Walking the beach in the early morning with the tide very low, I found what I am fairly sure a long (18 inches) very streamlined Blue Heron feather on the sand.  It is shaped similar to a B.H. feather; it has a bluish color within the dark colors; the edges of the feather are somewhat curled upward, like the flaps on an airplane wing.  It’s in perfect condition except for salt and other debris from the water.   I brought it home and washed the sand and salt off the surface so it would regain its shininess and beautiful color before painting it on paper with colored pencil.

The molting season for the crabs is over.   That’s when the crabs out grow their present shell.   Nature then grows a very soft shell around the entire crab so it can crawl out of the old shell and enjoy the room in its new shell.   But during this soft shell period, the crab is very vulnerable to predators until the new shell hardens.

There were several dried cast off shells about 2 1/2 inches across the backs on the sandy beach the day I walked.   So I picked up a male and female crab to bring home to sketch since it is difficult to do the sketching on the beach.   The male crab has a more narrow abdominal flap on its abdomen compared to the female which is much wider.

While collecting crabs for food consumption, it is illegal to keep the females but males are legal for eating but need to be within legal limits of 165 mm. per Washington State R/R.   They are cooked immediately after being brought back to shore  in the boiling hot salty water.  My husband removes the backs and cleans out all the fat and stuff around the crab before throwing them into the boiling water.   When they are cooked within the boiling time limit, they are removed.  Then we grab a few legs and start cracking and eating the hot crab as we sit around the fire.


15 thoughts on “Dungeness Crab and Blue Heron Feather on the beach

  1. Dear Lois, I’ve learned something today. Last week my family was on the beach and I found two ’empty’ crab shells. One even seemed to have its eyes. I assumed they were the exoskeletons of by now dead crabs. I didn’t know they molted. Thank you for upgrading my knowledge.
    Next, I would like to molt too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s