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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Snail Side-Step

You wouldn't think that running in suburban South Florida would mean coming across much fauna, but you'd be wrong. I see many creatures on my running routes -- granted, most are smooshed -- but I especially see a lot of lizards. Lizards are all over the place here in SoFlo and they vary from the small ones that are barely the size of a large bug to the large iguanas that can sometimes be seen sunning themselves on sidewalks or golf greens. Most are about the size of a human finger and they tend to kamikazee their way across the sidewalk when I'm running.

And I'm ashamed to admit that a few have been casualties of my Brooks. But mostly, I can dodge them despite their propensity to dart out in front of my oncoming shoes at lightning speeds. But, lizards are not the focus of this post; no, another Florida creature also litters the sidewalks of South Florida, but they certainly don't move quickly -- snails.

Snails aren't out in the midday -- too hot for snail sunning -- instead, snails are a night creature and an after-the-rain creature. Unlike lizards, whose deaths at my feet have maybe totaled 2, snails have frequently been squished by my shoes, and the number of snail fatalities that are my fault are countless. But, in my defense, it's easy to see how: They are slow, it's dark, and they look like rocks. But when I hear that unmistakable "scrunch" under my shoes I know I have taken another snail life; thus, I am honest-to-god careful of stepping on snails. Especially on a evening like tonight.

We had heavy rain for several hours, and when I went out for my evening's 3 miler (29:25), it was sprinkling and it was dusky: Prime snail hours. They were all over the place -- large and small -- leaving their snail trail across the wet cement. It was like running a very intricate gauntlet and I found myself starring down at my feet the entire time trying to avoid crushing the small animals. The effort, I am proud to say, paid off, and I can boast that not one snail died, under my feet, tonight.

That's not always a claim I can make.

14 comments:

Erin said...

Eh, if they (snails) were a worthwhile creature they wouldn't be so easy to erradicate. (spelling)

It was a nice evening to run though. We sat outside and had a drink.

Firefly's Running said...

Oooooh. That's something that I am glad to not step on those.

keith said...

Wow...you contend with a lot just trying to run in SoFlo.

On my Friday run there were hundreds, nay, thousands of small frogs on the trail, jumping into the wet ditches. It was crazy.

chia said...

sheesh, now i feel silly exhibiting guilt for itnerrupting squirrel fornication.

thank god you don't have slugs ;-). although, they do have the largest penises in proportion to their size.

i should get better hobbies.

Jarrett said...

As far as I know, I've never killed anything during a workout. Killing a snail or slug? That's gross.

D10 said...

Snails, that is crazy! Glad you were able to avoid them.

Mrs. K said...

how about them little gnats? still getting all over you? they are now out all hours of the morning while i'm playing tennis- yuk

Running Knitter said...

Glad to hear snails are safe. :)

L*I*S*A said...

I've often been known to do the Earthworm Hop after a nice soaking rain. Gross.

runner26 said...

Who knew snails could make quite the obstacle course!

Christie said...

PETA would be so proud of you. LOL

Jamoosh said...

No snap, crackle, pop of snail shells? Disappointment abounds...

SJ Goody said...

Oh boy - that adds a whole new dimension to road kill... when YOU are the actuall road KILLER! HAHA!!

sRod said...

Ha ha ha. I've probably killed some fauna too while out there (one bee in particular). God knows I've probably swallowed a whole swarm of flies/miscellaneous flying insects