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I say 'love-hate', because that's how the saying goes, even though I don't really hate them. In fact hate is such a strong word, I really don't think I could justify using it to describe my feelings for anyone or anything. I might get temporarily angry at times, especially during high solar activity, but I don't hate.
Now that this is clarified, let's actually talk about my love-....disapprove relationship with these pesky little geniuses.
I mean... just look at them. Aren't they cute? Little slimy things, with eyes on the sticks and house on their back, giving you that nice tickling feeling when you keep then on your hand.
As a child, I spent most of my summer holidays at my grandparents. I remember the fence in one of my grandmother's little garden was covered in some type of vine and there were 100's of snails stuck on that vine. I wonder now... was this vine some kind of snails delicacy and was it planted to take them away from crops? Or were there just so many snails EVERYWHERE? A question I might need to ask my dad one day, as nan passed away long time ago.
Anyway... What I was going to say is... as a child, I would pick them up and look inside the shell until they would come out, while I was reciting a rhyme, which goes like this: 'Snail, snail, show me your horns, and I will give you cheese for dumplings'. I mean... it rhymes in Polish 😅
They were my buddies back then and I would let them 'walk' on my hand and take them back to the vines once I was done playing. I also don't remember my nan ever moaning about them or trying to remove them or eradicate in any way. This got me curious now. I will need to ask my dad!
Next, look at that cute house of theirs again. Now, type Fibonacci sequence in google and look at the pictures. What do you see? A snail's house! I mean... little growler's house following a sophisticated mathematical rule.
I'll be honest with you guys. I am a mathematician and I loved maths in college, but not so much at the University. First year at the Uni was extremely tough and I barely made it. It got better and better with every next year, as we had more IT subjects and I could make up with projects the points I lost in mathematical analysis. I must admit though, that I loved maths a little less after my years at Uni. In fact, I hear that from many people, who chose other subjects, like dance for example and I can't help but wonder if Universities are there to make you dislike the subject you once loved?
In my adult life, when someone asked me once if I knew what Fibonacci sequence was, I had no idea. Or maybe I didn't even want to remember! Had they shown me this picture at the Uni, coupled with examples of how this applies in nature, in our bodies and what kinda magical things and calculations you can do with this... Oh my! I would remember and understood forever. I do now.
Here, I was going to attach one of the nice pictures I see on the internet, but I don’t really want to break any copyright laws, so here is my quick hand drawing of it 😅
The way the sequence is created is by adding 2 consecutive numbers together and the sum of them creates next number in the sequence. So we start from 0 and 1, add them and we have another 1. Next 1+1 is 2, 1+2 is 3 and so on into the infinity. Stacking the squares with sequence numbers next to each other in this fashion, creates an infinite spiral. Amazing, isn’t it?
Hmm... I guess my love for Mathematics still exists, laying somewhat dormant within me and every time I look at a snail's house, it reminds me of it. It's simply beautiful.
I love Gaia and I know that every creature, stone or plant has it's role in how this sophisticated systems works.
I also know that if it was balanced, there wouldn't be too many snails, or too many ants or too many mosquitos or not enough bees. It's us, humans who tip off the balance of this delicate system.
1. Because they eat my plants (especially dahlias and young seedlings), while not being interested in my weeds 😅
I mean... It's only 1 point, but it carries a lot of weight.
First year of my gardening journey I planted some night scented stocks and was over the moon when I saw them sprouting juicy little leaves. Upon my next inspection there was NOTHING left of them. I think I cried. I knew I 'inherited' a lot of snails in my garden after previous owner, but since there were many of them in my nan's garden and we still harvested plenty of fruit and veg form it, I didn't really put 2 and 2 together. I didn't understand what happened to my plants, but once I read more about it, I run to the shop to get some slug pallets and I covered my whole garden in these little blue granules. All this because I found out that snails had homeless cousins - slugs and these lived underground and cause a whole lot of damage, while being virtually undetectable. Plus... you know... my lost seedlings.
This was 7 years ago and a lot has changed since then in my approach to gardening, to environment and Gaia in general. These days I try all the organic ways of deterring slugs and snails, that I come across in gardening magazines, online sources and word of mouth. I do my best not to mess with environment, but I must admit I still get a pack of organic slug pallets occasionally. Like last years when I was looking out for my beautiful red dahlia I purchased at my orchid society a year before. I remembered where I planted it, but every time I looked it wasn't coming up. I was very happy to see a little sprout eventually, only to experience a deja-vu next time I looked. There was nothing there! I looked around and found a huge snail. Not THEM again 😅 There are so many other plants, weeds and grass around it, but no, they have to munch on my dahlia. Even then, I couldn't hurt him, so I threw it over the fence to the neighbour who doesn't like his garden and I gave in and sprinkled some organic pallets around it for future instances.
Interesting fact I read about snails is that they have something like a homing beacon. They can walk back long distances to their favourite munching places. So I can throw them to my neighbour or over the road to the public lawn all day long, but they will be back at night! Little pesky geniuses, I tell ya! I wanna say that's a disadvantage for a gardener like myself, but I also can't help but admire them and Gaia in general. I also don't miss an opportunity to send them on a long walk from the recycling centre, where I go to dispose of my garden waste. It's good few miles away from home 😅
But tell me guys, have you ever seen a snail up close and personal? I mean microscopically close? I saw a video once and what we see as their 'body' is like a long rows of tiny teeth. One snail can have between 1 000 and 12 000 teeth! That's basically how the devastate plants. They eat as they 'walk'. So that nice tingly feeling I mentioned earlier, when they move on my skin is actually caused by their teeth, although they are not strong enough to actually break your skin. Mind-blown! Probably good peeling for your skin me thinks!
Just before I press 'Publish', I have to add one more thing. I posted one of those pictures on sister site - noise.cash and I got into a conversation with Chuabibi and found out that snails slime is actually used for skin care! It made me wonder, so I googled 'Can snails cure eczema'? Mind blown again! Not only can they repair their own broken house in less than 7 days, but their slime is actually full of antibiotics and it's a powerful anti-inflammatory 😮
Wow! I have actually re-gained my love and found a new respect for snails after writing this article. In fact, I also had so much fun photographing them, that I feel like I bonded with one and they're my buddies again.