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snail_vs_hermit_by_al_lau

Nevermind about The Avengers Infinity War. Who will win this epic battle? The snail or the Hermit Crab?

On the note of bottom feeders, I came across the smallest crab in the world while I was trying to catch (and release) a Largemouth Bass, featured in my recent video, First Bass of the Year. Plus, my cat makes a short cameo. Let me know if you like. Thanks!

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Dungeness Crab Version 2

Along the west coast of America, up to the Pacific Northwest, lives the Dungeness Crab. It is one of the larger family of crabs. Their name is derived from Dungeness, a fish port town in Puget Sound, Washington state. Their lifespan is about 10 years. Commercially caught Dungeness Crabs are usually around 5 years old when their shells reach 6 to 7 inches wide. Crabs grow through a process called molting where it sheds its shell for a new, larger one. Each time this happens, the crab grows 15 to 25%. They can be found in muddy/sandy portions of estuaries with eelgrass, along rocky shores, or as deep as 2000 feet in the ocean where they forage for small fish and invertebrates, such as clams and mussels.

Here is some good news. In a world full of so many threatened species of sea life, Dungeness crabs are actually a very good choice as a sustainable food source.  Regulations is saving the species. For example, in Canada, Dungeness Crab fisheries have catch size limitations. This protects male crabs until they are sexually mature, giving them the chance to spawn before being harvested. Female crabs are also protected by having fishing season restrictions.

What is your favorite prepared way to eat crab?  Mine is Hong Kong-style which is stir-fried in a wok and tossed with soy sauce, green onions, and lots of scrambled egg. Yummy.

I have painted a Dungeness Crab before, however, my approach toward doing watercolor has changed over time, so this is version 2 of the beloved tasty subject.

sketch: horseshoe crab

September 18, 2014

horseshoe_crab_by_al_lau

sushi_california_roll_by_al_lau

It is coincidental that this post has California in the title (like my previous post).  Nice segue huh?  But this time, I’m on a foodie kick, and hungry.

California rolls are a nice introductory sushi for newcomers to the delicacy because there is no raw fish in it. It has imitation crab sticks, which is actually the processed meat of whitefish, or Alaska Pollock, to resemble the look, feel and taste of crab leg meat. And yes, in the process, the whitefish is cooked. So go ahead and try it, if you haven’t already. Then, be more daring by trying one of the raw fish sushi’s, next time.

Which is your favorite sushi?

I was in Cape Cod, Massachussetts, last week. Wading in the bay, I noticed many a critter at my feet. It fascinated me how busy an ecosystem it was down there. Snails clung to rocks. Hermit crabs bumped into each other. Crabs did the sideways thing. All the while, the horseshoe crabs were the most graceful, not in any rush to be anywhere. The lowtide revealed this seashell extravaganza.

My cartoon drawing is inspired by those little guys.

sketch: crab and lobster

November 30, 2011


illustration: stone crab

September 17, 2011

The first time I heard about the Stone Crab was when I was in Miami, Florida.  Apparently, they are a favorite dish down there.  When they are caught, the trick is to just take their claws, so that the crustacean can live on and grow back the claw.  Poor crabs.  What a life.

This is the third crab I’ve done in watercolor, in addition to the Blue Crab and the Dungeness Crab.

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