Running a day late on this one, partially because I didn’t start it earlier and got busy, partially because I forgot what day of the week it was (weird schedules can do that to you.)
For this gripping episode, we have… eggs. Eggshells, mostly. I suspect the scale is pretty apparent, but they’re attached to a reed on the edge of a lake in Florida, so I’m going to say they’re likely snail eggs, and they came from the Invertebrates folder of my stock images. Which admittedly doesn’t have a lot of entries since the bulk of invertebrates that I photograph fall into the Arthropod category better. So, snails and slugs by a wide margin, and I don’t chase them too often. Going from memory, these eggs are about 3mm across
I would have loved to have captured new emergents from these eggs (or the other two or three patches of the same that I found on that day,) but no activity was to be seen. It’s easy to think something along the lines of, “Well, just come back another time,” (which I sometimes do as a self-accusation when I find I’m missing photos I think I should have,) but the reality is, these likely appear only during a certain time of the year, and hatch only when the conditions are right – this could be a span of just a couple of days. And since I wasn’t there to see it the first time, I couldn’t accurately say when these days might fall. These were shot June 5th, 2004, and I was only in Florida…
[Okay, this is just an example of how things stretch out longer than intended sometimes, and quite often when writing blog posts. I had it in my head that I’d left Florida in 2005, but wasn’t exactly sure of the date and thus whether I’d have had the opportunity to look for the eggs again. Then I started thinking it was earlier, and actually in 2004, and finally had to start doing some research and making connections with world events. I finally pinned it down.]
… until September of that year, when I’d moved back to North Carolina. If such eggs are found around here, they’d almost certainly be coastal, and I’m not out at the coast often enough. So here we are, fourteen years later, and still no further along in this pressing mystery. But before you make any further disparaging sounds, may I remind you that I’ve gotten photos of another species of snail hatching, oh, six years ago, and those were under water at the time, so stop being all highhanded.
[By the way, the “world events” I mention above happen to be hurricanes Ivan and Jeane, both of which hit the section of Florida where I’d lived only ten days apart – I’d actually gone back down to pick up the remainder of my belongings between the two storms, so wasn’t in state for either of them. The damage from the first was notable, but the second hit that region much harder, so it appears my timing was fortuitous. I may feature a couple of photos a little later on.]