Thursday, August 30, 2012

Coming in off the mud OR Terrestrial Radulas

There is a certain euphoria to be felt when your foot hits the first piece of truly solid ground coming in off the mud. Traversing the mud for hours at a time is a freaking slog, sure, but what's more surprising about it is how a short time on a mudflat subsumes every other walking experience you've ever had. You don't think, "Walking in the mud is hard!" but, "Walking is hard!" because mud is the only walking your body remembers at that exhausted, oxygen-starved, moment. In that incalculably small instant your foot gains leverage on something hard, the world suddenly becomes a different place: the curtain lifts and true enlightenment as to the ease with which walking can actually be accomplished is achieved. This temporarily endows you with a giddy sense of unlimited power and endless possibility. I suppose I get a little high off it. 

I worked what was hopefully my last tide of the season yesterday. So, to celebrate my return to a mostly terrestrial lifestyle for the next 6 months, I'ma post some short videos of land-based gastropods I took this summer during short visits to terra firma.  

Video 1: Slugga vs. Mushroom

My remarkable niece came out for her first PNW visit this summer (and I guess her parents came with her too...) and we went on a walkabout in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands (1).  I spotted this slug (2). As my friend Brad just pointed out, you never really see slugs doing anything, mostly they just slug along.  So seeing this one chow down on a mushroom was sweet.  I had Attenborough dreams in my head, as I was recording this, of getting a long clip and speeding it up, time-lapse style.  Oh well, this is what you get, you can fill in the gaps in your head.  Maggie is/was in a "What does the cow say?" phase, so we stepped up the challenge.  I'm still not clear on what a slug does say, but they probably say it veeeeery slooooowly (thank you very much folks! come back tomorrow, completely different show!).

Video 2: Snail vs. Lettuce

The video narrates itself (witness my mad iMovie skillz - stock soundtrack and everything!).  The snails are translucent (!!!) and so freaking fast (!!!), relatively speaking of course (3). Unfortunately, the beating heart of the snail doesn't show up on the video, but I could see it when I got close. When I have the chance I love to garden so I am not particularly attached to these buggers beyond nerd-fascination, but - **Note: I didn't actually eat any of the snails, at least knowingly or intentionally. I gave up eating mollusks (actually all sea creatures) for Lent years ago and have been clean since.

References and miscellany:
(1) ACFL is by far one of the most awesome things about Anaco.  Huge tracts of lands owned by the city just for cruising around.
(2) I sure don't know what kind of slug it is.  2 Points if you can ID it for me.
(3) Previous Attenborough aspirations notwithstanding, this video is also in real-time.

1 comment:

  1. First, let me commend you on your videography. Excellent work. Second, thank you for leading me to Madonna this tired Thursday afternoon. Just what I needed! Last... how long did it take the slug to eat that chunk of mushroom?!