nearly 15 years now. I always walk with my head down collecting beach glass, bright yellow and orange tiny periwinkle shells, the occasional dogfish egg case or mermaids purse, examining unusual rocks and larger shells. Wading through shallow tide pools and crouching down to watch hermit crabs racing across underwater deserts to retreat in the shade of clumps of seaweed. The most exciting things I've found in 15 years of beach combing were a large ocean centipede about 10 inches long and a washed up oarfish (a petite sea monster) about a metre long.

I'm always amazed to come across some tiny little body, completely intact, of one of our Atlantic shoreline species of crab. Dead for awhile and completely dried out and preserved - it's shell sometimes bleached by the sun and salt.

Things are a mess here at 29 Black Street. Messy house, messy office, messy desk. That's what happens when things are busy, everything else falls by the way side. Another two day project on the heels of this one, then working on my Etsy shop art prints and my submissions Sept 15th and Oct 13th of greeting card designs to Great Arrow (a goal that's been on my list of goals for seven years and one that surely will help me in my quest of building my own creative empire). These are the times when I wish I had a tiny little life. A tiny little house and a tiny little yard and garden. Something easy to take care of and easy to maintain, when my main job at hand is bringing home the bacon.

11:00 A mouse in the house, well actually a mouse in the left hand top drawer of the teak topped desk. Not sure how he/she got there but my job immediately became to rescue the little mouse from the drawer and take he/she outside. Turns out not at all an easy task and at the end of it all the little mouse, freaked out at my attempts to lure/push him into a clean aluminum can (or safe tunnel place), jumped out of the drawer onto my sleeve and up the arm of my hooded sweatshirt and down into the hood. Thinking quickly I removed the my sweatshirt, closed up the hood and took sweet little, heart a beating, mouse outside and into the grass and safely away from the big game, tag team, hunters and mouse killers extraordinaire - Gus & Oliver. Mouse messenger animal totem.


  1. Hmmm...I could go for a tiny life, with a tiny house! ;-)

    I wish you luck on all of your projects. I'm not sure when I will be online again. May be a week or two.

    Please know that although I'm not online writing, you will be in my thoughts constanly.

    Lotsa love to you and the cute furry friends!

  2. These crab shots are fantastic, Susan! Wow!!! The artist in you in shining brightly today! :)

  3. Well, you are a steady girl. I'm afraid if that little creature ran up my arm I would have immediately morphed into the expected portrait of the squealing, manic female with a mouse up her sleeve! Congratulations for a successful relocation, though!

    Loved hearing about your beach wanderings! It's sort of like having a natural art supply store right outside your door. And, I'm glad your're working a lot! Don't worry about the messy desk...mine hasn't seen light all week!

    Edward woofs to Miss Winnie!

  4. I'm not prone to hysterics, but I think a mouse up my sleeve would have shaken me up. Poor little thing!
    It does amaze me how such delicate shells and carapaces survive the waves and weather, so lovely.

  5. oooo..that last series of photos, the one in the middle would lend itself to a fine little watercolour painting wouldn't you say? Love the shadows on it.


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