This week's http://www.topix.net/ website gives us the Tallahasse, FL, article titled, 'Florida Fish and Wildlife needs your Help with Horseshoe Crabs', "...this is the peak period when horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate...statewide survey...at this time of the year, crabs invade certain beaches...". The creatures have an dark brown armorlike shell and a tail that resembles a pointed stick which they drag along on shoreline sand. The legs to a remarkable extent resemble the pincer-type legs of crustaceans, yet they are not categorized as such.
As a young girl, I did observe horseshoe crabs only a short distance away in the Jensen Beach, FL, area where the family had rented a vacation-house at the edge of the Indian River lagoon. The horseshoe crabs came out onto the sand when I was alone at the little house, together with other true crabs that have burrows in the sand and hermit crabs which use seashells as protection and mineral source. There was a sort of parade of horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs, with the burrowing crabs on shore and the blue crabs in the water as the audience/spectators.
Therefore, I walked over the Evans Cray, Sr. bridge that spans the St. Lucie River and sat myself down on the west island beneath the second, longer bridge, on the grass at the edge of a slight incline and sandy beach very close to the water and some living plus future-driftwood slender tree-trunks at growing at the tiny-wave waterline. The Jensen Beach Causeway could be seen due north. At my back were anglers and windsurfers along the south side of the very small island. I tossed a shed honeybee carapace into the view, that I had found on the bridge walkway.
Two excursion boats made their way northward through the lagoon.
The breeze and the sun made it a fine outlook position over the next hour, although an angler positioned himself very close by and I couldn't be sure whether he was looking to hook live fish or what. The beach was a combination of rubble and seashells, along with rocks, that covered a significant percentage of the sand. Actually, any horseshoe crab action was more likely to occur along the westside lagoon shoreline close to the mainland, which is where I had seen the creatures as a vacationer. Pelicans, a heron and some crows diligently sought sustenance.
However, as I picked up clear and brown glass beer-bottles/pieces and other food-service debris along the island beach, I along with all others present acknowledged what appeared to be two horseshoe crab shells with their characteristic peaks but with a variegated color that apparently resulted after much time lying in the sun (plants?). No live horseshoe crabs were directly observable among the skeletal remains of fish and a dried-out small ray perched on one rock. Live small fish swam and jumped in the water, while an occasional small red ant sunk mandibles into my flesh to stabilize itself.
Among the styrofoam, plastic-wrap and cellophane wrappers discarded, a child's small orange-colored cotton jersey-shirt was easily seen lying in and under the white sand. A length of nylon rope and a short bungee cord were also placed in one of the park's picnic area trash cans -- three bags of debris altogether.
While returning to Kingswood condo complex via Sewall's Point, a small variegated-colored spider hopped out onto the concrete sea-wall that separated the beach from the walkway, near a faded Pepsi can folded and wedged between two flanges of a metal column among many others that held up the wall's topside metal-railing. The Pepsi can was/is an unavoidable sight as drivers motor over the longer bridge, and must be seen at a variety of angles during the two-bridge drive onto the mainland, predictably slowing traffic near Benihana restaurant and the Harbor Point plaza. The roadside wall is stressed anyway near Benihana, with cracks running through the concrete beside the walkway and drainage grates. The previously mentioned mysterious array of bolts in the wall apparently are positioned to hold various new metal traffic-signs.
And, while leaving the bridge walkway at St. Lucie Boulevard, a dark brown cigar lay beside the roadway wall.