snail

Cirque de snail

It might be hard to see, but this is one snail riding another snail's shell as they both hang upside down from the top of snail-opolis. 

The snails were extracted from their environment while L cleaned and redesigned their home. Our current snail count is 11. This suggests a few have made successful escape attempts, probably when they were so tiny that it was difficult to seal off their habitat. Or, less likely, snail cannibalism. 

The residents of the snail colony, 2016

The residents of the snail colony, 2016

For want of a snail

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of great demographic upheaval in the snail colony, as L and I returned from a long weekend in the woods to find two of the three elder snails had breached containment and fled their home on our kitchen counter, leaving behind 17 tiny offspring. 

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* Bottle cap is for scale only, and not a commercial endorsement.  

Snail resurrection

We thought the snails would love the roomy new terrarium we found at a Goodwill in Asheville, NC. Three snails in one old coffee pot seemed like snail overcrowding, the kind of conditions that promote snail social ills. 

But we didn't realize the open, airy lid on the new terrarium would promote rapid desiccation. The water we added quickly evaporated, and by the time we realized it, the snails looked... I would describe it as "dead." In a last ditch attempt to check for life signs, we put them on a fresh slice of apple. Apple is like a defibrillator for snails. And before long, they were back to snailing around, and back in their familiar coffee pot. 

Snail Doughnuts

Not the culinary doughnut, but the kind you did in your mom's car in the snowy K-Mart parking lot (if you were me) or the front yard of the school (if you were… well, best to leave that in the past.) 

There a two things I love about this video:

  1. It really shows the mechanism by which Alliteration the Snail moves. He doesn't keep his entire foot on the table, but uses it the same way centipedes use their feet, keeping parts of his foot off the surface and using the points of contact to "row" himself forward. I never knew that was how snails moved.
  2. My wife is so entranced by him that she literally forgets she's eating breakfast. Given the time-compression ratio of the video, that bite of eggs actually hovers on her fork for almost a full minute.