The weather has been pretty great to enjoy a nice, fall walk at Brooklawn Park in New Bedford. If you are one of the many who have taken advantage of the gorgeous sunshine and mild temperatures to sneak in a quick walk at Brooklawn recently, you may have seen something unusual.

At the base of one of the trees at the New Bedford park is the shell of a horseshoe crab. Surrounding the shell are stacks of stones and other seashells that look as if they are deliberately arranged in a certain pattern.

According to Shape of Life, a source for classroom instruction for teachers, horseshoe crabs have been around for about 500 million years.  To put that into perspective, man has only walked the earth for roughly the past 300,000 years.  During that time, some cultures used the symbol of horseshoe crabs to ward off evil spirits.

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Could that be a part of what is happening here in Brooklawn Park? Could this horseshoe crab have been laid here as part of a memorial?  Stacking stones the way they are stacked at the base of this tree could be a way to demonstrate thankfulness or as a gift to someone in need.

Courtesy of Mary Murphy
Courtesy of Mary Murphy

Above the stones and crab shell, there is a memorial on the tree to a local woman named Norma Bibeau.

According to her obituary posted by Rock Funeral Home, Bibeau was a lifelong resident of New Bedford who passed away in July. She had spent much of her life working as a registered nurse at St. Luke's Hospital.

It's unclear if the two displays are one in the same memorial, or if they are meant to be two different messages.

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