Banana Slug Factoids

The banana slug is an amazing creature found in northern California.


Preferring damp areas with heavy vegetation, the banana slug can be found snacking on ferns, vines and other plants along the coast.


The juvenile banana slug is a light greenish yellow, the adult a yellow with brown spots, and the elderly a hard to find dark brown.


The slug does not just resemble it’s namesake fruit visually, but also has a pleasing fruity taste when licked, and a sweet odor. Historically, the slime was used by natives of this area as a topical analgesic due to it’s numbing qualities.   It is cool, damp, and slimy to the touch.


Growing to over ten inches, the huge slugs are easy to spot once you identify their habitat and coloring.


Using their gelatinous muscled bodies, banana slugs can almost defy gravity as they move from leaf to leaf.  Occasionally the laws of physics get the better of  them, and a distinctive plop and shriek can be heard when they fall off leaves onto a human head.


Ah nature.  Glorious.  Unusual.  Slimy.  Thankfully travel allows me to experience such wonders, so different than the common brown slugs found in my garden at home.

Note:  no sources are provided for this article, because everything above is either hearsay or made up.   All picture credits my own and were taken at Patrick’s Point California State Park, just North of Eureka.    

Nature Wonders

Yesterday was a heavy blog, so let’s have a little simple wonder today.  I have lived around cottonwood trees my whole life.  We have lived in our house, that has a hundred year old cottonwood tree in the backyard, for 15 years.  I have probably picked up thousands of fallen twigs before my dad, my husband, my brother, or I mowed the lawn, because cottonwoods drop sticks constantly.  It wasn’t until last year when I learned there are magic in those sticks.

A friend of ours showed up to pick up his daughter and we were playing in the backyard.  He looked at our tree and asked, “Is that a cottonwood tree?” Before we could answer he picked up a stick broke it in half and said, “Oh, it is.  Look at the star.”

Folks, there is magic in cottonwood sticks.  Look for the ridges on the surface and break the stick between them.  If it breaks cleanly you will always find a tiny perfect star.

Isn’t nature awesome?