Thursday, September 25, 2008

Slip sliming away

The corn and sunflower seeds that I feed the birds sit inside the house by the second back door (in this odd little house, we actually have three back doors and no proper front door). I used to keep the sunflower seeds and chopped corn outside on the deck in a covered pail.

Then Amahl (the mother) and the Night Visitors (the babies) showed up.

With their clever little hands, they tipped the pail, removed the lid off, and helped themselves.

So we brought the pails indoors. But we sort of forgot about putting the lids back on. The back door stays open day and night during the summer so the breeze can blow through the screened part of the storm door to help keep the house cool.

The storm door has small gap at the bottom, which is the same as an open door to whatever might want to come in. There was a lot rain that night, which is why the inside of the storm door was wet, and the wind blew a lot of leaves off the trees. Slugs have started to come in the through the gap at night to eat the corn. I know slugs and snails are pests and eat plants in the garden, but that they would be attracted to hard, dry corn is something I was not expecting.

Slugs are slimy. They leave slime trails on the carpet. They leave slime trails on the sides of the bucket. Corn sticks to the slime.
They invite their friends to come to our house for dinner. Party of three, table coming right up.

And they eat...
and have sparkling conversation. By the time morning comes, they have returned to wherever they go during the day.

I made the mistake of using two bare fingers to pinch them out of bucket, and I put them outside next to a handful of corn on the porch by the back door.

R: You put corn outside for the slugs? Are you kidding me?

Me: No, I'm not kidding.

And no, I didn't kill them. I got slimed. Slug slime is interesting stuff. Incredible stuff, actually. It does not wash off. I had a heck of a time getting it off my fingers. A Google search turned up some interesting information. Wipe with a dry paper towel first. Use salt.

And no, the enticement of outside corn did not stop them from coming in the next night.


Sis said...

I sometimes see a slime trail on Zeke's food in the morning, if he had any leftover during the night. I'm not sure if the snails are eating it or just crawling over it. That's very strange that those slugs of yours are after the feed. Never heard of anything like that... Slug slime... Oooooga-Booooga

Tami said...

Oh slugs...I try really hard to be appricative of there finer qualities. And we have struck a happy balance in the hosta patch.

Anonymous said...

I remember vacationing up in Washington St. We went on a hike and the slimey slugs up there were huge and that stuff, it got in the bottom of our shoes and didn't want to come off! Yucko!

Thanks for the wonderful "slug" story!!

I gave you an award on my blog. You don't have to post it if you don't want, but wanted to share that your blog is fun!! You are a great writer!