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brown-lipped snail

Snails on a Shed Roof

Monday, 17th June 2002, West Yorkshire

elderflowershoneysuckleOur shed is so overgrown with ivy that on occasion people have walked down the garden with us, brushing past it, and never realised that we have a shed. Robins, dunnocks and a wren have built nests in the cover of the ivy.

Its suckered stems have worked there way into holes in the old roofing felt which is now due for replacement. I'm sorry to hack back the elder blossom and budding honeysuckle that, along with ivy and hawthorn, completely envelop the shed.

garden snailsmall brown-lipped snail I'm surprised to find three snails on the roof. Two brown-lipped snails are nestling amongst the tangle of ivy while a slightly larger garden snail is lodged behind a roof edging board.

I throw them into the hedgerow at the end of the garden and hope that they won't make their way back into the garden to rasp away at the vegetables.

All of them have their foot tightly pulled into the entrance of their shell, sealed in with slime that has set hard. This might be an example of aestivation, a summertime equivalent of hibernation; these snails may remain dormant during the driest part of the summer. Alternatively they might spring into action during the cool of the page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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