Photo of the Week

This week’s Photo of the Week was taken Thursday
(June 30, 2016)

Soldier Crabs, Sandgate Beachfront

Soldier Crabs, Sandgate Beachfront

Today I have a photo and a story.

Brighton (Brisbane’s most northern suburb) is where we lived when our girls were little.  We lived in a lovely old home on the hill behind the hotel and were a two-minute walk from the beachfront.  Brighton itself is a neighbour to Sandgate and Shorncliffe and the beachfront spans all three suburbs.

A long time ago, the area boasted lovely clean beaches that were a popular weekend and holiday destination.  I remember my mother telling me stories of beachside holidays at Sandgate with her family back in the early 1950s.  Sadly though, dredging of the Brisbane River for navigational purposes has seen a lot of river silt wash up on the beachfront, forever removing the word ‘clean’ from its description.

But that’s not to say the beachfront isn’t still lovely, it certainly is and, at low tide, a whole new world is exposed across the mudflats. Children and adults alike can be seen walking, playing and enjoying this wonderland.  It’s a draw card for racehorse trainers and dog walkers and, as Dean and I witnessed last Thursday, it’s now home to millions of soldier crabs.

There were millions of them

Yes – there were millions of them

I cannot remember ever seeing them is such prolific numbers before.  This is where our girls grew up, running and playing on those mudflats, seeking treasures hidden in little pools of water, and although Kate said she remembers them, I don’t and I feel very confident our youngest daughter would have squealed their existence into my memory.

Fully grown adults are only 25 millimetres across ( 1 inch) and they get their name from a habit the males (may) have of forming into large armies that traverse the beach at low tide.

It’s hard to get close to them with the slightest movement on the sand causing them to quickly scurry off and even disappear into the sand, where they live when the tide is in.  Their behaviour makes it hard to photograph them – Ok, I found it hard to photograph them, but at least I managed a few passable shots.

I’ve decided I’ll go back when there’s an afternoon low tide and try to get some better shots.  The light will be better, coming from the right direction.  I just hope I have the patience to stand still long enough for them to think I’m not there and venture closer.

7 Comments

  1. The picture of the crabs at the top reminds me of some of the aliens from the TV series Falling Skies! They were called Skitters. An appropriate name for those crabs, I bet! LOL

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