It's tough to get tired of these beach skies...

Sometimes Even Horseshoe Crabs Need a Hand

(Because they don’t have any…)

Yesterday morning, I went out to the always scenic (and often offering adventure) Folly Beach for my Sunday morning run. I set out aiming for six miles on the beach, and that’s ultimately what I accomplished. It was a beautiful (albeit a bit chilly) morning and I felt good overall despite having run the truly epic Onshore Racing’s You Can’t Run From Love 8K the day prior (race recap coming in a future blog entry when I stop slacking so much…).

Although this weekend run was rather ho-hum overall, it was notable on two counts:

  1. The sky was (for lack of better terminology) poppin’!
  2. I tried to rescue a horseshoe crab.
Look at those popcorn clouds!
Look at those popcorn clouds!
I mostly took pictures while warming up and cooling down, but will admit I stopped to take a couple during the run itself...
I mostly took pictures while warming up and cooling down, but will admit I stopped to take a couple during the run itself…

While the pictures may suggest otherwise, this “run” wasn’t all about being awed by the beauty of the sky.

Right as I was coming up on my three-mile turn around point, I also came across a horseshoe crab lying/resting/dying/drying out/tanning just beyond the shoreline. Now seeing a horseshoe crab stranded on the beach is no longer the sight it once was for this guy given the fact that they are frequently desiccating out on the beach (I’ve actually noticed that there are way more dried out horseshoe crabs out on the beach in the winter months than during the spring/summer months…maybe someone out there knows why this could be?). In fact, this horseshoe crab dude that I speak of was probably the fourth or fifth I had seen on this run alone.

What set this guy apart from the rest, however, was the fact that he did not appear all that dried up…and the fact that he was moving!

Come on, buddy, let down your hard shell guard a bit. I'm just trying to help ya...
Come on, buddy, let down your hard shell guard a bit. I’m just trying to help ya…

Yes, indeed I could clearly see him waving about his rear rudder tail/scorpion stinger appearing death appendage as he laid there helpless on the sand. So I paused my Garmin and took to assessing the situation which involved taking the above picture and admiring his cool barnacle like appearance.

After the in-depth assessment was completed, what ensued was a 10 minute cycle of me picking the big guy up, avoiding his rear tail (yes, I know it won’t kill me but still…), placing him a bit deeper into the water, watching to see if the tide takes him out, and then repeating. It was a delicate dance balancing my desire to save a majestic sea beast and my hope to not get my shoes soaked. Ultimately, the scales tipped further towards the humanitarian side and thus I was able to get him sufficiently far enough off shore that he could “swim” off to his sea home if he wanted to. I watched him for a bit, and he was definitely making movements on his own but I never saw him enter into the true depths of the ocean. After all, I didn’t have all day to watch him…sheesh!

So who knows if I ultimately did a good deed or not. It could be that he was dying and just wanted to be left alone in peace on the shore and instead some jerk in shorts threw him back into the water. It could also be that he was out on the shore to mate (though I don’t believe it’s crab mating season now) and thus I effectively “you know what–it rhymes with rock”-blocked him. Or in the best case scenario, it could be that I truly did save his crabby life.

In any case, I learned from Wikipedia (which contains only factually correct material) afterwards that horseshoe crabs are often used as bait fish for eel but a “permanent moratorium” has been put in effect in SC to restrict this practice. Way to go, South Carolina! Not enough to make up for being part of the Confederacy, but it’s all about baby steps…

Maybe the crab dude was just coming to shore to admire the sky as well?
Maybe the crab dude was just coming to shore to admire the sky as well?

If you somehow read this or have someone read the blog to you, Mr. Horseshoe Crab, please know that I was only trying to do you right.

Unrelated to running and crabs, I was able to close the day out with drinks at Kudu and watching the sunset with Alicia “It’s So Cold Outside” Herklotz. It was a good day overall.

His and Hers Evil Twin Brews at Kudu.
His and Hers Evil Twin Brews at Kudu. 

The sunset as seen from Folly.
The sunset as seen from Folly.

 

8 thoughts on “Sometimes Even Horseshoe Crabs Need a Hand”

  1. Ahha. You gave wildlife blue balls!! I don’t make it to the beach often, but I do recollect seeing dead ones when I’m there. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a live one. Wonder what they’re doing up on the sand…

    1. Thanks! Yeah it was really beautiful out on the beach yesterday. I shall be sure to provide an update should we run into one another again! I should’ve geotagged or bedazzled him or something but alas I didn’t have a GPS device or any plastic jewels…oh well.

  2. Oh gosh, that sky looks so beautiful. I think that if it had been me running there, I would have spent all my time staring up at the clouds only to then trip riight over the crab and fall flat on my face! I love running on the beach; it’s one of the many perks of living right by the sea. Kudos for your good deeds as well! In a way I like it when my runs get interrupted by something unexpected and worthwhile – it somehow makes the run feel more like a journey than a workout.

    1. Ha! Believe me I was not running as hard as I should have given my constant staring at the sky. I love running on the beach as well–seems like the beach is a bit different each time you’re on it which is really cool. I agree that the random adventures or (mis)adventures definitely make the runs more worthwhile!

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