Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cave dwellers

Rocks and stones intrigue me. They follow me home, riding in my pockets or, if they're a bit bigger, in the trunk of the car. Most end up living in my garden or around my potted plants. So, looking for rocks to flip, I first go to a little cairn under the rhododendron.

One stone in particular stood out this year; it's a piece of volcanic rock, about 6 inches long, rough and pitted. I don't remember where I found it.

The crevices serve as hiding places for small critters. Saturday, I found a few baby slugs, a miniature harvestman, a tiny red mite. A millipede took off running as I lifted the stone. And of course, there had to be a sowbug; there always is.

Half-hidden sowbug.

In the deeper pits, many tiny snails, some barely the size of a large grain of sand, sleep away the daylight hours.

As I explored the caves under a bright light, a few snails fell off in my hand. Here they are, with a Canadian penny for size comparison. The letters are about 1 millimetre tall.

Probably a grove snail, Cepaea nemoralis.

Most had these long cone-shaped shells. The light shines through the bottom whorl.

"Show me the way to go home."

After the photo session, I carefully replaced the snails on the stone, and took them back to the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Great snail photographs - I like the penny for size comparison. These tiny little snails are just beautiful!


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