Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Garden Snail

(1) Garden Snail
(1) Garden Snail
(2) Garden Snail
(2) Garden Snail
(3) Garden Snail
(3) Garden Snail
(4) Brown-lipped Snail
(4) Brown-lipped Snail

 


Island Life

Going down Bridge Street one day to the supermarket, I noticed a young lady directing her attention to a shrub beside the pavement. As she moved away, curiosity got the better of me so I headed to the spot where she had been. A snail climbing on a shrub had got to the dizzy heights of about four feet. Not very high you might say, but it is carrying it's very own house. Could you climb to that height with your detached cottage on your back?

 

 

Well , I watched it for a while, with other members of the public watching me taking photos of it, thinking, Norries lost the plot, imagine taking photos of a snail of all things. Well, it is what I do, so I carried on.

After I had taken a few snaps, I looked for the young lady to thank her, but she was gone. It turns out that she had met some friends, and had been engaged in conversation with them, but, she had noticed me, and wanted to talk to me about this snail but, by the time she was free, I was gone. However I met her days later, and we talked, and offered her a copy of the snail, which she gladly accepted.

As snails go, it was a handsome one, and what is obvious was that it was not an old one due to the colour and sheen of it's shell. Not dull and scarred like it's parents, and it was full of energy.. If it had lost it's grip on the shrub and hit the ground, the shell may have broken, and I don't know what it would do then. No doubt it would end up inside a birds stomach, or, as it was beside a busy store, it may have been trod on by a member, or members of the public, and as they are slimy slippy things, person, or persons unknown could have ended up on their backsides.

Now. This weeks image is of a Garden Snail going about its busies of eating , while another smaller species is hitching a ride or, stealing dropped food?

What makes these snails climb? They don't look qualified to be high above the ground, yet climb they do, and not just four feet.. They climb up telegraph poles to seek shelter in the roof shaped Zinc covers on these poles, and they are about twelve to fifteen feet high. That is no mean feat for these Molluscs. To us, it is a pole, but to them it is a bark-less tree, with a roof on top. Going up must be hard, but what about coming back down?

Well you only have to look in your garden hedges or wall to see at times dozens of them around or many more, and as their prowess at climbing has been noticed for many years, gardeners have put long sticks into the ground, and put flower pots on top of them, thus catching the snails napping, and stopping them from ever eating their flowers or veg ever again.

Other idea's were to sink a container into the ground till the rim is level with the ground and put beer into it.. The snails would drop in and drown, but they didn’t care !

 

Norrie Mulholland

First Publshed in the Buteman 25-10-2013.

 

 

 


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