Long, long ago when I was a child, it was common to see dead snakes draped over fences. My dad told me it was to serve as a warning to other snakes and I believed him.
Now that I am older and more cynical I think it probably had a lot more to do with the status of the big, brave snake slayer. A bit like notches on a gun stock or on a bed-head.
There is a place on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne called 'Foxy's Hang Out'. There used to be a big, old, dead tree at a fork in the road. Dead foxes, in various stages of decomposition, were often hung up for display on the tree and nearby fences.
Now we are, quite rightly, discouraged from killing snakes as they play an important role in the eco-system. Foxes, feral in Australia, are still hunted, baited, shot and generally not tolerated. However, I haven't seen any hanging about on trees for years.
As the killer of possibly hundreds of snails I decided to pay homage to this old Australian custom.
I don't believe the snails will take any notice and stay away from my veggies and I don't feel particularly proud of the massacre I have committed. Maybe it is really a homage to the tenacity of snails and the beauty of their shells with the light shining through.
I am thinking about what I could do, artistically speaking, with snail shells...I can feel my creative juices rising.