Accepting choices in the garden

This is one of my arch enemies.  The snail is less voracious in the dry, summer weather when it lies in wait under plants or stones.  Otherwise, they can munch through a freshly sown line of parsley in one night.

At 6 o’clock in the evening the other day I saw a snail walking up our wall at eye level.  It was not raining and it seemed a curious behaviour.

On closer inspection, I noticed the snail was not alone.  I recognised one of my friends – a glow worm larva.

I never realised how voracious the larva could be, nor how persistant.  The larva nibbled the snail’s antenna causing the snail to curl up in a bid to escape.

The snail fell off the wall and broke on the stones beneath with the glow worm larva firmly attached.

Twenty four hours later the feast was still continuing.  The adult female glow worm does not eat and I am sure this one must have absorbed enough protein for its metamorphosis into the adult glow worm.

The same evening I checked the garden to see if there were any female glow worms signaling for mates.  There were.  I apologise for the poor photograph ( I have slightly better here, here, and here.

Seeing the fairy-like lights flashing in the night after dark in the summer is something I treasure.

But what if there were no snails in my garden?  What if I could somehow eliminate them and grow my parsley in peace?

Then no snails, no summer fairy lights.  I have to accept that to live with the snails has its benefits.

21 thoughts on “Accepting choices in the garden

  1. Glow worms! Well worth a few snails. I saw them lighting up whole bushes along a river in Borneo. Have never seen them in the UK though I believe they still cling on in a few places. Your garden is a magical place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are present in Cornwell, I believe. It means looking for them after dark in the middle of summer. That means it is very late for people with early rising small children :). It can be rewarding for even if you do not see glow worms, you might see other night time creatures. Amelia


    1. I am pretty sure you will have glow worms. You have to look in the summer but not after a long dry spell. Actually, I think your area has had plenty of rain this year so you might be surprised if you had a walk after dark. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

  2. great pics! I never knew, glow worm larvae eat snails. At least the beasts are good for something 🙂 this year they have consumed most of my salad and ALL of my cabbage turnips…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to be prepared to go out late at this time of year until it is dark and they are only emitting light in the summer! Luckily, there are always some in the garden so we don’t have to go far. Amelia


  3. Fascinating observations and wonderful to be able to see nature “red in tooth and claw”. The story of the snail, the glow worm larva and the gardener is surely a paradigm for the situation we find ourselves in as humans. If we want the world to continue in some way we humans have to settle for compromises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly how I felt. We always work for “perfect”. Watching nature we see that “perfect” does not exist. We have to accept compromise or be very unrealistic in our aspirations. Amelia


  4. Jason Kay

    Good post. I think gardeners need to learn to live with pests within reason. If we were to wipe out all the pests with insecticides, we’d also be removing all the predators, which is just asking for bigger trouble later on. Right now I’ve got noticeable insect damage (aphids, 4 Lined Plant Bugs) on several species, but I am restraining myself from using anything toxic to get them under control. A healthy and diverse population of insects, good and bed, is best for keeping things in balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heavy interventions often result in more disturbance and ill affects than they cure. Humans have an inborn need to control all they see, unfortunately with unforeseen negative consequences. Amelia


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