Monday, September 04, 2006

Mr/Ms Banana Slug

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The Banana Slug is a famous inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest. This one, ambling along on the one of the steps to my office, isn't the biggest one I've seen and wasn't fully extended at the time, but it did present itself in such a way for me to take a perfect shot to show you its size.

They breathe through the hole that you see there. They are very, very slimey and you don't want to touch one because it takes forever to get the slime off your hands. I know this from first-hand (ahem) experience. They have the very irritating habit of eating my iris and any other bulbs that try mightily to come up each spring. I'm told that they have some good purpose here on earth, I just haven't found it yet. Still, they are native and rather colorful so I try to leave them be. If only they would leave my plants alone!


Anonymous said...

What incredible detail on that slug! The first year I planted a fennel, I came out one morning to find it covered with yellow and black caterpilars. So, I picked them off and throw them over the fence onto the neighbors driveway. Then one day I came across a stunning picture of the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly. I've had a fennel plant every year now and it's covered every year with lots of caterpilars. The plant manages and so do the the butterflies.

Kalyn Denny said...

Very interesting. We have a math problem about banana slugs in our book at school! First time I've seen it though.

Christine said...

Tanna, What a great story! We have a lot of Swallowtails around here and a lot of wild anise growing along roadways. I just never thought of planting an anise to attract them.
When I was a kid in the Sacramento Valley, milkweed grew along side the country roads where the irrigation ditches were. We always had a lot of Monarch butterflies. When I found out that the caterpilars feed on the milkweed, I made sure to always have some around to attract the butterflies.
It's too bad the banana slugs don't morph into something as beautiful!

Kalyn, Go ahead and use these photos for your class if you like. And I'd be happy to take more!