Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Mud Fiddler

It is that time of year again. Mud Fiddlers are emerging along wet, muddy areas close to the sound. Hundreds of them scurry away or get under foot on out-of-the-way paths on Ocracoke and Portsmouth.

This fellow stopped to defend himself as I bent over to take his photograph.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the recent skirmishes islanders have had with North Carolina legislatures over the issue of ferry tolls...and a 1955 newspaper editorial advocating free, state-operated ferries across Hatteras Inlet. You can read it here:


  1. Debbie Leonard6:41 AM

    I love them...they are so funny with that big claw, like they could really defend themselves against something as big as a person.

  2. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Looking forward to a lot more pictures now that you have a smart phone.

  3. Anonymous9:23 AM


    Your posts of today and yesterday reflect a stroll I took back to the marshy edge of the sound just a few weeks ago, following the road opposite the NPS campground entrance. Those feisty little crabs were out in abundance, some squished under tires of others who'd previously made the short trip back by vehicle.

    My path back to the road took me past the entrance to the Hammock Hills trail, which I've never yet explored, but look forward to doing some day. The skeeters were getting a shade bothersome, so I figured I'll return another time when better outfitted for the hike.

    That road to the marsh is also where, years ago, I saw a snake slither quickly from deep grass on one side of the road to the other. With that memory in mind, as well as the fiddler crab "land mines," each step of the way was a lot more well-measured this time than in years past.

    Just one more way Ocracoke helps us slow down and pay a little more attention in life.


    Appreciate your posts--as always--and especially your photos.


  4. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Why is the claw so big? Is it to dig a better burrow to attract a mate. Is the claw big to ward off other male crabs seeking the same best location to dig a nest/hole. Just because the female spends two weeks in the hole covered by sea weed maybe she wants the crab with the best house. Location location location. DD

  5. Anonymous3:33 PM

    Philip, a snake question...a coupke if weeks ago we slid iur kayak into the sound fron a small soundside accrss area off the beaten path midway down the islans,a ways past tge pony oenc. Anyway a long blackish snake hurriedy went into the edge if the sound. I wonder if soneone might give us a idea as to what it might have been. All i kniw is that it was around 4ft and very dark in color...thanks for a educated guess.i know we haven't given you much to go on....a reader and visitor.

    1. It sounds similar to the snake I saw. But I don't know what species it was.

  6. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Believe it or not-- the NC cooperative extension services has a web page with pictures of snakes found in North Carolina, in the search engine of your choice type "snakes found in North Carolina"

    1. An excellent resource...but I still can't be sure what species of snake I saw on the Nature Trail.

  7. Anonymous1:33 PM

    LAND MINES !! ??