For a long time I ignored the snails at my local tide pool. Snails. Meh.
Then one day I happened past a snail that had just completed what might have been eternity symbol. After that I was discovering a fabulous new design every few paces.
Since that revelatory day, I’ve made a point of seeking out the artworks that snails have etched in the sand. Like Buddhist sand mandalas, these will be gone with the next high tide. Recently I found this lacy meanderer:
and this delicate brushwork on rock:
Sometimes I spot an artist at work. More often I find them gathered, perhaps at a cafe:
Of all the snail trails I’ve found to date, this one has most captivated me:
Most of this extensive design came from a single snail during one low tide. I’m pretty sure the artist is the dark blob in the lower right. It lacks a snail silhouette because it has seaplants on its shell.
(This is a common tidepool occurrence. Hold still for long and somebody will grow on you:
But I digress.)
I have spent weeks with the extensive snail trail. I have contemplated it, colored it, admired it. Over the next several posts I’ll share some of what I’ve learned by traveling this snail trail.
First, I cropped the trail a bit. (Not sure this made it any less complicated. Perhaps as I advance with my trail work, I will return to the full trail.) Next, I became familiar with the biggest twists and turns:
After that… well, more soon… er… Lots more soon.
As it turns out, fascination, preoccupation, obsession are all parts of the same coin.
Why do some have such marvelous obsessions, while others……