Thursday, July 9, 2009

By the Light of the Silvery Trail

It has been raining a lot here since the beginning of June. In fact, we had the second wettest June on record. We missed first place by about two tenths of an inch. Yesterday there was some wild weather south of us. The golf-ball sized hail was so bad they actually took out snow plows to clean it up. I'll repeat that. They took out the snow plows. In July. There was also a "downburst" which I suppose is different from the "microburst" I experienced years ago and definitely isn't a tornado, even though the locals insisted it was.

The worst part of the wet weather is the lack of sunshine. I don't know about you, but when I haven't seen the sun for days, I find it hard to motivate myself. I get sluggish. Which makes me think of another side effect of all the rain: slugs.

There is a quote I remember from the movie Time Bandits. Evil is complaining about things the Supreme Being created. "Slugs! HE created slugs! They can't hear. They can't speak. They can't operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?"

I admit, the gardener in me detested slugs. Many times I've accidentally stepped on one bare-footed. That slime is hard to wash off. I knew all sorts of ways to kill them. I would actually buy beer to set dishes of it out for them. Usually I never buy beer, because I don't drink anything harder than fruit juice. Slugs love beer. They climb in, drink themselves into a stupor and drown. How's that for a moral lesson?

There came a point when I grew tired of fighting them. I don't like killing anything, especially something that isn't trying to hurt me. We learned ways to deter them from our flowers and vegetables, using marigolds and pine mulch. I have observed many animals in our yard go after them as a food source, so when I stopped trying to kill them, I actually saw fewer slugs in my garden. Perhaps skunks and chipmunks don't like beer soaked slugs.

When I've observed them, I have found that their slimy trails are really lovely; glimmering silver lines along the ground. Recently we discovered a tiny slug hanging from its mucous thread as if it were a spider. Once it hit the ground, it sped off at an unsluggish pace. I wonder if the stereotype of the slow moving creature is unfair. Maybe they aren't ready for the slug slalom, but for a critter lacking feet they do alright.

And so, another life lesson from watching animals:

If you leave a trail, make it shine.


School for Us said...

First of all, we've been having a lot of SUN and HEAT, not rain. :-) We have to keep the blinds closed tight as our A/C is having trouble keeping up, and that makes me "blue" kind of like your rain.

As far as the slugs, great lesson! And, I always detested slugs... until my daughter fround some "beautiful" black, silky slugs and held them, and named them... well, I finally saw the beauty in slugs! And, I'm thankful that we haven't had much of a problem with them. And, you had some great ideas of ways to keep the slugs away without killing them!

Inner Elder said...

Good for you, Tina. I love your photo of Slugfest - I named him for you. By the way, the rain inspired a poem. I will post it next time I visit my blog. Love, Mom

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