Friday, January 16, 2015

Snails in sediment

During the cooler months of the year, most of the vacant lot is under an inch or two of water. I progress by stretching from one clump of dead grass to the next, mostly getting my feet wet when they squelch down into the mud.

In one of the pools, I noticed a patterned stone, with a handful of gravel nearby to sort of stand on. Up close, I saw that the pattern was formed by trails in the flocculated sediment.

The little circles where grass blades dip underwater mark the surface, about an inch above the stone.

I couldn't get close enough to get a good look, but once I checked my photos, I found the artist.

Do you see the snail?

Zooming in closer:

I've saturated the colours of the snail a bit, to make him more visible.

I don't know what species this is, nor how he survives in puddles that turn into hard, dry clay in the summer.

Other, shallower puddles had their share of snails, too, as well as many tiny, darting specks, too small and too fast to identify. I took photos, but all I got were the snails. Pretty ones, if extremely small.

Three snails here, and a few ostracods. (They look like tiny pink marbles. Can you find them?)

And here's a land-based snail. Or what's left of him, after a winter in the open.

Common garden grove snail, broken and bleached.

More about these ponds, in summer, with ostracods and other goodies, including, maybe, a relative of the trail-making snail. Here today, gone tomorrow.

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