Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Day Fit for Ducks

We managed to get out for our walk today during  a gap in the rain.  Some Buffleheads (sea ducks) were swimming just offshore.

Buffies migrate into the Chesapeake in winter, preferring to summer and nest further north.  They are reputed to taste fishy, but a friend of mine who hunts them claims they make excellent jerky. 

More pics after the jump:

 The sky was threatening ,but the water was calm, despite 20 mph winds, because the wind was out of the west.  You can see Skye in the picture if look hard.

A shed exoskeleton from a horseshoe crab lies partially buried in the sand (they're not really a crab, but rather an arachnid, distantly related to spiders and scorpians). More often associated with New Jersey, where they come ashore in droves to mate and lay eggs.  We have a decent population here in the Chesapeake, and in fall, particularly in September, many sheds wash up.  You can tell a shed from a whole dead crab because they don't smell, and there is a split between the top and bottom at the front where the soft crab crawled out.

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