Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Too big for his britches.

So that was Solstice. Sunset, 4:16 PM. Tomorrow, it's 4:17. By this time next week, it will be 4:21. Yay!

Out in the garden, the fall greenery has died back; only the London Pride, the epimedium and the bergenia still have all their leaves. Oh, and the creeping Jenny; nothing slows that stuff down. Otherwise, the soil is bare, leaving open ground for the birds to scratch for seeds, and for the squirrels to bury whatever it is that they are finding. (At least, they aren't eating my crocus bulbs this year. Yet.)

The aquarium, dependent for greenery on what I bring back from the beach, and therefore still tied to the season, even inside, is quieter than usual. The hermits putter around, nibbling at rotting kelp, occasionally fighting over a particularly delicious chunk.

One of them, "Hermit Rex", is getting fat:

He had been wearing a shell I gave him back in October, until last month. It looked too small, and I gave him another, which he tried on and is wearing now. The smaller blue-clawed hermit took his old shell; it was a bit big for him, and he struggled with it occasionally, finding it awkward in tight corners. At least, when Rex attacks him,  he can hide completely deep inside; there's that.

Rex is an aggressive feeder. When another hermit or a crab has food, he will run over, throw himself on top, and grab the whole lump for himself. It's having an effect; he's now bursting out of the new shell.

I dug through my collection and found a bigger one for him the other day. Within an hour or so, it was in use, but by little "Boy Blue".

Nice new shell, several sizes too big.

So yesterday, I dropped in two much larger shells, far too big for Boy Blue, probably just right for Rex.

Good big shells.

Rex noticed; a bit later, when I looked, he was examining the largest, rolling it over and over, poking his claws deep inside.

I came back a bit later to see how it fit him. But he was still in the old shell. Instead, little Boy Blue was in the big one. It was so big, he couldn't move it; after a while, he crawled out and went back to the one he had been wearing.

Rex is still wandering around in the old suit.

Sometimes I wonder about the rationality of these guys.

1 comment:

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