Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Episode Twenty Six: Go Crabbing

As far as I am concerned, and my children would probably agree, this is the idea to end all ideas. If this website was made up of one idea this would be it. It is quite simply the perfect idea: Go crabbing.

If you're lucky enough to live in New Zealand,  you live within 10km of the coast. If you're even luckier you live near a harbour with low and high tides, this is prime crabbing country. Sorry international readers, I'm not well-travelled enough to know if you have harbours like ours - I've been to one other country and they did. So, here's hoping.

With low tide comes mud and with mud comes crabs. The particular spot we frequent for crabbing features thousands upon thousands of little crab holes which are full of tunnelling mud crabs (Helice crassa). These little guys tend to hide in their holes but if you stand still for a moment and cast your eyes over the whole mud flat, you'll see dozens of brave souls scuttling from one hole to another. It's amazing.

All of our family (toddlers, boys, parents and grandparents) love squishing around in the mud - some in aqua socks (haha) or barefeet looking for crabs. We challenge each other to find the biggest one, collecting each one in a butterfly net that we bring along for this very purpose.

Not only is there a competition to see who can find the biggest crab, there is also a challenge to see who is brave enough to pick them up with their bare hands. How big a crab can you pick up with your fingers? It's great for confronting fear and doing things out of our comfort zone.

For me, this idea ticks quite a few boxes: Family involvement, competition, pushing boundaries of fear, getting dirty, being outside and close to nature, compassion for animals/creatures, exploration, discovery and the thrill of the chase. What more could you ask for?

Watch out for those pincers, they're small but they still hurt. Have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment