Horseshoe crab カブトガニ

20190615_194653For the last few years, it has become an early summer ritual to go to Jamaica Bay and help count Horseshoe crabs. Late May-early June is their mating season and at high tide, a crew of volunteers organized by the Audubon Society heads out to the beaches of Jamaica Bay to count. The eggs that they lay are an important food source for migrating sea birds.

この数年間、ジャマイカ湾へ行って カブトガニの数を数えて生息状況を調査するのが初夏のしきたりになっている。五月下旬から6月初旬の高潮が繁殖の時期。カブトガニの卵は海鳥の回遊に重要な食糧となるそうな。野鳥保護を始めたオデュボーンの名にちなんだ、オデュボーン学会によって毎年ボランティアが募集される。20170611_204155_Burst01.jpgIt is always a lovely trip, from Manhattan over the Brooklyn bridge and under the Verrazano narrows bridge to Plumb Beach. This year there were more than enough volunteers so I had the task of looking for crabs that had tags on them and picking up the garbage that is constantly being washed onto the beach.

目的地の海岸までの道中も なかなかの楽しい道のり。マンハッタンからブルックリン橋やベラザノナローズ橋を渡って、市の南端にあるプラムビーチに至る。今年はボランティアが沢山集まったので、楽な仕事をもらえた。再帰してきたカニを探す役と、岸に集まるゴミを同時に集める仕事。毎年何匹かのカニが捕らえられ、標識のバッジが付けて放される。20190615_194100It was unusual this year, high tide was during daylight. In previous years we had headlamps and were searching in the dark. It was the first time for me to have the mating rituals in full view. Females do not move, they dig into the sand and the males try to attach to anything that is not moving. I have no idea what is the next step for the bewildered males when they find out the object they attached to is just a human foot.

例年は暗闇の中、ヘッドランプを付けてカニを探すのだが、今年は昼間の高潮なので、まだ明るい。繁殖の様子が丸見え。とはいってもメスは砂に潜ってじっとしているだけ。オスは岩でも何でも動いてないものにへばり付くだけ、のようにみえる。それが目当てのメスなのか、人の足なのか?…どうやって判断して次の行動に至るのか?皆目わからない。

20190615_192642.jpgThere was also a lot of surf, so the horseshoe crabs had to work that much harder and persevere. We helped flip some over that were being tossed around in the high waves. They do a very good Darth Vader impression. In fact their flipped side looks more grotesque. The Hollywood movie industry has successfully implanted an evil impression of this kind of creature on us…..They look aggressive and harmful but actually are much safer than New Yorkers. They are meekly floating on the waves, silent, almost cute.

カニたちは成果を上げるべく懸命に波にのっている。ひっきりなしに高い波でひっくり返され、文字通りジタバタしているのを元に戻してやる。表側はダースベーダーそっくり。裏側は実はもっとグロテスク。ハリウッド映画は邪悪な印象をこの生物から引き出して、我々に植え付けるのに成功した。危険なように見えるけれど、実際は静かで、可愛くさえある。ニューヨーカーよりはるかに安全。

20190615_192709It was interesting to see the sea life that has fastened onto the shells of the crabs, one was covered in seaweed, others had intricate sculptures of barnacles and shells.  It means they hardly move, I guess.

カニの背にはいろんな生物がへばり付いている。これを観察するのは面白い。あるものは海藻に覆われ、あるものはフジツボや貝の彫刻になっている。ということはよっぽど動かないのだろう。

20190615_195200My fellow volunteers were New Yorkers, happily embracing these alien invaders- they are interested in the water life that surrounds the city and the families wanted their children to learn about the rich natural life that a big city like New York has. As I said good night and left the beach the sky was still bright.

今回のボランティアの仲間たちは この大都市ニューヨークに生息する水性生物に興味がある人たちや、家族の子供たちが豊かな自然を学んでほしいと思っているニューヨーカーたちだった。さよならを言って別れた。空がまだ明るい。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horseshoe crab カブトガニ」への1件のフィードバック

  1. Dear Hiroki and Sandy,

    Your recent blog post about the crabs had me chuckling in a couple of places, especially when you were wondering what happens when one attaches to a human foot and you were pondering its next step in their mating sequence. I also laughed when you saw a turned over crab and wrote how NY’ers are scarier!

    I’ve been thinking about your last question in your email, asking me if I could see your work in Santa Barbara. Yes! There’s definitely room here for your unique, architectural voice.

    You were missed today for Eugene and Paul’s birthday party. We had cake (actually, 2 cakes), and we walked through their enchanting garden. Eugene is quite a visionary and has an X factor in all he does. As we were exploring their backyard, I imagined your time here and smiled knowing how much peace you must have felt sleeping surrounded by nature instead of New Yorkers (and their yappy dogs)!

    Are you seriously considering Santa Barbara as your next move? Do you hope to be out here within the next couple of years? It would be so much fun to have you both close by to show you more of Southern California and to have helpers eat birthday cake.

    Oh, I recently ran across this online exhibition and thought of you both!

    https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/OwIitdbVQEa6Kw

    Randall and I hope you are staying cool this summer and we are happy to see you are exploring the great outdoors in your own backyard.

    Take care for now,

    Cara and Randall

    >

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