Baby snail

This small snail, with a shell only about 1/2”, was quite personable, balancing on a blowing leaf and checking me out with its extended eyes. As snails grow, they keep adding shell chambers, with each one larger than the last. When they are finally done growing, they close off the shell with a lip at the opening. This shell forms what some call the golden spiral, an expression of the Fibonacci sequence which some claim explains most forms in nature and our esthetic attraction to them. In his later years, Matisse created a huge snail out of paper cut-outs, which I was fortunate to see at a recent Museum of Modern Art exhibit. Perhaps he was giving homage to the artistic attraction of this lowly mollusk. Whether a snail’s shell represents a hidden law of nature’s beauty, or just a great way to grow a protective cover with minimal waste, I find them charming- if they stay out of my garden!