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A Camping Story

September 16, 2010

It was early morning, most of the campers at the site were still asleep. The only ones awake were those with dogs who need walks, and so the owners and the dogs all met each other on the trails around Rebecca Spit. I was neither a dog nor a dog owner, I was awake at this hour to take photographs. My trusty canon ae-1 slung over my neck, lens cap in my pocket so that it was at the ready should I see something interesting. After following the trails for a bit, I found a small lagoon of sorts, created by the low tide. I ventured forth with the hopes of photographing the denizens of this in between world of tide pools. Crabs, starfish, mussels, who know what I might find.

Despite the possibility which this landscape held, I was feeling down. We had arrived at the camp site almost three days ago and I felt I hadn’t taken a decent photo in that whole time. The frustration was building and the point of this walk was to try to dissipate it. So I clambered over driftwood logs and hopped precariously from barnacled stone to barnacled stone, trying to keep my camera safe and my shoes dry. I winced at the crunch of barnacles under my feet, knowing that they were living creatures themselves, I hated stepping on them.  As I approached one of the small pools of water, I carefully chose a spot where my shadow wouldn’t impede my view, and also where I could get some decent footing. Finding such a place, I squatted down, the crunch and grinding of barnacle shells beneath my shoes sounded deafening.  I looked in the tide pool and saw nothing but more rocks covered in more barnacles than I could have counted in a lifetime. But that was it, no other signs of life. I sighed, sad that my low hopes were verified. The wind whistled in my ears, the barnacles crunched beneath my feet and I felt alone.

As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, I noticed another sound, a kind of clicking. I focused on it, tuning out the wind, staying extra still so as not to make any noise. Suddenly the sound was all around me, it was all I could hear. Clicking, skittering, movement. I looked around me and to my amazement I saw hundreds of tiny crabs crawling over the rocks. Most were no bigger than my thumbnail, some even smaller.  I watched in awe as they went about their daily business in their odd fashion of walking sideways. Sometimes two would run into each other and a small scuffle would ensue until each had gone their separate ways. For what felt like hours I sat and watched the crabs, and when I was tired of watching, I closed my eyes, tuned out the wind and the waves and listened to thousands upon thousands of feet moving over the earth.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 12:30 pm

    What an experience!
    Lovely shot.

  2. September 21, 2010 8:13 am

    Great dof in this photo. I’m loving the detail of the rocks. I have never been real camping before but I love your telling of the experience. 🙂

  3. September 22, 2010 11:09 pm

    Sometimes the unexpected moments is what we need most.

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