CrashBoomBang

the travels & travails of an escaped lab rat

Animals: Snail

Snail is the common name for most of the members of the molluscan class, gastropoda, which develop coiled shells in their adult stage (those that do not have a shell — or a very small one — are called slugs).

Snails thrive in a diverse range of environments, from ditches to sea floors. Most snails are actually marine in nature, and terrestrial snails are the minority when compared to their aquatic cousins.

Normally, I’m not on the lookout for animals such as these, and unfortunately, I’m only aware of them after I’ve heard that terrible crunch coming from underfoot while I’m hiking.

Such was the case with these particularly colorful examples, which I only stopped to notice after treading over a dozen of their more unlucky fellows moments before. Just shows to go ya that beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places.

I did come away from that encounter craving garlic butter and bread though…

We say, “Eww.” The French say, “Escargot.”

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Posted June 4th, 2010.

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Animals: Raccoon

One family of mammals that has become totally acclimated to human encroachment and urbanization is procyonidae.

They are unusual for their thumbs, which though not opposable, when combined with their intelligence and dexterity, enable procyon lotor to get into containers and environments otherwise impregnable to the animal denizens of urban night. This makes them both respected and reviled.

As I have never been a victim of the mess they leave behind in their nightly quest for food, I generally find them cute and inquisitive. I’ve even had a baby raccoon come right up to me and gnaw at my shoes while I stopped to photograph it.

Raccoons are not all sweetness and light, however. They can be quite fierce if threatened, and they have sharp teeth and claws; many may also be carriers of parasites and disease, particularly rabies.

I generally make it a rule never to approach them, but rather let them approach me, and only let them get as close as they feel comfortable getting. If they start to hiss or if I think they’re becoming nervous, I start to back away — that’s what telephoto lenses are for anyway.

Whatchu lookin at?

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Posted June 4th, 2010.

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