Nature observations and thoughts

Snails for pals, temporarily

It’s been cold and rainy in San Jose for the past week. During a brief dry phase, our family went searching for snails or any interesting critters that crawl out on damp days.

I realized that I’ve been looking in the wrong spots for snails this whole time. I looked down when I had to look around me. I presumed they were swimming in muddy puddles or crawling on the sidewalk. Guess I’ve been watching too much kid-animation stuff. What the heck was I thinking?! Of course these snails’ instinctual reaction would be to stay inconspicuous.

Chris found little communities of snails on tree trunks. Perfect place for camouflage. Kids and I got wide at this discovery while he looked skeptical of the whole thing. I returned the look hoping he’d read my mind: We’ve got a great science study here. You can’t say ‘no’ to that!

Chilling out on tree trunk

He reluctantly helped but couldn’t help himself from airing his skeptical comment, “How long will these guys last.”

Update: These two snails have been comfortably adjusting to their new habitat with fresh veggies and fruits each night. We are on day 3. On day 5, we’ll release them in the mulch.

Coming home with us

And tonight, we got a little surprise from our catfish. The fun part was seeing a sudden appearance of eggs after she made quick wiggling movements on the side of the aquarium. Kids went wild distracting the bigger fish from dining on fresh eggs: we lost a few but most have been moved to a small bowl.

Here we go again with the life cycle lesson. This happened in early January but the eggs never hatched. That weekend we visited a friend’s house where they had newborn guppies. OMG, we couldn’t believe how small and cute little fish are. (I can’t find pictures of those baby guppies on my phone.)

I’m glad we saved the “first bites” pellets for newborn fish. Hoping this time will be a more productive experience.

January surprise: Close-up view of eggs. These eggs, ultimately, did not hatch.
New fish eggs
In homemade habitat

11 thoughts on “Snails for pals, temporarily

  1. (Sorry – I was behind in Reader as we had a stormy evening, my prime time for catching up here). You know, I can’t say I’ve ever seen a snail that large – only tiny ones in the garden, but often just their shells, not even their little bodies. And sometimes I’ve seen the shells in bags of topsoil. That is great you could observe them a few days before turning them loose again. I have seen baby guppies having had fish in a simple fishbowl, nothing fancy, when I was a kid. And they sure are cute and tiny too. When I was kid, we had a field at the end of the street and a little creek. All the kids in the neighborhood would play there all Summer, but in late Spring if we weren’t flying our kites, we were catching tadpoles with big jam jars and bringing them home. We used to call them pollywogs back in the day (and back in the day was over five decades ago by the way).

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    1. What you used to do as a kid sounds fabulous!! I wish those kinds of opportunities were accessible and safe for kids. So much fun things to learn and so organic. I think pollywag is what they are still called though.
      We are still waiting for the catfish eggs to hatch. If the eggs turns yellow, that ups the chances of it hatching. I hope so!! As for the snails, they are doing really great. I’m going to write another post soon about our snail observations. They are not that big actually…the pic may show them as large since it’s zoomed. We were supposed to let them go today but we took them outside in the rain for a rain stroll and renewed their habitat. lol.
      I hope the storm has passed in your city and you are enjoying the weekend! We got thunder and rain today, but in California, rain is welcome anytime. Take care, hugs.

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      1. Gee, I thought I had missed out on snails that large! We used to run and play in this meadow area – there were lots of kids in the neighborhood all around the same age and it was safe and fun. The small park where I walk daily is near a creek and there are some ducks, geese, swans and heron there, muskrats, fish and turtles – oh yes loud bullfrogs. I enjoy it very much – makes me feel like a kid again.

        We had that snow, it has now vanished as we had some rain afterward – strange weather, once again. That was nice, my kind of snow. I will continue to go to the Park since our stay-at-home order from the Governor says it is okay to go to any park (just don’t use the playground equipment), so I’m grateful for that. It is the highlight of my day. Enjoy your nature exploration – nature is the best present to give a child, with the exception of books. Hugs back to you – take care and stay safe.

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      2. It’s been a rough week getting used to both of us working from home – I have done so since 2011, but not my boss, though sometimes he has been home and working during bad weather.

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      3. Working from home offers flexibility but it can’t be easy. Hard to stay motivated when there’s many distractions and comforts of home. I hope this week is better for you and you get a lot done!
        My husband is working from home these days with this shelter-in-place order and he’s on the phone all day. Kids and I just go about our days as usual, and we do our own thing. This is how we keep our sanity intact.

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      4. For me it is easier Evelyn as it is just me since I live alone, so it is pretty quiet. I don’t have any pets either as a distraction I do see some funny stories on Facebook about people trying to work from home and use videoconferencing and their kids or pets decide to bother them just then. I have been working from home since 2011, but my boss is having a difficult time. He’s been into work three times … tonight he is there as he teaches a class, so he had to go into the office to use the computer that our computer tech set up for him.

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