Creature Feature

by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

If you grow your own vegetables, snails and grasshoppers may be the last thing you want to see. But the fact is, these critters are resilient, and though I loathe them, I do reserve a modicum of admiration for their ability to hang on.

This grasshopper, for example, literally hung on to my car for the two mile plus ride from our house to downtown Salem.

He looked slightly less composed just seconds before:

And see that tiny speck on the faucet?

Need a closer look?

I washed this guy off my chard the night before and assumed he’d gone down the drain to perish in the jaws of the disposal. And no, it didn’t bother me a bit, because besides the groundhog that continually eats the tops off all my carrots and is in a class of villains all his own, the snails are garden enemy number one. I found this one on the chard, remember?

I woke the next morning to discover this miniature mollusk as whole as ever. Surprised and impressed, I transferred him outside to the grass and asked him to remember my charity and please eat from my neighbors’ gardens instead of my own.