Ought to be a Policy

My neice and nephews were playing in their backyard the other day and found some "creatures" which they tried to keep as new pets. They captured them, named them, played with them, and then asked their mother if I would want them for my garden.

I've put a picture of "them" below (the creatures, not the kids) so you can see what they offered to give me. I can hear them now. "I wonder if Aunt Carol will want these for her garden?" No. No, no, no.

What are they? They are gigantic slugs, at least gigantic for this area. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but some of those slugs are nearly 3 inches long. I'm not sure what will happen to them once the weather really gets cold and the ground freezes, but I am pretty sure they don't migrate south. In fact, as I think about it, I know very little about the lifecycle of the slug. Where, oh, where do they overwinter? I assume under mulch and plant debris? Wouldn't they just freeze solid above ground?

Regardless, I'm not adopting them as pets for the garden, so my neice and nephew let them go. I'm sure they "scurried off" as fast as a slug can go, after spending a few hours on a paper plate with three kids hanging over them, poking them, talking about them, and naming them.

And, by the way, the reason the kids were playing outside late in the afternoon was because we had a brief "Indian Summer" around here. High on Thursday - 69, and on Friday? 72. And what did I do? I worked. I could not even get out of work early enough to get home to do anything in the yard before dark. There ought to be laws or at least company policies that cover days like those!

"We hereby declare that if during November (or February or March), the temperature is above 65 and it is even partly sunny, all indoor work must cease and all meetings cancelled so that employees can attend to their gardens for a minimum of three hours prior to dusk."

Yes, there ought to be a policy.

Here are the slugs ...

(See their little sluggy shadows? It really was a sunny day!)


  1. I don't know, might go nicely with the spiders. ;-) Quite the zoological collection.

    But I can empathize. I was working for a time as a leader to a youth garden. And I had a couple of young women who were quite attached to the "beautiful" snails. I had to dispatch them quickly and quietly so as not to get the girls all up in arms.

  2. Yes, if kids can have snow days, grown ups should get good weather days.

  3. Those three kids Carol is talking about happen to be my grandchildren (I have a total of 9 plus 5 step grandchildren) and the 3 (plus their 2 parents) and I share a home.I personally am not the bug type. It's taking a few years but I think I've got it across to them that I don't need to hold their prize bugs in order to appreciate their beauty.

  4. Too bad you didn't get out in that perfect day, and I hope you catch the next one. You could run for office with your policy statement!

    When in Seattle we all spend some time on slug-observation, usually the 8-inch Banana slugs. Although my granddaughter doesn't currently keep slugs as pets, she does have a lizard and a few freshwater clams. I had Anole lizards as terrarium pets when I was a kid, so I'm happy to see them living in my Austin garden.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  5. oh my goodness they are big beasties those.Had they been snacking in your garden?I used to collect frogs, snails, and poisonous caterpillars when i was small.I guess all kids have a charles darwin streak to collect natural specimins to freak out adults!At least it wasnt five tarantulas :)

  6. Well, that is really disgusting, Carol, and it isn't it just like children to find them fascinating!

    Only this summer I was chasing my 18-month-old grandson around the house trying to snatch a roly-poly from him that I was sure was going to go into his mouth at any moment. He was shrieking in glee and I'm sure he didn't understand why grammy wanted to take away his "toy".

  7. Oh my! Whereas I usually try to be a really benevolent gardener, I'll admit to several killing sprees involving slugs, picking off hundreds of them in the murderous hour(s) of dusk until I couldn't see them anymore -- then dreaming about them. I hate to admit such violent feelings towards one of god's creatures...but, ugh!

  8. If anyone cares, the names of those pictured are: Big Bill, Little Joe, and the other two are Fred and George. The smallest one was an inch, the biggest was 3 1/2 inches. They were all living happily in a toad abode with a large centipede and a large spider. BTW: the youngest (5 now) LOVES rollie pollie's and usually ends up with pocket-fulls by the end of the day.

  9. I had a post on slugs earlier this summer, as finding two of them connected head-to-tail got me interested in what in the heck was going on. I googled "slug mating," because I thought that might be happening... and I found this site: (hide the kiddies' eyes! lol)


  10. I'm chuckling at Blackswamp Girl's comment :) I hope my grandsons don't ever decide to bring me any slugs. We've got plenty here, especially with all the wet weather we've had this year. And guess what it's doing yet again this morning? Yep, raining! What a surprise!
    I agree with your policy suggestion wholeheartedly!!!


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