Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Snail Orgy!

Well, I'm not sure it was actually an orgy. We saw them on Richmond beach. Alan asked me what they were doing, so of course I am now all curious. I am having a hard time finding much information on the Checkered Periwinkle.

I did find this fact which made me giggle:

Fun Facts: When holding a periwinkle in ones hand, if one hums to the snail steadily for a minute or two, the snail will come out of its shell and begin crawling around.

I really want to try this. Although I'm highly skeptical it's the humming that works. But just imagine a beach full of people holding little snails and humming. What fun!

I found this fact more believable:

Cool Fact: Land snails may have evolved from this species!
They don't need to eat often and can stay out of water for quite some time. They may have been clustered just because it was suitable habitat. After some more research I started to feel sorry for the poor male snails. It is the right time of year for it to be a snail orgy but it sounds like a complicated process:

Once a year they expend extra energy in reproduction. These snails are separate sexed - the male needing to find a female for mating. In this species, the males appear unable to distinguish the opposite sex until actually trying to mate. In spring and summer males become very active - trying all neighbors for a possible mate and even fighting. Sometimes two males will be fighting over a third snail only to discover that the third snail is also a male. Eventually they are successful and, after mating, the female lays her fertilized eggs in a mucus bundle in high pools. These hatch as planktonic larvae and are taken away by the extreme high high tide waves.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Mountains and Valleys

I find more and more I want to post pictures and say little. Part of that relates to time and energy but more of it is because I find words inadequate. It's not that I'm finding myself inferior; it's the realization that I can't capture what I feel and see. Not with my words and not even with my photos. The Snoqualmie Valley is surrounded by mountains and it humbles me. In a short distance I can see various landscapes, animals, plants and moods.

People try so hard to create beauty. We landscape our yards and parks, we create music and poetry. Without a doubt we humans can create marvels. But I find more and more what fascinates me is the irregular and untamed. I look at the flowers in my yard and some of them are perfect. I appreciate that beauty but it doesn't touch my soul. I find a flower, slightly insect eaten, struggling in a small patch of sunshine and I am struck with awe.

I spent hours with my camera wandering about the Valley. I was recently told that my photography was a reflection of my interior landscape. What a marvelous concept. I am intrigued by imperfection. I love trying to capture a story. I can't ignore the beauty of towering mountains or vast valleys, but I will always return to the tiny details that most people seem to pass by.