Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
February 19, 2016     The Catalina Islander
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February 19, 2016

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Life on ‘the‘R’ural Side With Jessica Scofield The Year of Red Crabs ‘ I know Chinese New Year occurred recently, but being neither Chinese nor trendy I have no idea which animal is supposed to repre- sent this year. I can tell you, how- ever, that in Two Harbors it is most definitely The Year of The Crab. One day last summer thousands and thousands of pelagic red crabs washed ashore in Two Harbors. Locals told us that the mass strand- ing was a sure sign of an El Nino. My fam- ily enjoyed the unique natural phenomenon. We walked the length of the Jessica beach, mar— Scofield veling at the Columnist mass of small red bodies. Pelagic red crabs—which are actually a type of squat lobster—are usually found south of the border. Their appearance this far north is a guaranteed sign of warmer ocean temperatures. The summer strand- ing was an isolated incident. SinCe winter began, however, pelagic red crabs have become our most com- mon beach ornamentation. Every week or so a new batch washes ashore, a sinuous rim of red marking the high tide line. The bountiful supply of crustaceans attracts a large body of seabirds. Some days it seems like Isthmus Cove has been completely taken» over by winged bipeds. The birds are choosy at first, FLATBREAD PIZZA 8: A PINT OF BREW HOUSE BEER A ,. CATALINA ISLAND BREw HOUSE 15 LOCATED ON CRESCENT AVE., NEAR THE PIER weéniraw e‘g'Frraay;‘re5aa+yi§, 2016 eating only selected parts of the sea creatures. But after a few days without a fresh batch, the fussy fowls pick over the remains, finally consuming less favored fragments. The intermittent inundation of invertebrates has its disadvantages. Occasionally enough individuals invade the island to completely overwhelm the avian population. In those instances, after a few days the little bodies can cause a big stink. The birds themselves are anoth- er issue. After assisting with crab cleanup the birds deposit their droppings all over the beach and sometimes on docks and boats. Despite these drawbacks, the red Pelagic red crabs are among the less com- mon visitors to Two Harbors. Courtesy photo crabs are an appealing addition to the area. They add color to the seashore and to coastal waters, they draw many more gulls than we usu— ally have, and they’re something different—and therefore interest- ing—to observe. , SPECIAL MONDAY Gull" WEI? BURRITO $10. WITH. All alarm: $42.00 “to TUESDAYS ONE FREE WEDHESDAYS'.“ But 0H3: 'ElTl‘R-Esi GE?!" 0!: FREE—FE EQUAL on use“? “we, smear: om. THIRSTY THURSDAY $2.550 DRAFT? PACIFI‘C’O $5; DRAFT SHOCK TOP; STONE ml» 0!]? Sin.“ FINALLY FRIDAY “.39 Wr‘I‘l-LDAIRQI... CAFE! SAT/SUI 8;“... SIX DIRECT TVS! surgeon Nurses! HEM? nu; BASE or rim GREEN PIER, Cold: 01% BY! NEW BAKERY iTEMsr CAPPUCCINO MUFFIN ' ZUCCHlNl MUFFIN LAX SEED BERRY BRAN MUFFIN PUMPKlN MUFFIN Purchase a Brick for the Memorial " "'iii's'éiriiiiiiihgiiibéh'