Photograph and text by Susan McLean
From the July 2022 issue
I’ve had a long fascination with horseshoe crabs, and every May through late June when tens of thousands make their way to lay their eggs along the shores of the Delaware Bay, I try to do my part to help them continue to thrive by flipping them when wave action turns them upside-down. When I came upon this horseshoe crab that became stranded as the tide receded, I thought his efforts to flip himself with his tail, although unsuccessful, were artistic in a sense and resembled a sundial.
Luckily for him, I know that flipping them is safe because they do not sting or bite, and it’s easily done by picking them up anywhere but the tail. Once it was flipped over I watched it immediately make its way back to the water where I hope it went on to make more horseshoe crabs, a vital part of our coastal ecosystem and biomedical industry.