We had just concluded a lovely evening with good friends here in Virginia Beach, fellow blogger Susan Okaty and her husband, George. It was dark, but my wife and I decided to take a romantic walk on the beach. There was a bright half-moon and a beautiful zephyr breeze blowing. We gathered up the dog, Queenie, and over we went. I took a flashlight so we wouldn’t accidentally step on any sharp shells, but with the moonlight it was hardly necessary.
The amorous stroll was going just fine until she got crabby. No, not my sweet wife, heaven forbid. It was Queenie. Suddenly she started running around in all directions. I turned on the flashlight to check it out. Seems she was chasing ghosts. Ghost crabs! Also known as sand crabs, these little critters come our mainly at night to forage for food. The problem was, we didn’t know if our toes were on the menu or not. They were all over, posturing in that intimidating position that makes them seem far more formidable than their size would warrant. They are called ghost crabs because they are most often seen out of their burrows at night, although a good eye can catch them peering out of their burrows in the daytime. Also named because of their beige color which helps them blend into the sand, reminiscent of a true ghost.
Now, if you’ve never seen a ghost crab move, that’s the freaky part. They can motor around sideways and backwards with blinding speed. Just watch this. It’s creepy enough watching them in daylight, but if you’re out amongst them at night, your imagination gets the best of you. You speculate that every little touch you feel is an all-out crab attack, even if it’s just a grain of sand blowing against your foot. We’ll be wearing shoes at night from now on.