GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY

GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY

Our summer days and nights have normalized in comparison to last year, interspersed with thunderstorms that moisten the air and briefly lower air temperatures.  June 2016 held about 2.5 inches of rain while June 2017 showered 5.75 inches.  With 3 inches of rain so far this month, July 2017 is also on pace to exceed the average amount.

GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY
Precipitation data from July 12, 2017 – July 17, 2017.     Note:  Washington, CT is in the “1 inch” range.    Graphic credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Snails and slugs, members of the class Gastropoda, thrive in the damp, dark conditions presented by storms.  They mostly feed on plants and molds at night to avoid drying effects of the sun, but a rainy or humid dawn and dusk will certainly bring them out.  The boardwalk at Macricostas Preserve offers ideal habitat – cool, dark, consistently damp conditions below and when suitable, a feeding platform above.  Furthermore, the unique calcareous nature of Meeker Swamp provides ample calcium for snails to form a shell, protecting their soft bodies.  Next time crossing the boardwalk after a shower, make sure to look where you are stepping to give these fascinating mollusks the right of way.

GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY
One of many snails on the boardwalk at Macricostas Preserve    Note: A soaked locust board makes locomotion much more attainable.
GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY
Snails feeding adjacent to the first boardwalk
GASTROPODS have the RIGHT OF WAY
A slug in the slow lane     Note: Glands at the front and in the sole of the foot secrete slime that allows them to glide over rough surfaces.
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