The other side of cute

I decided, after the fact, that this is my third post in a series on cuteness. The first post was the adorable sea otter pup which is universally loved. The second post featured the unique American coot chick which gets either cute or ugly responses – its beauty must be an acquired taste. Today’s post features crabs, an accidental photographic series, which pushes the envelope even further.


This crab found himself in a rather precarious spot. I was happy it wasn’t me in a human-sized predicament like that.

I was sitting on the rocks at Elkhorn Slough in northern California waiting for the area’s famous creatures to pass by. When I looked down, I was alarmed to see the rocks moving until I figured out they were crabs.

At first I ignored the odd creatures since they weren’t otters, sea lions or seals which were on the list for the day. But when the big three played hard to get, the crabs were always there. I decided it was best not to look a gift crab in the mouth and took some photos.

I discovered they are wild and wild looking so that definitely qualifies them as wildlife. While not large, they try to make up for it by being a colourful predator of sorts. I like the fierce factor when it comes to wolves but it seems strange with crabs.

To be honest I’m not sure what to make of the crab or whether I really like it not. Have I reached the other side of cute?


So which end is the front? OK there are the eyes, got it!



When I first saw the light hitting the front of this crab, I liked the effect. I quickly took the photo but was disappointed to get the photo below. The mid-day sun was harsh! After processing the photo, I was able to get the top photo – good enough for the blog. It wasn’t an outtake after all.


Latest Comments

  1. Fife Photos and Art says:

    Brilliant photos of something most people forget about, I love all the smaller beasts on the shoreline. As to whether they are cute, that’s questionable, but fascinating is a definite!!!


  2. Kally says:

    This is very interesting read and I just want to drop you a note to tell you I enjoyed it very much! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Mandy says:

    A great reminder to stop and watch the crabs. We could get quite philosophical here!


  4. hannele says:

    Definitely cute. But then again, I find ants beautiful (not that ants and crabs are closely related), so I might not be the most representative sample. Fur and huge, wet eyes? Sure. But green spots on your back and eyes on stalks? Oh, yes!


  5. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    I am thinking that these crabs pass the cute test. They are quirky and cute and some people keep them as pets. I was on a beach with so many hermit crabs once it seemed like the entire beach was alive. That, however, wasn’t cute.


  6. Lavinia Ross says:

    The crabs are adorable, in a crustacean sort of way! The crab in the second photo looks like he is doing his best Rocky Balboa impersonation. Crab triumphant!


  7. Mike Powell says:

    Crabs somehow remind me of spiders, though I must confess that I have never thrown a spider into a pot of boiling water and then ripped its legs off and sucked out the meat. Yikes, the previous sentence makes me sound like as vicious a predator as a spider. As for cute, I think I’d vote in favor of “cool-looking” more than cute.


  8. Gunta says:

    That last shot looks like a turtle eating a crab to me. Seems there are those times we have to make do with what we have rather than what we were hoping for. Wildlife is like that….. wild and not always cooperative.


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Now I see the turtle in the last photo. I needed your help on that one!

      The elusiveness of wild animals adds so much to the frustration but I guess that’s what makes wild photos so special.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. David says:

    IMO, not cute – not even a little. I consider crabs, shrimp, crayfish, and lobsters to be the same thing as grasshoppers and cockroaches (or any roach, except maybe a doobie). The only difference is that the first three are excellent swimmers. Having said that, I still think your top photo is really good. Nice colors and plenty of detail, light, and good focus where you need it.


  10. Steve Gingold says:

    I don’t know, maybe I just a little crusty(acean) but these are cute little buggers. The combination of green and red is quite attractive. I especially like your banner shot, Lyle.


  11. Janes Heartsong says:

    Ah, well yes,the word “cute” this stretches my thoughts a bit. Pretty colours. And fascinating.I think you have taken some really good shots here.


  12. Alison says:

    I agree with your philosophy. It’s best to never look gift crabs in the mouth — or gift ordinary birds or any gift animal, for that matter. Sometimes the crab in hand can make some lovely photos!


  13. Anonymous says:

    A wolf is way closer to cute than that thing! I would automatically disqualify anything with it’s eyes bulging out as cute. Good shots tho!


  14. Dina says:

    Amazing creatures!! Maybe not cute, but yummy yummy … 😉


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