Reflections by Naturalist & Walk Leader Andrea Higgins
Photos courtesy of HCT Volunteer Photographer Gerry Beetham
Participants gathered at 5pm on the last day of June at Jackknife Cove under the bluest skies with abundant sunshine and toasty temperatures. Our stunning backdrop featured Muddy Creek, the glistening bay, ospreys soaring high above the beach, and dozens of dragonflies circling over bright green saltmarsh grasses. Beginning at the information station, we discussed the anatomy of the amazing horseshoe crab including their claws, book gills, blue blood, molting and so much more! Next, everyone had a chance to gently hold a live male horseshoe crab after learning never to pick them up by their tails.
After our information session, we sauntered down the sandy trail leading to the beach, where we released the male horseshoe crab back into the bay. Together we walked along the shoreline peering into the water in search of these ancient mariners. One of our walkers found perhaps the largest female horseshoe crab I have ever seen! With care and respect, we took turns admiring her incredible features.
Upon finding a green crab molt, we discussed the difference between the two species, with our toes planted in the wet sand and our feet submerged in salty waters.
Thank you so much for joining me today and supporting Harwich Conservation Trust!
I am offering additional Horseshoe Crab Walks on July 31st and August 14th from 7-8 p.m. Enjoy the sunset at low tide while learning about these living fossils! To reserve your spot, please click here.