Seattle has had uncharacteristically (or so I hear) hot and dry weather for much of the summer, but we had our first real rainy day in months last week. As Lorie and I walked around the neighborhood for a little outing, we noticed the snails were out in force, as depicted in the comic. Presumably they’ve been escaping the summer heat by taking shelter underground or beneath foliage, perhaps venturing out at night avoid desiccation.
My understanding is that snails are just as much of a garden pest as slugs, but that little shell just makes them much more charismatic. Why, if they had little tiny top hats, I’ll bet no one would mind them at all. Incidentally, their single tiny tooth is called a radula. That’s a little tidbit of knowledge I’ve been toting around since seventh grade, and although I can’t remember my car’s license plate number, and sometimes have to resort to math to figure out my own age, that biology class vocabulary word is probably going to be with me forever, perpetually available for immediate recall. As for the snail’s “weird mustachey thingies,” I couldn’t quite remember what purpose they served, aside from functioning as a miscellaneous sensory protrusion. A cursorial search of the internet brings up a lot of diagrams that call them simply “tentacles”, but it seems they generally provide a sense of smell.