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January 28, 2011

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Ruth

Dear fern? How did you get to be so cute?

Kelly

What type of snail are you? I think my 2nd graders would love to have one of your relatives to learn about!

Sonia

hi there lovely Fern :) when did you wake up for the last time ? xoxo

Edie

Are you, by any chance, related to Marcel the Shell with Shoes On? Can you sign autographs?

Saskia

Dear Fern,
What does one need to keep a relative of you as a pet? And what's your favorite type of food?
xoxox

char

Dear Fern, how and when did you meet Margie?

Mel

Dear Fern,
What is your favorite food? Do you have a special someone in your life? I would guess so since you are so adorable.

Emily Z.

Fern,
I'd like to second the question of, 'what type of snail are you,' and additionally wonder what the habitat range of your species is?
And if I might venture a compliment, what lovely mottling on your head! Macro becomes you :)

Sandy

Dear Fern, can you convince your relatives not to eat my garden? thank you.
If they need anything, there is loads on the other side of the fence owned by the council ... they don't mind.
Sandy in the UK
oh, and tell them it is not very wise to cross the paths when it rains and it is dark, because they are hard to avoid. :)

nicole

I don't have a question, just a comment. I am in love with your freckled, nobbly antennae.

Jennifer

Wow, Margie, that new macro sure makes Fern's head and tentacles look spectacular! I can't wait to read the answers to everyone's questions.

Margaret Oomen


Comment:
Dear fern? How did you get to be so cute?


Answer:
I was born this way.

Margaret Oomen


Question:
What type of snail are you?
Answer:
Cepaea nemoralis(Banded wood snail)

Margaret Oomen

Question: When did you wake up for the last time?
Answer: I woke up last sunday when it was so cold outside but the sun was shining so strongly through the window that I thought it was spring.

Margaret Oomen


Question:
Are you, by any chance, related to Macel the shell with Shoes on? Can you sign autographs.
Answer:
No relation to Marcel and yes I can sign autographs as long as it is nontoxic water soluble ink.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear fern, What does one need to keep a relative of you as a pet? And whats your favorite type of food?
Answer:
I live in the potted gardenia plant in a bathroom, so there is lots of moisture and humidity. I could probably also live in a terrarium of sorts but I have never tried one out. I think as long as the earth and plants are free of chemicals and pesticides , I could be happy. My favorite food is dead leaves. My owner says I am the very best at mulching leaves.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear fern, how and when did you meet Margie?
Answer:
Margie and I go way back and we met years ago in the garden near the base of the Magnolia Tree. My family loves her garden because she doesnt use any chemicals in it and grows all sorts of things that are good for the creatures native to this area of ontario. I stowed away for the first time three winters ago in the potted gardenia and since then have been wintering in the warmth of the second floor bathroom.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear Fern, What is your favorite food? So you have a special someone in your life? I would guess so since you are so adorable.
Answer:
I am blushing? I pick a new mate every summer. Since I am a hermaphrodite ( boy and girl snail) , I can choose any beautiful garden snail to mate with and show either my female or male self. Margie even caught us in the act last summer.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
What is the habitat range of your species?
Answer:
Taken from wikipedia.

The grove snail can be found in a range of habitats: most commonly ingrassland,hedgerowsandwoodland. Its native distribution is from northern and western Europe to central Europe (the Czech Republic[3]and others). In eastern Europe it occurs in urban areas.
More recently, the grove snail has been introduced to North America, and has established itself in various places.
The white-lipped snail has a similar range, but that species extends further north to border theArctic.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear Fern,
Can you convince your relatives not to eat my garden? Thank you
Answer:
We never , ever eat Margies garden. We only eat dead leaves and vegetation that has fallen onto the moist ground. It is our nasty cousins the slugs who do all the damage and we get the blame. If you dont over tend your garden we will always have enough debris to eat and promise to not damage your flowers , veggies or herbs.

Margaret Oomen

Dear nicole,
Thank you so much for your antennae love. We are quite fond of our eyes on stalk too. Margie says you knit the most amazing things and I wonder if you have ever knit a sweater for a snail?

Novi

Dear Fern, How old are you? How long do you live?

Thank you for pointing out Nicole's knits, I was just over on her site... made me feel warm and cozy all over, so nice. I hope she knits you a sweater. :)

Margaret Oomen

Question:
How old are you? How long do you live?
Answer:
I am about three years old , middle aged in snail years. Garden snails can live up to five years if treated well and not eaten by predators.

joanie

I was wondering if there is just one Fern? Are there Fern stunt doubles?

Margaret Oomen

Question:
I was wondering if there is just one Fern? Are there fern stunt doubles?
Answer:
The snail that winters in the gardenia pot is always named fern. This year there is also a smaller, younger snail in the pot as well, fern junior. Without DNA testing I am not able to prove if it is the same snail, year after year, although I can say the sweet little snail kisses he gives me are very similar.

mavis

jeepers, creppers, where'd you get those peepers?
Can you help ex[plain to my 4 yr old snail enthusiast how your eyes work?
XO

Margaret Oomen

Question:
How do your eyes work?
Answer:
The eyes land snails are located at the base of the tentacles, on top of the eyestalks.
The structure of the eye does not provide detailed vision, they rather function as directional light sensors that give the snail an orientation towards light sources. Colour vision is absent. The smaller antennae are its feelers.

Jan (jcoop on ravelry)

Dear Fern,
So when it warms up outside do you go back out on the potted gardenia to live there for the summer or do you stay inside most of the time?

I agree with everyone else that you are very photogenic, especially when seen via the macro lens!

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear fern, So when it warms up outside do you go back out on the potted gardenia to live there for the summer or do you stay inside moat of the time?
Answer:
As soon as there is no more danger of frost and some of my relatives are active in the garden Margie puts the potted gardenia back near the garden path and I am free to roam.

Nanou

Good morning Fern !
What about the kitties ? Did you immediately make friends with the kitties ? Do they sometimes try to "play" with you ?
Wish you and Junior a very cosy week-end in your welcoming winter home and please give the most tender tiny hug to Margie for me :)

Cheryl

Dear Fern,
Since the spring weather is a little ways off yet do you anticipate that you will go back to sleep again? p.s. It's lovely to hear that you give Margie kisses!

Margaret Oomen

question:
What about the kitties? Did you immediately make friends with the kitties? Do they sometimes try to play with you?
Answer:
The kitties and I live in peace and harmony. We respect each other but I wouldnt say we play together. They seem far more interested in playing with the fish these days. Margie has raised them to never lay their paws on me or any of my cousins.

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear Fern, since the spring weather is a little ways off yet do you anticipate that you will go back to sleep again?
Answer:
I already have. I wake up a few times each winter, normally during a very warm break in the temperatures. Sometimes the full moon also seems to stir some activity in me , as was the case this past week. There have also been a few times where Margie has woken us up from our slumber. She can do this by finding us in the potted gardenia, putting us gently in the palm of her hand and splashing us with some luke warm water. Then she must be patient, the moisture and the warmth of her hand will melt away the layer of dry mucous that protects me. It takes me a while to wake up, look around and offer up some snail kisses.

Eerika

Dear Fern,
How have you taken to spending winters on a potted gardenia in the second floor bathroom instead of outside in the garden with the rest of your kin? How does your family fare outside through the winter?

Margaret Oomen

question:
Dear Fern, How have you taken to spending winters on a potted gardenia in the second floor bathroom instead of outside in the garden with the rest of your kin? How does your family fare outside through the winter?
Answer:
It happened quite by accident one winter and it was so enjoyable that it has just kept happening every winter since. You see snails have an excellent sense of smell. A good thing since we are color blind and cant hear a thing. I guess it was the smell of the gardenia that attracted us. My kin fares very well outside because there are lots of dead leaves, stones ( of course) , wood and other things to bury ourselves under for the winters hibernation. We live off stored fat similar to other animals and that makes our shells fit better in the spring.

labibliotecaria

Dear Fern,

I love your sense of adventure and style! Do you think your Aunt Margie could be persuaded to give your fans a pattern for your gorgeous winter coat?

Happy Saturday!

Margaret Oomen

question:
So you think your aunt margie could be persuaded to give your fans a pattern for your gorgeous winter coat?
Answer:
I could ask her for you. I might need butter her up with lots of kisses first though. I was thinking of asking her to make me a new one for spring.

Lisa

Dear Fern,

I've wondered, do you stay in the gardenia pot all the time or do you wander around the house?

Margaret Oomen

Question:
Dear Fern, Ive wondered, do you stay in the gardenia pot all the time or do you wander around the house?
Answer:
I dont stay in the pot all the time. Sometimes I can be found on the tile wall of the bathroom or on the window. I like to exercise after margies youngest daughters very long showers!.

Lisa

Dear Fern,
Thank you for answering my question. It led me to my next: have you ever gone missing for a length of time?

Livi

Dear Fern,

You are absolutely adorable! I was wondering, have you ever caught your margie reading "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating"? Its a little story all about a snail just like you! You guys seem like very peaceful companions :)

Margaret Oomen


Question:
Have you ever caught Margie reading the sound of a wild snail eating?
Answer:
Yes I have seen her reading that book a while back. She only wished that she had written it first. She is also very happy that we dont really make any noise when we eat because she is very sensitive to sound and since we are nocturnal, mostly, it would keep her awake at night. She doesnt sleep much so every hour is precious.

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