Slug Surprise!

March 5, 2008

I thought I had slugs figured out. They crawl on the ground, munch on my hostas and other flowers, and make slimy trails across the sidewalks and front porch.

As far as I knew, they never got far off the ground – no further than crawling up on the plants they munch on.

Well, I know this is going to be a shock to some, but it turns out I was wrong.

It’s like this… yesterday we got over an inch of rain so I went out in the woods between showers. I figured I wouldn’t see anything new, but I still needed the exercise.

Wrong again! I definitely saw something new!

By the time I made it to the big tree in the above picture, it had started sprinkling again. Still, I felt like getting up close and personal and communing with that particular tree, which is when I found a surprise — several surprises of the same type in fact!

Okay, there’s probably lots of you out there that knew this happens, but imagine the shock to my “slugs creep on the ground” beliefs when I looked way up in that tree and saw a bunch of slugs crawling down. And I do mean a BUNCH. There were a couple dozen in various stages of progress slowly slithering down that tree. And that’s just the ones I could actually see.

Slugs are not supposed to be crawling way up in a TALL tree. They are supposed to be making their slimy way across the grass or other vegetation close to the ground.

That’s when I got to wondering… I know slugs are supposed to like beer, and it makes good bait for a trap, so do you suppose they had a kegger the night before, and drank too much beer? I can just see these little redneck slugs partying, and one says, “Hey, what ‘cha suppose is at the top of that tree?” And the other inebriated slugs holler, “Yeah, let’s find out!”

Then there they are the next morning, hungover, blinking and waving their optic tentacles around, and screaming in terror because they are WAY UP IN A TREE!!!! Now what???

And that’s when they all started making their way ever so slowly down from the heights.

All right, all right. So maybe they didn’t really do all that. I did a little research and discovered there are actually slugs that crawl around on trees, especially in damp weather, and they are called…. yep, tree slugs (Lehmannia marginata).

I don’t know if that’s what this particular variety is, or they belong to some other slug group I haven’t discovered yet.

I just know there were slugs in a very tall tree, and man, was I surprised!!!

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