It’s been raining.
There are fancy live/work lofts near my much less fancy home. And when it rains, the sidewalk in front of the building is covered in snails within hours.
The problem is that when it’s dark, the snails look like leaves and other debris on the sidewalk.
It makes for a lot of slimy splatter marks. I know why they are active and out doing what they do. I just don’t know why they insist on doing it the middle of the sidewalk. There are plenty of leaves and things on either side of the sidewalk.
This isn’t just a snail thing.
I grew up in the woods of Pennsylvania, and at the time there were tons of box turtles in the summer. I loved turtles. I didn’t like turtles. I loved turtles.
We built a big enclosure on our property where I kept ones I would find until the end of the summer and then we would let them go into the wild in September. One summer boasted 30 found box turtles. One time we even had a wood turtle come lay eggs on our property. We incubated them. It was amazing.
Oh wait, I was talking about the box turtles.
One of the only positive memories I have of spending time with my father was going out in his truck after a storm and cruising the streets for box turtles. Yes, that’s a thing. See, box turtles do the exact same thing that those stupid snails do. They come out after a good rain and head straight for open asphalt.
I know a lot about turtles. One time a teacher at my elementary school pulled me out of class to come identify a baby turtle someone had found. Box turtles have many reasons for coming out in the rain. None of them involve anything they can do on pavement.
There are butterflies that fly to avoid a mountain that hasn’t existed in a million years. And not one butterfly has been able to convince the rest of them that they could fly a straight path to ease their migration.
Animals don’t know what the fuck is going on. But animals can’t learn that kind of stuff. People can. People can learn where snails are and avoid squishing them. People can know not to speed down wet roads so they don’t run over a turtle.
I say can. I’m not sure they will.
But they can. So please look where you are going. That’s what makes you people.
— Ginny McQueen (@GinnyMcQueen) January 16, 2017