The rain around here finally let up, so I decided it was time to drag the Christmas Tree back indoors. It's a potted tree, now on it's third year of life with us. Last year we seem to have pushed it too close to a wall, so I discovered all the low limbs on that side are dead and being eaten by snails. It's covered in snails. Weird little ones. I sprayed the tree with orange oil to get rid of them, but they're still swarming (Do snails swarm?). Anyway, it's weird. Who ever heard of snails attacking a connifer? Maybe banana slugs might. So now the tree is all sticky with orange anti-bug stuff and snail slime of dead and wounded snails (and the little bastards that got away). And I noticed that there is a weird evil-looking mushroom growing on the wall side (henceforth refered to as the dark side) of the tree. I'm all for nature and the slithery slimy poisoness things that lurk in the forrests, each of them playing a major role on in the eco system. I'm even ok with them lurking on my nice patio provided they don't kill too many of my plants or my dog or anything. But dragging a million snails, bettles, bugs, things that creep in the night and fairy-tale looking evil mushrooms into the house and putting christams presents under there is a differnt story. What if we wake up Christmas morning and gather around the tree only to find the Coffees of the World set I've given to Christi is now swarming with slimy snails? Yuck. I'm hoping that the short hours of winter sunlight falling on the now-exposed dark side will chase the slimy creatures away. And another day of rain should wash off the sticky orange oil and perhaps the sticky snail slime. (Can't you picture this? Precious homemade ornaments in the family for years covered in snail slime because one year the latte liberal of the family decided what we really needed was a live tree complete with live snails!) Arg! This is a disaster! I should spray the tree with my moonshine-sih meade! I used to have a situation with unwanted compost bin inhabitants. Then I had a batch of beer get kind of funny, so I poured the bottles into the compost bin. The microrganisms in the bin were extremely pleased. The creepy crawly things were not. Anyway, all of this explains why the tree has been looking kind of sick all year.