Some snails have made our garden their home. I never see them sludging along, but find the empty shells underneath my plants in the spring. They are just common garden snails--Helix Aspersa--but I like the way the shells look and feel, and have been collecting them for years to add to my cabinet.
Some call them pests, but they haven't harmed my plants as yet. The underside of this yellow green Hosta seems a favorite place of theirs.
My collection of shells (plus robin and dove eggshells) was the choice for this drawing/painting-from-life study, although the hue of the stripes ended up pretty intense. I had placed them on a copper dish, so everything was substantially warmed up. The true colors of the shells are much more beautiful.
I love the poetry and other writings of Gerard Hopkins. His concept of "inscape" (the observable identity of an object) and especially "instress"--where the object one is observing literally thrusts its energy/identity into one's being--always comes full force when I'm drawing from life. These snail shells give out a very powerful, yet peaceful energy.