Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ode to the Banana Slug

Frost was at a PACSCI Summer Camp at Mercer Slough all week. This gave Wren and me the chance to go for morning walks along the nature trail. Did we do it? Only once but it was fun because Wren fell in love with slugs. Along the trail fat banana slugs trailed their silver slime across the black bark pathways which squish through the low marshy land adjacent to the slough (pronounced SLEW). Despite ample application of insect repellent mosquitoes followed us and huge leafed skunk cabbages made us wet with dew.

Wren first became interested in the slugs when I moved one off the path. "Save the sluggy" he said then touched one. "That is GROSS" he said, looking at his sticky fingers. "That is GROSS" he repeated, in Frost's exact intonation.

I showed him how to pick up a slug with a leaf and how their eyes (he says horns) retract when you touch them. He liked to touch them.

After a while he wanted to take them home in a bottle.

"I want a pet sluggy. He will slug in my waterjar. Slug, slug, sluggy. Where are you?"

I said we could have a banana slug for a pet but we should find a home for him first. Wren liked that idea.

I have a new camera so I should have pictures of the slug but I don't. Next time. There is a canoe trail through the Slough and I'd love to take my new binoculars on a ride up the river if I can find a canoe to use/rent/borrow. Its at times like these that I start to make a list of things to do with my mother when she visits next. She is a great companion for adventure.

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