Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A brown ringed snail



When out walking on the Lansdown, I often come across groups of these little snails clinging to stalks or blades of grass. They cluster in the early morning sun, high above the wet turf. There is something vulnerable about them, light enough to cling to grass stalks, they seem a reminder of an ancient past.
I had spied such snails around the Kennet at Silbury. The river was in full flood, and wading through the water on the path I had noticed snails clinging to the blades of grass. At the time I thought it was because they were trying to escape the flood water, and I remembered all the snail shells that had been trapped inside Silbury, generations of them stretching right back to when it had been built.
These small innocous creatures, would also have been round in prehistory to delight the children with the pattern of the shells; perhaps they made necklaces out of them, or chalked on the stone their weird round shapes.
It is a humbling experience when reading all the daft theories that people come up with regarding prehistory, to remember these little shells and their quiet constant presence in the cyclical nature of time.

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