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One of the incredibly odd things that had my curiosity peaked were the crabs. At first glance, I thought the guy above was taking a nap.
But as we continued hiking down the beach in search of the perfect camp spot I started noticing more and more of these critters belly up.
It was so weird how many crab shells were washed up on the beach. Some piles at the water line were down right disturbing (not to mention the jumping sand fleas that lived among them). But the oddest thing was how they seemed to congregate by body part on different parts of the beach.
I don’t know why the parts were in different areas (weight/tides/wind?), but after some research, it appears the massive number of shells were due to a normal process of molting. The crabs have to climb out of their shells to grow bigger. And while a few crabs die during this stressful process, the bulk of them grow and live on in their new larger shells. It’s pretty fascinating.
Looking closer at the crab remnants scattered about, I was mesmerized by the detail in color, structure and pattern. I loved how the nubs in the claw mimicked the scallop shape on my circle ring - a pattern I’ve noticed in many of nature’s curiosities.
The shell colors and baby barnacles that hitch rides on their backs were fun to examine. The purples and orange combos will likely make an appearance in a future painting or Bitty Bowl. For now, it was interesting to see how textures repeat across natural environments, like the linear nature in the crab legs and leaves that inspired this ring from my Resilient Collection.
This fascinating natural molting process led to several interesting conversations and a visual oddity I will not soon forget. Their transformation is a little like that of a butterfly, reminding us that with change, good things come.
The jewelry I was wearing the weekend I spent at Shi Shi will forever remind me of the power of the sea and transformations.
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