I’ve written about our rescue dog before, but it’s not about her, even though she’s an amazing, dedicated, loving animal and we’re so lucky to have her. It’s more about his patience and curiosity.
We take a long walk every morning and watch new plants grow and flowers bloom that change with the seasons. We watch the growing families of burrowing owls and other birds that come and go with the seasons…at least me, but she’s very much in tune with me.
Sometimes we stop and she waits while I pick up discarded trash under cover of darkness, including relics of beer cans, mini bottles, plastic cups and other assorted wrecks and jetsam, then deposits them in one of the two street-side bins on the Islands of Capri. The city of Naples is loyal to picking up trash on the islands, for which we are grateful.
So, we walk and sometimes there are unique messages to which we must pay particular attention. It could be a warning from a burrowing owl that decides we’re too close to its nest and, after a warning call, bombards my cap as I intentionally walk away.
We recently found floating white seeds in the shape of wings all over the ground of the golden rain tree; she sniffles and I understand. Looking into the tree there are mysterious hanging feather like structures until you look closer and the name of the tree makes sense.
5. Leaving the obstacle behind, the snail continues with determination..tif
Leaving the bay behind, the snail continues with determination.
1. The first sighting of the snail..tif
The first sighting of the snail. It bypasses its first bay obstacle.
2. The snail approaches the next berry..tif
Another berry is on the way to the snail!
3. The snail crosses the obstacle in stride .tif
The snail crosses the obstacle in stride.
4. The little snail overcomes its obstacle without hesitation and is ready to complete its journey..tif
The little snail overcomes its obstacle without hesitation and is ready to complete its journey.
But the dynamic lesson of the day was this “almost” crushed “miracle. A small snail, not very small, crossed the sidewalk directly in our path as we turned a corner. creature that made a B-line from a sunny, grassy area to a more shady area Intuitive or just lucky?
Remember the book, “The Little Engine That Could?” Watching this little snail as it left a slippery narrow track on the sidewalk, I couldn’t help but remember the train’s lesson in perseverance.
There were a few small bays in the sidewalk that I left there for the ladder and we watched as the snail stalked through the concrete. Miley wanted to sniff it, but I didn’t want any distractions for the little thing. Thus, we observed its progress in the beautiful light of the morning. I discovered that snails could bite – who knew? They have around 14,000 teeth, but the size of the teeth is almost microscopic and lacks the strength to really hurt you. Not that I wanted to pick up this creature and experiment, but at least I could speak from experience.
Snails differ from slugs in that they have a shell with which they are born. A freshly hatched snail has a vulnerable, soft shell that is barely visible. To increase the strength of its shell, the baby snail needs to absorb more calcium, so it starts by eating its own eggshell.
Snails are frequently found in Florida gardens where they eat the tender leaves of plants. If you put seashells or eggshells around your plants, the rough terrain discourages them, so they might go visit neighbors’ plants instead. There are other methods, of course, if you really have a serious problem.
Back to my little snail. He passed the first bay with barely a pause. The next bay was right in her path and we, me instead, watched her eagerly, wondering which way she would turn to avoid her. Imagine my disbelief when the snail passed over the bay without hesitation and continued until it was clear of the obstruction.
Now, isn’t that another little engine that could tell a story? Not only are there lessons in children’s books, but there are also miracles in nature that are so small we might not even notice them unless our curiosity gets the better of us. I would tell you to stop and smell the roses, but that would be too cliché.