Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Blue Crab Encounter

I was harassing some friends with this story earlier and someone suggested I add it here, and so I will :)

The Blue Crab Encounter

I lived for many years in the Florida Keys. I've been on my own since I was around 13 and spent much of my teen years running wild up and down the Keys.

Between Homestead (the last town on the mainland) and Key Largo (the first Key or Island), there's only one road. US Highway 1. It's the only way, as far as most people know and usually pretty busy because of that.

But there's also old Highway 1, Card Sound, very few people knew about it back then and most people who did didn't even use it because it was a lot longer and older and there were no businesses or houses or humans at all, so that's the way I usually took.

One night I was on my way up to homestead, can't remember why, I didn't leave the Keys very often. I was driving pretty fast, I usually did back then (shouldn't ever drive fast tho). That night there was a small moon, maybe quarter, not very bright, and no streetlights at all, just my headlights. I was whizzing along, Fleetwood Mac blasting away, when suddenly I heard this terrible noise. crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch, over and over and over. Hundreds, maybe a thousand before I could stop. As soon as I slowed down, I could see the horror of it out my windshield. Millions of blue crabs making their yearly crossing from ocean side to mangrove side, to where they mated.

I was truly horrified to realize all those sounds were hundreds of senseless deaths that I had caused. And there were thousands more crossing, as far as I could see down the highway before me, crab after crab after crab. tons and tons of them. A giant wave of crabs.

There was no way I could go forward, I didn't even want to kill one of them, let alone hundreds more. So I put it in reverse and planned to back down the highway as long as I had to, to keep from killing as many as I could. But to my even greater horror, behind me now looked just like the highway before me. Thousands of crabs scurrying along as far as I could see in the reverse lights.

I sat there crying for a while and prayed that The Father would clear a path so I wouldn't have to hurt anyone of them. But at the same time I was kind of creeped out, alone in the dark on a deserted highway. There's a huge prison up in Homestead and smugglers brought drugs in sometimes and there are gators on the Mangrove side and the possibility of werewolves (something my mother caused me to fear greatly as a child), and a host of other things my very vivid imagination came up with.

So, after about 30 minutes, I reasoned that there were more ahead of me then behind so reversed the hell out of there as fast as I could and hoped that the ones I did kill died quickly and with little pain.

I was 17 at the time, over 25 years ago, and I can still hear that crunching sound *~* Sometimes even now, if I run over a walnut or an acorn, I think of crabs.


Peggy said...

I would have sat there and cried all night. LOL I would also have been scared to death! Just love reading stories about you and your life. You should write a book... really

Mrs.Ruiz said...

I would have done the same thing, I avoid stepping on bugs:)))

TheresaJ said...

I would have done the same thing too -- stopped and cried. Don't know how long I would have lasted though, so I can't comment on that. I'd like to think I would have waited it out, but when the imagination strikes, all bets are off! :)

Makes me wonder how many crabs are actually crushed in the journey as I'm sure you are/were not the only vehicle to take this road.

Reminds me of my cousin who died a few years ago at the young age of 37. She met her husband while trying to save tree frogs from a similar fate. Her husband worked at the adjacent business and one day, while raining outside, the parking lot had filled up with thousands of tiny green tree frogs. She was out in the rain, waving down trucks, not letting them drive into the lot. He thought she was nuts, a bit endearing, and ended up marrying her. He told this story at her memorial, and I will never forget it, as it was so her.

oldcrow61 said...

Yep, me too, I would have been in an awful state as well.

fly tie said...

wow. i would have mortified. i can just hear it now...

well, the ones who made it across and were able to mate could hopefully make up for those lost.