Tuesday, June 24, 2008

daily painting - crab on the run

"Crab on the run"
5" x 3", 140# arches paper
click to enlarge

As a small girl, I have sweet memories of crabbing at the beach in Delaware with my brother and sisters. We would use chicken necks tied with white string to triangular lead fish weights. Out on a wood dock that stretched out into the shallow water we would go. Lying on our stomachs so we could see into the shallow water better, we would work at coaxing a crab close enough to then catch him with a net on a long pole. There was a certain finesse needed to lure in a blue crab. If you pulled the string too hard or too fast, the crab would spook and let go. Not enough pulling and you lost your chicken neck.

Into a large basket they went, once caught. I have a vivid memory of blue crabs getting out of the basket and scurrying around on the wood deck. As I was always barefoot or had only flip flops on, I would squeal and get very excited, thinking the blue crab would take off a toe or two. My brother would be the hero and grab the crab in the back and toss it back into the basket.

Back at the beach house, my mom would boil up the crabs in a huge pot and then pick them clean. Picking crab was a tedious job. It was not easy work to cook crab as this was the time before air conditioning. Looking back, I don't think my mom was real thrilled when we caught crabs, but she did cook them for us!

Funny thing, I don't remember eating the crabs. I just remember catching them. I am not sure what my mom would make- Crab salad? Crab imperial? I just don't remember. I think as a small child it was much more fun catching blue crabs than eating blue crabs!


Anonymous said...

Hi sis,

I remember this, too, much the same way you do. No, Mom did not relish picking the crab and what she made was a crab salad and we all got a small portion. It was DELICIOUS !! My very favorite thing, hanging in my family room, is a print of a painting by Linda Roberts called, "Crabs" !

The painting is of a basket of crabs looking down on it from the top. One crab is poised to nip you if you get too close!! Linda's art is sold in and round the Delaware beaches - Bethany & Rehobeth mostly. Anything she has done reminds me of those trips as children!

You really captured the little guy!! What I also remember about catching them is that Dad was the "net man"... we'd yell, "Got one" and he would net it. Some of the crabs held on to that net for deal life and Dad had to untangle and get them into the basket before called to duty again!

I loved crabbing - thanks for the memories.



you bring to mind the summers at the beach in Maine with my family...I spend more time hunting crabs with my youngest boy than doing anything else....of course they're not the eating kind, so at least I don't have to cook them...we simply "catch, examine, and release"

beautiful watercolor....

Judy H in NC said...

Still haven't taken pictures of magnolias, but did manage a picture of a gardenia. Do you have gardenias where you are?

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture and charming vivid memory.
No mention of the Big H though. :o)