Thursday, September 27, 2007

The ever-changing Bat...

Our new hermit crab named Bat (Lochie named him) is very interesting to watch because he has been changing his shells a couple of times a day lately! We had purchased some assorted shell sizes from - a really cute hermit crab online store - and have had them in the crabitat for ages waiting for Cranky to go into a prettier shell (she's the one riding the dinosaur!). The shells they come in naturally are not so attractive and have little barnacles all over them and the new shells are SO adorable!
So you can imagine my excitement to discover Bat had changed shells - not only once but several times now! He was in a cute whale-eye shell last night (see picture) but as soon as I finished filling the water & food bowls etc and put him back in his crabitat he rushed over to a few new shells I had put in there and crawled into ANOTHER one! So far he has been in the pretty green "tapestry" shell with the flecks of mother-of-pearl second from the left, the jade turbo shell on the far right, the whale-eye and the exotic king crown shell in the bottom picture. And when I checked on him this morning he was back in the whale-eye shell again!
He is fun to watch because he puts his large pincher in the opening of the shell to see if it fits, then he turns the shell over and over to make sure there isn't a crab already in it, then he quickly heaves his soft, muscular abdomen into the new shell - this is how they hang on to the shell. Then he goes over to the salt water pool and sits in it a while - I think he is getting more "shell water" into his new shell. It has certainly kept us entertained and before we got the crabs for Lochie's birthday I didn't know much about them - I kind of thought their intelligence level was about that of a bug or something. Now they have been our pets for the past month I can TOTALLY see that is not the case as we have witnessed them helping each other (Cranky reached out and helped Crabby right himself up once) and last weekend when I cleaned out the crabitat and put Cranky & Bat into the shallow cardboard container together they were TOTALLY working with each other to give each other a boost to try and escape! I set Lachlan on sentry duty while I was busy cleaning and he said "Mum, Cranky is getting out!" - sure enough Bat had let Cranky crawl up on him and he held still while she found a foothold in the fold of the carton and hoisted herself up and was sitting on the edge! To make sure it wasn't a fluke I positioned them away from each other and watched - sure enough they sought each other out and marched single-file around the carton until they came to where the cardboard folds were that Cranky had just climbed (Cranky seemed to be the instigator). Bat stopped and they put their feelers out at each other and seemed to communicate silently together for a moment with the feelers going at lightening speed - then Bat positioned himself and Cranky crawled on top of him and tried to hoist herself up using the ridges/joins of the cardboard! It was really amazing to see and the first time I realized that hermit crabs can think and strategize on some basic level - they can also communicate somehow. It was fascinating to watch and now I am such a crab-fanatic! Lochie really loves his crabs and today he even made a tribute to Crabby who died a few weeks ago (he was kinda sickly since we got him - unlike Cranky & Bat who have always been really active & personable - they come out of their shells and walk around on us, eat out of our hands etc - Crabby never did that). Lochie made a craft project Hermit Crab and told me it was for Crabby. I reminded him Crabby was dead and he said "I know Mum... it can still be for Crabby" which I thought was really sweet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall is here!

That means:

  • Awanas starts up again at church!
  • time to clean out the fireplace!
  • get the winter clothes down from storage!
  • Pumpkin Patches & Harvest Festival/Halloween!
  • warm crock-pot stews and soups that heat the house while it slow-cooks all day!
  • fall foliage turning to gold, oranges, browns all along the Boise River!
  • Going out comfortably in long sleeved tops and jeans - light jacket weather!
  • Morning frosts and afternoon sun!
I LOVE the Fall - it is my favourite season!!
This is Lochie in front of our church (Calvary Chapel Boise) on Wednesday night for Awanas - he earned two patches last year on his vest and was very excited to start back up again! He is in the same class with many kids he knows from Sunday school and also saw some of our friends kids from bible study group, Grady & Wyatt.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lochie's 4th B'Day Cake!

Auntie Polly got Lochie a great Spiderman birthday cake from Albertson's - it was a really cool, detailed cake and even had a Spiderman toy he could keep afterwards! Lochie is STILL talking about his cake two weeks later...