Garden Lesson


I would have said it was impossible.

The snail caught my eye while I was playing around with my camera in the front garden. It was on the edge of a bishop’s weed blossom, perched in what seemed a slightly precarious position.

Be careful, little one!

I leaned in for a closer look.

DSC_0426 (1).jpgI’m not fond of the destruction snails can wreak in a garden, but I still think they’re kind of cute. As I watched this one, it stretched it’s head out toward a nearby blossom.

“Taking some time to smell the roses,” I thought, smiling.

DSC_0428Then, as I watched, it stretched even further across the empty space toward the blossom.

Uh, oh! That looks risky! What’s it doing?

I squatted down and prepared to watch the drama unfold.

DSC_0430It was hard to see exactly what was happening, but within a short time, the snail had somehow grasped onto some of the adjacent blossom,

What’s it doing? Is it eating? Is it using its mouth or its foot?

DSC_0431.jpgAs I watched, it became clear that eating was not its primary intention at this time.

No way! It’s not going to try that, is it?

But the snail, far more intrepid than I, was clearly charting its trajectory forward, pulling itself closer to its intended destination. I watched, astonished.

DSC_0432Bit by bit, it moved forward, committed to its path. I held my breath, wondering at the outcome, marveling at the snail’s unhesitating flowing movement forward. Slowly, but surely, the two blossoms came closer together as the snail manipulated them, its body bridging the gap between them.

DSC_0433In a surprisingly short amount of time, the snail was clearly entrenched on the second blossom.

It’s actually going to make it.

DSC_0441 (1).jpgAs the snail moved forward, the previous perch released and swung back to its original position. The snail continued onward. I sat back on my heels, dumbfounded. I considered how far the snail must have already come and how far it must be going. I marveled at its steady path forward across daunting, seemingly impossible, barriers.

DSC_0442Just look at the distance between those two blossoms! Look at the length of the snail’s body! Incredible, right?

Before this moment when I stopped to watch its journey, I would have said it was impossible.


23 thoughts on “Garden Lesson

  1. Absolutely stunning. It might even be metaphorical. 😉


  2. Lanny Ball says:

    What a beautiful and powerful small moment story that illustrates what is possible. Children’s book, maybe? You should consider publishing it! I love this line, “I marveled at its steady path forward across daunting, seemingly impossible, barriers.” The way you so cleverly embed the theme right there … well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    I was pulling for the snail the whole time. A lovely photo journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Potts says:

    Honestly, I’m with Lanny: this could be a book. Your photos are amazing & your amazement is palpable. The way you intertwine your reaction with the snail’s journey made me want to go back and read this again. In fact, I did!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jacqueslebec says:

    This is a fun post, it lifted my spirits, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved watching that snail move around. Thanks for taking the time to capture it and share it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gail Aldous says:

    I’m with Lanny and Amanda.This would definitely make a great picture book! You hooked me from the first sentence! Your use of first person point of view and the excitement of your thoughts are great tools and kept this reader waiting for each word or photo. Love how you took it full circle ending with your beginning, reminding the reader throughout the story that the impossible is possible with patience and determination! I also love how you teach the reader that being in nature and watching nature is joyful, rewarding, and knowledgeable. Happy for you that nature is bringing you joy and positivity in your mind and writing, again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christine says:

    That’s crazy! It makes me realize anything is possible if we just keep on stretching!
    So glad you stayed to watch and then share with us all!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Debbie Lynn says:

    Amazing photos and opportunity to see the snail in action. And yes, this goes perfect with the SOL quote for today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Captivating series of pictures. One helluva camera, one helluva photographer. I sent this posting on to two scientists, their focus is whales, in California. The questions that could come out of this from your fourth graders!

    Liked by 1 person

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