Sunday, May 08, 2016

Yard Work...

     It's doin' me in.  I got to bed worn out and achy and wake with the pains redistributed.

     We have yet to weedwhack the back yard but it's got to happen today and sooner rather than later.  I did make one discovery yesterday: pulling Virginia Creeper (like ivy but way more murderous) from an abandoned woodpile, I noticed various interesting fungal growths and among them, one that was kind of shiny-looking.  Gray-green, with darker spots....  I'd uncovered the napping spot of a limax maximus, the Great Gray Slug!  It was a medium-sized example, maybe three or four inches long and over a half-inch in diameter.  I made a little shield around it with some bark -- limax is on the custodial staff of the Great Outdoors, you see.  Mostly carnivorous, they eat dead bugs and may even hunt down the smaller slugs and such, including the ones that eat plants.  I have written about the slugs of Roselhome Cottage before.

     There's one more thing about them: they return home every day.  Yes, they pick a spot and come back.  So I'm going to have to leave that one billet of wood, if I want a big slug to keep the smaller slugs in check.

     I don't know if they hunt snails, too, but the number of empty snail shells I have casually encountered suggests something around here does.  I was collecting the empties on the Plate Of Mystery (it showed up stuck vertically into the soft sod of the back yard after a thunderstorm!) and when I took some recent ones over, one of the previous "empties" had sported foot, head and a pair of eyestalks and was making a crawl for freedom!  I moved it to a more snail-friendly location, figuring it deserved a fighting chance.

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