Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 May 9 and 14: My Friend, the Snail

The Snail

William Cowper1731 - 1800

To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all

Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
                                                Of weather.

Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house, with much

Where’er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
                                                Whole treasure.

Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
                                                The faster.

Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combin’d)
If, finding it, he fails to find
                                                Its master.

Sri Lanka is home to 246 of the world's 43 000 species of snail; 218 of these species are found only here on this small island nation.


I have always liked snails. I know that is a little unusual, and somewhat out of character for me as I generally do not like insects. (Sometimes I wonder how I wound up marrying a man who loves collecting beetles!) But snails are beautiful. And slow-moving. I love that they are slow-moving.

So on May 9 I was putting out the garbage and saw this beauty climbing the wall above the garbage pile.

'A-ha!' I thought. 'The perfect subject to figure out the macro setting on my new camera...'

As you can see, my new friend was quite accommodating, and proved to be the perfect model.

I was pleasantly surprised to wander into my garden in the early hours of May 14 and find that my snail friend had come to visit.

A few days ago, I saw this same snail climbing halfway up our three story house. No pictures of that, though. But, last night, I glanced out our sliding doors to the small side yard off our kitchen. Lo and behold! There he was again! Or so I thought. On closer inspection, I realized that this was a different snail as it was slightly smaller.

But, he brought an even bigger friend! This one has distinctive mulberry tones on it's shell, and it's foot is much grayer than the other two snails.

Aren't they beautiful?

P.S. You can see my snail video here: