Tag Archives: hermit crabs

Jasmine The Hermit Crab Molts

Hermit Crabs have to molt (shed) their entire exoskeleton in order to grow.  They bury themselves in the dirt in the wild so that they can do this in safety.  A newly molted crab is soft and unable to defend itself after a molt.  In order to grow and harden properly, they must then eat their exoskeleton.  Yep, even their old claws!

When you keep them as pets you have to supply substrate deep enough for them to molt.  Trial and error has led me to use separate tanks for them to molt in.  Turns out some crabs like to eat their freshly molted brethren or steal and eat their exoskeletons.  Fortunately, the loss of their exo does not automatically spell death.  But it does stunt the crab and it’s the color of a lunch bag.  It may take another two or three molts before that crab begins to grow normally again.

If you go the route of separate tanks, it means you have to pay attention to your crab’s behavior.  Eating large amounts of salt and food, soaking in or emptying the water dish everyday, and constant digging/tunneling in the substrate are signs of a crab heading into a molt.  All crabs will exhibit this behavior occasionally, it’s the consistency that counts.  The crab can then be moved to the molting tank where he has privacy and his own personal food supply.

However, some crabs like to surprise you occasionally with a sudden drop down in the tank.  I even had one molt on the surface!!!  Thank goodness I found that crab before somebody ate him!  Today I was doing a ‘fluff and pick’ in the tank and found Jasmine barely covered next to the food dish.  Why so many crabs dig down in high traffic areas with the other crabs marching over their heads, I do not know.  When I reached in to remove the food dish my pinky finger poked down right into her molting chamber.  She jerked back into her shell so fast she took bedding with her.  I said something I won’t repeat here.  Both because she had dug down right next to the food dish and also because I saw her pinkness and was afraid I had hurt her.  She did appear to be fine, but she needed to be moved to the molting tank.

See how light colored she is?  She had probably finished her molt an hour or two before I found her.  When crabs are freshly molted they are almost completely white and wet.  Notice how life like that empty shell looks.  She will eat all of that before coming up.

See how light-colored she is? She had probably finished her molt an hour or two before I found her. When crabs are freshly molted they are almost completely white and wet. Notice how life-like that empty shell looks. She will eat all of that before coming up.

Another view.  And take a look at her claw.  It's open and prepared to pinch. She is NOT happy about having her picture taken.  Even though she knows I won't hurt her (I've had her nearly 9 years.), she is very vulnerable right now and instinct tells her she should be hidden.

Another view. And take a look at her claw. It’s open and prepared to pinch. She is NOT happy about having her picture taken. Even though she knows I won’t hurt her (I’ve had her nearly 9 years.), she is very vulnerable right now and instinct tells her she should be hidden.

She is too soft and weak to dig herself a hole so I must do it for her.  The hole needs to be 1 1/2 times her length and heighth.  Spray it down good and wet. Then you put the crab in with its exoskeleton and cover with a 'roof'.

She is too soft and weak to dig herself a hole so I must do it for her. The hole needs to be 1 1/2 times her length and heighth. Spray it down good and wet. Then you put the crab in with its exoskeleton and cover with a ‘roof’.

Cork wood makes a good, lightweight roof that holds in the moisture.  A crab Jasmine's size will take, on average, 10 to 14 days to eat her exoskeleton.  There are fast eaters and slow eaters, so this is not a hard and fast rule.

Cork wood makes a good, lightweight roof that holds in the moisture. A crab Jasmine’s size will take, on average, 10 to 14 days to eat her exoskeleton. There are fast eaters and slow eaters, so this is not a hard and fast rule!

See you in about 2 weeks Jasmine!

Lots of Feather Messages

Random Thoughts

Feathers have been roaming around in my thoughts lately.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been finding feathers in my yard on a regular basis.  A number of them were standing at attention in the grass.  Some light and fluffy ones showed up around my feet.  One slightly beat up feather was left by a dove watching me at the window.  After looking me over, the dove shook itself and reached down and pulled the feather out.  She/he then looked at me again, dropped the feather on the ground and, with one last look, flew away.

Many people believe that feathers are gifts from the Universe bringing messages.  That they bring us an opportunity or reminder to connect, to see, to find answers.  A message, also, that Love and assistance are there for the asking.  We just need to remember that we need not walk alone.  Easier said than done.

When was the last time you sat down quietly and went within to seek your messages and to ask for Love and assistance to be brought into your life?  When was the last time you sat quietly and gave Thanks to the Universe?  I know I’m way over due.

I was outside trying to get good pictures with natural light.  That little fluffy feather is also a Blue Jay feather but the wind kicked up and started blowing the feathers around so that was the end of outdoor picture taking of feathers.

I was outside trying to get good pictures with natural light. That little fluffy feather is also a Blue Jay feather but the wind kicked up and started blowing the feathers around so that was the end of outdoor picture-taking of feathers!

The tattered one, third from the left, is the one left by the dove.

The tattered one, third from the left, is the one left by the dove.

Life At Our House

Lots of messes here need to be addressed.  But for now, here is what I have been snacking on:

Husband made these for work by request.  And, of course, some were left behind at home.

Husband made these for work by request. And, of course, some were left behind at home.

Fur Babies and Other Critters

I wish my balance was this good.  Usually they crawl across upside down.

I wish my balance was this good. Usually they crawl across upside down.

I put fresh paper towels in for Stitch.  Look at those stuffed pouches!

I put fresh paper towels in for Stitch. Look at those stuffed pouches!

Can you see that he has stuffed his pouches so full that the paper towels are sticking out of his mouth?

Can you see that he has stuffed his pouches so full that the paper towels are sticking out of his mouth?

Out In The Yard

It is the end of the year, unfortunately.

This poor butterfly showed up at night and slept in the window.  He's rather beat up.

This poor butterfly showed up at night and slept in the window. He’s rather beat up. See where he’s missing a section of one wing?

This little one sat in the sun for hours.  Faded and slightly tattered.

This little one sat in the sun for hours. Faded and slightly tattered.

Mr. Toad sat buried in this pot for 3 days.  He didn't even get out at night.  Then suddenly, three days ago, he took a bath and left.

Mr. Toad sat buried in this pot for 3 days. He didn’t even get out at night. Then suddenly, three days ago, he took a bath and left.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter?

Mugs

Yep, back to this one.  The past couple of nights have not been fun.

Yep, back to this one. The past couple of nights have not been fun.

And, WOW!, it’s only 9:30!  I’ll have time to work on crocheting a tissue box cover!  Night!

A Little Catch-Up

Random Thoughts

The past week and a half has been one of sleep deprivation.  Life has not been cooperating.  It has felt as though the sleep gremlins have been conspiring against me.  I do not function well without sleep.  I can lose whole days to the haze.  I won’t bore you with a litany of all the fun I’ve had.  I’ll just give you the top three: 1)  Weird dream.  I spent an entire night in a kayak on a creek that wound through houses and trees and restaurants.  The really weird part was a strange guy who appeared on the back of the kayak and kept falling asleep and falling forward to lean on me.  I was exhausted by the time I woke up.  2)  Frustration.  Going to the bathroom at ten till four am and seeing my cat shooting out of my room away from me.  I turned my flashlight on to see what was going on and found that the cat had puked all over the bed.  Lights! Action! My rushing to strip the heavily winter dressed bed before the puke made it to the mattress didn’t do much for the rest of the sleeping household.  Later that morning after washing the sheets and pad I went in to make the bed back up and found someone had puked on the blankets while I ate breakfast.  And 3)  Anger.  Somehow, without heavy lifting or slipping or falling I have managed to hurt my back.  I’m sucking on the Motrin bottle, popping muscle relaxants, and walking around with my Tens unit stuck to my back.  If there is no improvement by Monday I’ll be heading back to the doctor’s office.  ARGH!

**********

As I was sorting through a pile of papers I found this quote from my calendar and it just struck a note.  “Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.” — Henry Miller  It  has just seemed totally topsy-turvy around here.

I decided to take a look at Henry Miller as I’m not very familiar with his work.  I found many useful quotes but this one just fit in with what I’m trying to do this year (attitude adjustment).  And after basically losing a week and a half doing nothing more than just barely what needed done I needed the reminder.

“Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.  Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly.  Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.  What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, strength, if faced with an open mind.  Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” — Henry Miller

Now if I could just get some sleep!

**********

My son has set up a folder of beautiful pictures he thinks I will like and has set them up to rotate every so many hours as my background on the computer.  When I finished reading my blogs this morning and shut down the internet, this bright and beautiful flower plus bees popped up.  It made me smile and feel good for the first time in days.   I live for summer.  And I haven’t planted sunflowers in years.  I think they need to go on my ‘to do’ list for the garden.

wwww

Life At Our House

I had to take Saver back to school back on the 13th.  You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say her room was a mess and that we did eventually find her floor.  (shaking head)  She wouldn’t let me take pictures of her room so I’ll give you pictures of our trip out instead.  It got interesting for a little while.

Note:  Saver took these pictures.  I was driving.  Actually she took about 76 of them which I weeded down to about 20ish.  I’m giving you 8.

It was overcast but clear.  I love looking at cuttings.

It was overcast but clear. I love looking at cuttings.

Then we came up over the hill and saw this.

Then we came up over the hill and saw this.

And then it got like this.

And then it got like this.

And this!

And this!

Then it started to clear.

Then it started to clear.

I really liked the shot of this tree.

I really liked this gnarly shrub.

And then we could see again.  Sort of.

And then we could see again. Sort of.

My daughter said this picture HAD to be put up.

My daughter said this picture HAD to be put up.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

My son took this picture around Thanksgiving I think.  This is my little food thief.

Me too!

I want some too!

I managed to get a picture or two of my Hermies hanging together.  An almost large Hermie with a smalll Hermie.  Ignore the reflections of Christmas tree lights.

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All together now...

All together now…

Out in the Yard

In keeping with the sunflower, I went in and found some summer pics I hadn’t used.

That's a butterfly bush with a Hummingbird Moth coming in.  I just could not get a good picture of them.

That’s a butterfly bush with a Hummingbird Moth coming in. I just could not get a good picture of that moth.

And one of our summer denizens.

And one of our summer denizens.

 **********

I’m going to leave you with the…

Mug of the Day

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Note:  In keeping with this screwed up week and a half, I have had to edit this post I think 4 times now.  Pictures were added from my media file (WTF?) that I didn’t choose and words/sentences/paragraphs/titles/pictures were randomly being eaten (how many times do I have to put this mug back in?).  Sooooo, let’s try this again.  (Dammit I have to be up at 6 am!!!)

And The New Year Begins

Random Thoughts

So the New Year has begun and here I am again looking back at the old one shaking my head at the lack of progress.  Granted, there was a lot of ‘not fun’, especially financially, but still.  Damn.  Um, darn.  I said, “Darn”.

One of the things I know and has come up before is if I don’t take time for my outer self and my inner self, I’ll stall out and get buried under all the crap.  So some me time is in order.  I know, I know.  I keep coming back to this.  I need to find some way or some thing to jump-start me in the morning through the fog before half the day is gone so I remember to take care of myself.  Me first!

***On my list is becoming a runner again.  I totally dropped the ball on that one this summer.  No time, no time, no time.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.   I’m going to start penciling this in first.

***My animals.  I have not been caring for them with my ‘A’ game and very little interaction.  My hermit crabs are all skittish again.  My fish tanks are plant choked.  No calm swimmy viewing for me, limited swimming room for them.  Etc., etc.  So Guilt, Guilt, Guilt.

***Plants.  My outside gardens are a joke.  I have no inside gardens going.  And a vegetable garden?  Not unless -I- make it so.

These all keep me happy and sane.  So I have to get them back in my life and put out all the fires after.  Including the never-ending mess that is my house.

While I was writing this Saver of Bugs was sitting down the couch from me on her computer and posted a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the comments to yesterday’s post.  It so fits what I need to do, mentally.  So I’m stealing it for today as well.  And I think this is going to wind up on some pretty paper for me to hang somewhere obvious.  Saver rocks.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

 

A volunteer that sprouted from seed that survived last year's winter.

A volunteer pansy that sprouted from seed that survived last year’s winter.

***************

There is a bug living in this house that we need to look up.  He is very noisy and as I was typing this he landed on my crystals.  I decided to take a picture to have when I looked him up and ‘Surprise!’ I discovered my end table is a really good place to take pictures of my crystals!  Bonus!  So say, “Hi!”

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 So now I’m off to end my day writing in my Gratitude Journal.   Onward Ho!

 

Well, Darn, It Really Is Winter Now and My Kids Are Trying To Quit Me From Cussing

Random Thoughts and Life At Our House

Well, darn.  This is what I woke up to this morning:

The view out my bedroom window.  Why, yes, I turn my Christmas lights on on dreary days when I'm home.  The Dec/Jan electric bill always hurts.  The price of doing Christmas lights.

The view out my bedroom window. Why, yes, I turn my Christmas lights on on dreary days when I’m home. The Dec/Jan electric bill always hurts. The price of doing Christmas lights.

The middle bedroom.  Yeah, the rhododendron needs cut down.  It's at least 15 ft high.

The middle bedroom. Yeah, the rhododendron needs cut down. It’s at least 15 ft high.

Out the front window.  Tried the butterfly bush for the summer.  It's gonna go.  It grew clear over the sidewalk.

Out the front window. Tried the butterfly bush for the summer. It’s gonna go. It grew clear over the sidewalk.

Out the kitchen window.

Out the kitchen window.

Out the bathroom window.

Out the bathroom window.

Big pine tree at the back of our lot.

Big pine tree at the back of our lot.

Another sign of winter are the birdies:

This is a Junco.  They arrive in the fall and leave in the spring.  They showed up at the beginning of the month.  They are camera shy so you can't see just how beautiful they are, charcoal grey with snow white tummies.  They are cheerful little birds that spend most of their time scratching on the ground for food.

This is a Junco. They arrive in the fall and leave in the spring. They showed up at the beginning of the month. They are camera-shy so you can’t see just how beautiful they are, charcoal grey with snow-white tummies. They are cheerful little birds that spend most of their time scratching on the ground for food.

And the American Goldfinch in his winter clothes.  In the summer these birds are a bright yellow.  They luuve sunflower seeds.

And the American Goldfinch in his winter clothes. In the summer these birds are a bright yellow with black wing bars. They luuve sunflower seeds.  (And that’s a Mourning Dove supervising on top the feeder.)

Sigh.  Winter is here.

*****

My kids are on a mission, darn it.  To stop me from cussing, particularly in public.  My daughter says I shouldn’t be corrupting youth.  Not sure they’re going to eradicate a habit I’ve had for over 2/3rds of my life.  And I like cussing!  It’s emotionally satisfying.  If I hadn’t been there for the birth and if my kids weren’t so much like me, I’d have to wonder if they were actually mine! 🙂

*****

We still have one more Christmas to go.  We celebrate with my in-laws on New Year’s Day.  We got the shopping done yesterday.  And husband went out today and bought a pork loin to make into pork roast and some chops, and sauerkraut, and a handful of poppers for New Year’s Eve.

Saver and I also hit the calendar kiosk for our 50% off calendar shopping.  I had to splurge on an extra desk calendar when I saw the “Believing In Ourselves” Daily Meditations for Women desk calendar.  The “Spirit of Place” and the “What Horses Teach Us” are Saver’s calendars.

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While I was rummaging around through some papers before Christmas I found a Toys R Us gift card that had belonged to Spider Bait.  According to him he gave me the card for cash and I should go get some Triops.  Um, okay.  So I made a trip to Toys R Us but they didn’t have Triops.  They did have Sea Monkeys.  So I grabbed some of them and a couple of puzzles.  I had to use some of my Christmas cash cause getting 2 puzzles instead of just one put me over the gift card.  And I’m not even sure the Sea Monkeys are any good cause the packets feel funny.  Like maybe they got wet at some point.  Oh, well.  Time will tell.

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I also had a JoAnn Fabric’s gift card from my birthday and I had to hit JoAnn’s to check out the sales.  I needed this stuff like I needed a hole in my head and I went over my card limit (seeing a pattern here?) and spent some of my Christmas cash because they were clearing out the paper and there were only a couple left.  I have nooo will power.  And, NO, I will not tell you how many WIP’s I have lying around here.

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And a $2 reusable bag to carry it in.

And a $2 reusable bag to carry it in.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Before Christmas I finally got my Hermit Crab tanks cleaned back up.  I was a bad crab mommy.

Before.  Yuk.  Way toooo dry.

Before. Yuk. Way toooo dry.

100_4101After.

100_4100 Tank #2 – Before

After

After

Happy Hermies!

Happy Hermies!

Out In The Yard

Attention plant lovers!  It’s time to start repotting plants house plants and starting your perennial seeds!  Once the Solstice has passed and the days begin to get longer you’re good to go.

And a heads up to you orchid lovers!  Ikea has Phalaenopsis orchids on sale for $4.99.  More Christmas cash gone.

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Mug of the Day

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Time for me to go.  Here’s me working on a post.  Usually, though, I’m in my PJ’s!

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‘Me Time’ On The Lake

Random Thoughts

I have some more news on our internet troubles.  Apparently our neighbor’s tree has grown big enough to be a problem.  It means every time it rains or there is a heavy dew, we lose our connection (the tree becomes more ‘solid’).  Our roof is in too bad a shape currently to move our receiver up there and it’s possible that it won’t be high enough.  Our internet has been paid for by my husband’s company in a deal they had, but with financial problems at the company, we won’t be able to ask for them to pay for hardwire internet.  Which means at some point we are probably going to have to figure out a way to bring it in and pay for it.  For now we suffer till the leaves all fall off and we should be good to go till next May.

On the top of the hill, on the other side of the four lane is the hospital with our internet provider’s towers. No you can’t see it. That’s the problem.

*****

About three weekends ago, I decided to leave the Sat. football game after half time and take myself for a boat ride on the lake at our local State Park.  I love being near water and cruising along on it even though I have drowning issues.  When Saver had been home at the end of July, she talked me into a 2 person kayak, which I survived, so I decided to try a single person kayak.  They are not as stable as a two-person kayak and I was wobbly and muttering imprecations at my daughter.  But I persevered and began cruising around the lake at water level.  It was awesome.

Not shown in the pictures is a Great Blue Heron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Heron) that I was attempting to get close enough to get a good picture of when my cell phone went off.  (Note to self:  Put the damn phone on vibrate next time!)  Oh, and Saver, the bird you and I saw when we were out was most likely a Green Heron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Heron).  It is the only thing whose body shape and size matches what we saw. (It was in dark shade, so we couldn’t really see markings.)  Also not shown were the waves that came up with the wind when a storm blew past near by.  I was too busy not tipping over to take pictures.  They weren’t huge swamp-the-kayak type waves, but enough to keep me busy.  And the storms in the area meant I practically had the lake all to myself.

A small creek that feeds the lake and a good spot to find wading birds.

I have a thing for lily pads.

Heading out into the lake.

Can you see what’s on the tip of the kayak? They were constantly hitching a ride.

More lake.

I couldn’t get close enough for a good picture of this cave. The wind was up and kept blowing me away faster than I could paddle and picture take. But it goes in a little ways.

I love this eroded overhang.

Another little creek that feeds the lake. The water is really shallow here and little fish swim around your boat.

Hey, Saver! Remember this? (She tipped her kayak messing around when the cousins came to visit. We had to tow it to shore to dump it out.)

Time to head home for dinner.

Life At Our House

I am currently sick with a cold and crossing my fingers that it doesn’t turn into bronchitis.  This is what stress and lack of good sleep can do to you.

*****

Spider Bait has SAT’s this Saturday.  From there he goes to the stadium for Homecoming.  The Husband will be cooking and selling Boy Scout chickens from a float in the parade.  It is going to be really strange for me not to be doing parade and band things this year.  I will be on standby to pick Spider Bait up from the SAT test and then get him to the game.  One of the band members will have his uniform and instrument waiting for him at the stadium.  Weird.

*****

I am on a bruschetta frenzy as the tomatoes are going away.  *Sniffle*

And look at these beauties that I got at the Farmer’s Market.  You better believe I’ll be roasting some of these to make into a spread.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Corn cob treat for the Hermies

This is what happens when you leave it in the tank for 24 hours or more.

Out In The Yard

Our header today is pink phlox that is invading my yard.

And since it is now past 11:00 pm I am calling it quits.  Here is our

Mug of the Day

By Marjolein Bastin.  Yep, I’m a fan.

Congrats to Saver of Bugs!

I am beyond pissed at the moment.  This will be my second attempt at this post, because when I attempted to copy/paste something, it gave me 4 copies.  So I went to delete what I didn’t want, and was VERY CAREFUL  to only highlight what I wanted to delete, and WordPress ate the whole bottom half of my post.  When I did a control Z to try and bring it back, it ate the rest of my post.  To say I am seething would be an understatement.  I think tomorrow I’m going to write this in Word and then see if I can copy/paste the whole thing in from there.  ARGH!

Life At Our House

Woot!  Our daughter, Saver of Bugs, was elected President of her LARPing group. While she needs something else to work on like she needs another hole in her head, I am happy for her because LARPing makes her happy.

CONGRATULATIONS, Dearest Daughter!

Today while I was visiting Julie (www.urthalun.com) there was cake commentary.  I recognized the cake, but couldn’t remember the name and I, of course, then wanted cake.  So after digging through my recipes (I really do need to get them all in one place), I found it!  Special Yellow Jello Cake! Yummmm!

And because I can, here is a picture of one of my favorite mugs:

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Hi, Crabbies!

Out in the Yard 

I found out the different headers I put up everyday don’t stay with the post.  If you go back to read something, I’ll be talking about a plant no one can see.  So I’m going to post the full picture down here as well, so it will carry forward with the post.  And soon I’ll be going back to edit the other posts, cause that’s just the way I am.  Today, no yard work.  Rain!  And our header is grape hyacinths.

Random Thoughts 

I was originally going to type up something up about a bike rider I follow who got hurt.  I am an unabashed fan of bicycle road racing.  But it was already late when I got here and then my post got eaten.  I have been trying to get to bed by 12, (which is what it is now, woo hoo).  So maybe tomorrow.  I’m going to leave you with a link to a song my son played for me.  It’s awesome.  I hope you have time to listen.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl9voSKJmEU