Williamson's Weekly Nature Notes

BINGE-drinking is not confined to teenagers. Snails like to go on a bender too. Here is a whole gang of them which I photographed near Peppering High Barn high up on the downs overlooking Arundel.

Now what sort of booze were these naughty molluscs after? Well for want of a better name, I called it sycamore sack.

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You may remember how various sherries and white wines imported from Spain and the Canaries were called sack centuries ago from the French vin sec, meaning dry wine. Pepys described how he buried all his sack in his garden at the time of the fire of London in 1666 you may remember.

A lone sycamore on a footpath which I passed on my walk had evidently been damaged sometime in its history and the wound had never properly healed up. The resulting seepage of sap had started to ferment. This gives off a heady message to anything downwind such as butterflies, moths, flies, and in this case, common garden snails.

For full feature see West Sussex Gazette December 31