Limulus Polyphemus
Project info

Over the years while spending time with family and photographing at the beach in Lewes, Delaware, I was struck by how light and water interact. Evolving from that feeling was an in depth study and understanding of an ancient creature, Limulus Polyphemus, whose general form and function changed little in more than 450 million years. This species of horseshoe crab is found in the United States and most concentrated in the Delaware Bay where an estimated 20 million horseshoe crabs live. The crabs spawn mainly during the high tides and full/new moons of May and June. The interests of the biomedical industry which extracts LAL from the horseshoe crab blood, fishermen who use horseshoe crabs for bait, and ecological tourists (specifically, those following migratory birds such as the Red Knot) present a political challenge for how to manage the species. While scientists and conservationists continue to learn more about the horseshoe crab, there remain significant areas of research yet to be studied. The entomologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson has written passionately and eloquently about what he and other scientists are naming the Anthropocene epoch in the geological record. The term is debatable from a strictly geological perspective, however I wonder how human interaction with Limulus Polyphemus will evolve over time. Curiosity about the world and poetry inspire me. I wonder what it might feel like, as a human, to be a horseshoe crab. How it sees with its various and unique eyes. How it responds to tides brought high by full and new moons. How it reproduces and how it lives in the present. In Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, poet Jane Hirshfield writes about the transformative power of poetry that, in my mind, also exists in photographs. Hiddenness, paradox, surprise, metaphor and uncertainty in poems and images help to achieve this transformation. This is a body of work in progress and I look forward to seeing where it leads.