March 31, 2013
Don’t forget to tip your waiter!
I looked up from my work to see a bright orange object flying through the air. Around here, I don’t usually see bright orange things in the sky. I think that’s more like what happens in Russia.
The bright orange object was treated to a dizzying aerial view of the coastline, gripped in the beak of a first-winter herring gull who was determined to outpace five other, older gulls chasing him.
Watching the sharp turns and swerves, I thought of the car chase scene from Bullitt.
Gull McQueen here got himself quite a feast: A Sunflower sea star.
A sunflower sea star has twenty four limbs.
I’m really fond of these creatures. Almost every time we tugged a crab pot up over the edge of the sailboat hull last summer, instead of the Dungeness we desired, or along with them, would be one of these huge squishy guys:
Thanks to Dan for his professional hand modeling services.
Forget about the Circle of Life. Let’s talk about the Triangle of Lunch:
A friend eats a turkey lunch, and gives us some extra turkey parts.
We put the organ donor’s leg in the crab cage.
The crabs love a turkey lunch, too (although I think they’d appreciate a little deli mustard).
One or more sunflower seastars crawl in right along with the crabs, and often take over: if they’re not sucking down some clam innards (see first pic above), these guys also love a turkey lunch. Hold the rye, hold the mayo.
And they can, cos’ they have all those limbs to hold anything they want.
When we pull up the pot a day or so later, we throw the seastar back in the water.
We throw the female crabs back, too (how else would we have all these crabs to eat?).
We keep, cook and eat the male crabs who are large enough to be legal (they carry little I.D. cards to show the bouncer).
Voila: Our crab lunch, via everyone else’s turkey lunch.
The Triangle of Lunch is complete.
All for yum and yum, for all.
Even for those male crabs… for a while!
The Salish Sea version of a well catered party.