Friday, April 18, 2014

Snails - aww, now I want to cuddle them

It's spring here in Seattle.  And as I was clearing out my potting bench last week, and tidying up the patio that was abandoned all winter, I came across plenty of the slimy snails and slugs.

Credit: Ukrainian photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko
In previous seasons, I had declared them my enemies. Some mornings I'd awaken to find an entire pot of my beloved flowers eaten to bits by the dreaded slimers. They leave a wake of goo and are voracious chewers, especially those big snails. But they only eat the good stuff.  Never have I seen them eat a single weed type leaf out there.  So when I see one, I usually "snuff it out" (sounds better than outright stomp them or snip them with garden scissors, ewwwww).

Some have even found their way into my basement studio during the winter.  I pulled out a box that I had close to the floor of older discontinued sprays and one of those little buggers (or heck, his whole family) had gotten hungry and eaten the labels off them.  Maybe they could digest the paper? Or had a hankering for glue? I don't know, but they were covered in slug trails and there were only bits and scraps of labels left on the bottles.

Then I found this photo journal and my world has turned upside down. This man has the most clear and up close photos of snails I've ever seen.  And they are kissing each other, and hugging cherries, and grasping their little arms around stuff. The antennas are adorable. Oh my God. I've had a total moment.  They are so sweet I want to run out right now and feed one a pansy. I will never be able to kill another one of those things again.  Not personally anyway.

Ok, totally honest? I still might have to put out a little pet-friendly slug bait if they eat all the tops off my echinacea patch.  But I won't be able to look to see what happens.