Friday, April 23, 2010

Holy snails batman!

After two years of drought, Austin has been receiving much needed rain this spring. While I welcome the rain, maybe even go so far as to say I love the rain, it does have some downsides.

1. Snails.
2. It's difficult to do my fire ant field work when it seems to rain every three days.
3. Even more snails.
4. One of my mountain laurels died and the other one didn't bloom this year due to copious amounts of moisture.
5. Have I mentioned snails?

So I've been overrun with snails in my yard. I'm not talking here or there I find clusters; I'm talking "holy moley there are snails EVERYWHERE"! I'm talking about walking through the backyard and hearing crunching of snail shells under foot. The snail fairy hasn't been visiting anyone but me apparently, so you can leave you thank notes in the comments section below for handling everyone's snail problems. I finally had the opportunity to take my own advice from a previous blog post on snails and did some hand picking this past week. The snails were chucked into a pail of soapy water.

While I felt somewhat bad at first for potentially killing off populations of Gary (Spongebob reference there for all you fans...), it really came down to them or me, well to be more exact, them or my plants and my plants won out. Check out the haul.....536! Yes, I counted. I couldn't get over the pile that I wound up with.

Since it took several mornings of snail picking, the pile was quite gross and smelly by the time I got around to taking photos and counting, but that's okay, I'm a professional, right? I got the added bonus of capturing some photos of blow flies that were taking advantage of the pile of rotting snail corpses.

By the way....when I let the dogs out this morning I saw 3 snails hanging out on the side of the house and one on my agave. ARGH!