Some Husbands Bring Their Wives Flowers . . . .

10:23 PM

. . . . or some special item from their trip out of town. My husband brought me dead snail shells from his recent trip! Wasn't that sweet of him?!!


Florida Apple Snails Watercolor sketch

Yes, you read that right - dead snail shells. They're actually Florida Apple Snail shells from Lake Ockeechobee (pronounced Oak-uh-cho-bee). They may be Channeled Apple Snails. He picked them up along the bank of a canal leading into the lake. Most likely they died a premature death caused by the rooting of wild boar in the area. Chris said there were 1000s of these shells, most of them crushed, damaged or bleached white from the sun.

These look deceptively easy to draw and paint. Very deceptive if you ask me. It was quite easy to get caught up in the whorls and lose my place - even with the shell sitting in front of me. The biggest shell is a little over 2" tall and about 3" at its widest point. The other one is much smaller - maybe half the size of the first one. The bigger one suffered some type of trauma as there is a distinctive ridge and a change in the shell pattern. To learn more about Florida Apple Snails please click here.

As to the dead snail bells, Chris knows me well enough to know that I'd much rather have the snails than flowers. Flowers are easy. Snails? Not so much! Especially unusual ones (to me anyway) like these. I'm not sure where the term "snail bells" came from, but I have a memory of it and it came bubbling up when I was painting these. A grandmother's comment perhaps? Not sure. Maybe as I continue to draw and paint these the answer will reveal itself too.

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