I’m a Rocky Mountain girl becoming intimate with the Atlantic Coast of these United States of America one beach walk at a time. I’ve heard about horseshoe crabs — how they are ancient, prehistoric creatures, how they were around before the dinosaurs. I’ve heard that they cover the beaches at certain times of year. I’ve even seen a horseshoe crab or two at an aquarium. I get very excited when we are walking on a beach and we see one. But thus far, we have rarely seen a live one. The other day, while strolling down the beach in Lewes, Delaware, we saw one. Alive! But upside down. So, we helped it get righted and back out to sea. see videos
Note: I have completely rewritten the following paragraph because I was wrong about what Melanie was trying to convey AND I was utterly wrong about whether rescuing horseshoe crabs matters. It does, I thought it didn't because it was the end of their lifecycle, but I was going to keep doing it anyway. It turns out they have a 25 year life span and return to the same beach over and over again to mate. Here's a link to an article about why rescuing them when they are stranded matters: http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2014/05/volunteers_return_the_favor_for_horseshoe_crabs_and_shorebirds.html
The next day, I told our new friends, Melanie and Miles, about our horseshoe crab rescue and Melanie told me about a time when she and her daughter spent a week at Slaughter beach rescuing horseshoe crabs and how devastating it was to see so many of them in peril. Here's a link all about Slaughter Beach and the horseshoe crabs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughter_Beach,_Delaware
Today, over a yummy vegan burger at Aleathea’s Restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey, I read a rather informative article in a local magazine, called Exit Zero, about how horseshoe crabs are crucial to the well being of certain migrating birds called Red Knots. See photo for the full article (Sorry, I don't have a photo of a Red Knot, yet). It reminded me of our rescue operation and got me excited to visit as many beaches as possible this month — a couple of hours past high tide. I’ve simply got to see this phenomenon. Stay tuned for updates. When I see more horseshoe crabs, you'll be the first to know.