There was a blog hiatus for about a week just then because I was traveling to stay on a friend’s farm in western Illinois. I went into St. Louis to visit both the zoo and the botanical gardens, in hope of spotting a mollusk, but no such luck. The only mollusk I found on display at the zoo was a leopard slug in the entryway to the insectarium. They had lots of fun critters right there, like pillbugs and centipedes and tarantulas, in addition to our slug friend, to highlight what is and is not an insect. Sadly, the leopard slug was out of view in its little tank, which was a shame, because they are pretty cool looking.
Despite a lack of mollusks, the St. Louis Zoo is great! It was extraordinarily hot and humid, so the animals were about as inactive as can be, but what great animals they have.
Pardon the cell phone photos; my real camera refuses to extend its lens, so I’m currently limited in both photographic technology and skill.
At the Botanical Garden, I figured my best mollusk hope would be to see a snail or slug in the wild, but no such luck. I did see Cardinals (didn’t realize their baseball team was so appropriately named!) and probably the biggest frog I’ve ever seen in the wild, but it really was mostly about the plants. Gorgeous, wonderful stuff. I developed a heretofore unknown appreciation for coleus. One of the best things about the garden is their 50 year old geodesic dome with an indoor rainforest, called the Climatron. I will go on record as saying that’s the best retrofuture name of any place I’ve ever been. Here’s a year in its life.
But the point of this post is to introduce the blog mascot! I’m not sure what to name it yet. It’s a glass slug I got in the botanical garden gift store. It was simply too cute to pass up and I’m hoping it can make appearances in various places I go.