THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR:
With Thanksgiving on everyone's mind, I'll start with one of my daughter's "Daily Birds". As a student at Syracuse University, she submitted daily designs of birds with beaks suited to the season or her whimsy. I've always gotten a kick out of these and ran across this one recently. As for things in Maine, we are headed into a very cold spell for a change. In stead of finding a stray blossom of Forsythia (see below), things are quiet plant-wise. There are still patches of color from low growing perennials, but not many.

I have to tell you of the fun I have been having with land snails in recent days. I have kept those yellow snails you find on wet days crawling out of the dune grass over the winter in terrariums. It gives one an opportunity to see these animals thrive and survive, and even eggs hatching in the spring. But now, there has been a new incentive to watch these snails as a result of reading Elisabeth Tova Bailey's new book, THE SOUND OF WILD SNAIL EATING! The book was written by a friend's daughter who was experiencing some severe health problems that left her primarily bed bound. A plant with a snail was brought as a pick-me-up and from that gift a book idea emerged as recovery progressed. Sleepless nights provided an opportunity to observe the snail's behavior.....how it climbed from the plant and back to spend quiet days. A paper nearby was chewed which led to am explanation of how these animals eat utilizing an intriguing, rasping, tool called a radula. It's sort of a tongue with teeth, and people with good ears can even hear the chewing being done! I also have papers that have been chewed as my snails go on a nightly foraging. The white chewed paper appears again in the terrarium as short lines of white, its scat! You must get a hold of this book and learn about land snails and their endearing habits! Of course, now is not the time to look for snails since cold temperatures have forced them into hibernation.

I continue to look for interesting changes in plant foliage. I found large patches of wild Strawberry whose leaves were bright red. Here is another dynamic color change exhibited by the surviving rosette of an Evening Primrose. I'm thankful for all these natural happenings, including a daughter with a flair for the whimsical! 11/21/10 Happy Thanksgiving, Ronnie.