This Roman or Burgundy snail still has the doors firmly closed for business. We may be all excited about spring, but this snail is waiting for a good few weeks before pulling up the shutters.
I first found Roman snails as a teenager in the Cotswolds, in rough grass under the limestone wall around an ancient Roman villa , they seemed to be in the perfect place. They were apparently introduced to England by the Romans and are found all across Europe in association with limestone. They are the escargot of French cuisine and I admit to finding them delicious cooked in garlic and butter.
It was a great delight and surprise to find these large pale snails in my own French garden . I read more about them, learnt how they can live for 30 years, what a tiny area of land they may travel slowly in a lifetime and how little they reproduce in that life time and suddenly the desire to eat them was gone.
This solid specimen, has a calcium door closed shut until he/she is absolutely sure that the warm weather has come. I will pop it back where I found it and leave it to enjoy its leisurely life in peace in its own good time, safe from butter and garlic!