This snail was climbing on an ornamental grass in my garden. It was small (maybe 1/2″ at the most), but I was still impressed with how it was able to hold on to the thin grass seed stem.
This closeup makes its balancing act look like even more of an accomplishment.
Note that I took my photos of the “far” side of the snail shell. We are so used to looking at the side with all of the whorls that seeing the snail from this angle is a bit interesting. Do you know what the circular hollow area caused by the spirals is called? According to The Western Society of Malacologists Field Guide to the Slug by David George Gordon, it is called an umbilicus. Bet you didn’t know that.
Gordon also points out another very interesting fact:
With the exception of an occasional mutant, all Northwest turbinate shells are dextral- that is, the bulk of the shell is worn rather jauntily on the soft body’s right side. If you should happen to find a left-sided shell, hang on to it. It could be valuable, if not to science then at least to an amateur collector.
I can’t say whether this is a native snail or not, and most that I find around the yard are probably not natives. But I’m still going to start paying attention to which side the shells are sitting from now on!