augury doggerel

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Sleepy Creatures

Sunday morning was dry and clear. I went out too early for the blossoms to be open, but three or four bees were already at work. They had to force back the petals on the small yellow flowers and jam their heads into the narrowed openings. I watched one bee make a bad landing, slip off, fall backwards, bounce off a branch in the stem of the flower, and land on her back on the ground. She took a couple of seconds to recover, then flew up and went to work again.

This morning, I was out as early again in the same spot, but it rained all last night and there's still a light mist in the air. The bees are asleep. The little snails that roost in the flower stalks are out and about. This is their weather. One fat snail nearly two inches long came down the steep embankment. With long eyestalks up and scanning about independently, the snail went face first over a sharp rise (two inches, two minutes), pulling its shining Airstream behind it, and then the trailer suddenly (so to speak) slid all the way forward and smoofed the snail's face down into the wet grass.


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