This is the old way of cleaning our dining room floor, and the new way, together in one photo.
The old way is a leopard slug. At least I think it's a leopard slug, it seems to be about the right colour, but wikipedia says they are normally about 4 inches long. Ours isn't that big, so maybe it's not a leopard slug, although the markings look right. And certainly the behaviour description is right:
Limax maximus is a nocturnal animal which feeds at night. It is inactive in its habits, not very prolific, and exudes a thick and glutinous slime which is iridescent when dried.
Our slug comes in from the garden at night, under the gap in the dining room door, and cruises around under the table. We can tell where he's been because of the dried slime trail (so pretty and shiny!) and we certainly know why he's there - number two son is a particularly messy eater - and the floor is spotless in the morning. Except for the slime.
But despite our best efforts the slug refuses to do the rest of the lower level, so we got ourselves a robovac! Which is awesome. It trundles around vacuuming things and then goes back to its home when it's running out of charge. At least, that's the theory ... the boys and I play "where's the robovac" when we get home in the afternoons and sometimes it can take a good few minutes of searching. He's been stuck under the sofa, under the sideboard, trapped on the edge of the rug, and between the legs of a chair. One time he ran over the lead to his own charger and unplugged it, which struck us as particularly tragic. Unlike most appliance failures though, this just makes us like the robovac more. It's like having a very dumb pet that really wants to help. Endearing.
Speaking of endearing, these are gang-gang cockatoos on the branch outside the bird feeder. They talk to you with quite specific noises - when they want to be fed it's a cross between a cackle and a gurgle, and then when they see you with the food it's a happy almost-chirrup. And they bob up and down. Very gorgeous - the red one is the male.
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