Monday, September 1, 2008

Fun Facts about Switzerland Part 1: Snails

There are snails everywhere here. These are not tiny snails - they're often the size of a large marble or a small meatball... possibly two of the worst examples I could have come up with, but I have a headache so we'll let that one slide. Let's say slightly larger than a quarter.

I don't remember ever seeing snails outside of small streams and aquariums in the US. Here I see at least one snail every time I go for a walk. They cling to branches and leaves. They hang from posts and fences.

The yellow one pictured to the right is a pretty common color. Near Mr K's office, there are various small, white wildflowers along the sidewalk. Clinging to the stems of these flowers are tons and tons of small black and white snails - these closer in size to a penny. Near the lightposts, piles of empty shells sit - I don't know enough about snails to tell you why.

One of my friends told me a story - when his parents were younger, they would spend some weekends collecting big baskets of mountain snails that local restaurants would buy. Since then, I think the mountain snails have become a little more rare and a little less snacked-upon.

One thing that hasn't become rare here - the most gigantic slugs ever. I also see these guys each time I go out for a walk and they're easily 4-5 inches long... if not more.

This concludes this week's "Fun Fact!" Stay tuned for more fun facts and cat updates.


Jen said...

LOL the giant slugs are here in Brussels too! I see snails occasionally as well, but I don't think they're nearly as numerous here as it sounds like they are there!

Anonymous said...

Giant Banana Slugs

Miz K said...

I can't like those, Squid! Have you stepped on one and slide while running, Jen? lol!

Ars said...

It was another slug-dodgem today walking to work.

Katie said...

that is so strange!!! I really hope I can get out there one day to see all the neat stuff!! Remember the big slugs that used to come eat Fred's food if we left it out overnight?