Monday, July 28, 2008

Molluscan Mantle Monday

The remodeling of the living room as slowed to a snail's pace. This is actually a good thing as it means I've made progress. The pile of trim and paneling boards that was waiting to be applied to the walls has dwindled dramatically.

The mantle (did you know that molluscs have mantles too?) will be a slab of cypress from BK Cypress Log Homes. Today, I need to sketch out the dimensions so the mill can cut it to size.
This land snail owes his shell to his mantle. In the gastropod (stomach-foot) clan it's the part that secretes the shell.
Anybody know this guy/gal's (snails are mostly hermaphrodites, so ...) name? We seem to suddenly have a decent population of these largish land snails.

Our own mantle to be needs to go up before I apply the stone tile surround, so it's going to cause a pause in the work until it is mounted. I do have a scrap piece of cypress slab and today, I'm going to sand it (did you know that snails have a sandpapery tongue called a radula?) so I can see how it will look with the Ipswich Pine stain we've been using throughout the house.

We picked out some tumbled limestone to go around the mantle and hearth ... not native Florida limestone, but it mimics the texture and color. Most of our limestone goes in to the cement you're walking on or the field you're food was grown in. It's newish limestone and pretty chalky, not the best inside stuff.
(Did you know that the molluscan shell is calcium carbonate ... just like the limestone tiles I'll be using?)
I've never done vertical tiling before so I will be digging into my Home Depot Tiling 1-2-3 book again.
These are the best how to do it books everrrrrrr!
I could not fit these two pictures in on my Sandspit post a few days ago, but I did want to share them with you.

Above, you can see the mysterious track in the night time mud of the Sandspit.
Below, is the creature making the track.

No, not Bear ... the thing in Junior's hand. That is a moon snail out hunting. Moon snails completely cover their shell when they are out, so all you can see is the muscular foot (did you know ... okay, I'll stop ... I promise) that he uses to creep along.

One last thing from that night walk ...

It's not a mollusc, but this seastar at night on the sandspit is a bit of slow motion grace that you might want to view since you couldn't come along.

(Did you know many types of seastars extrude their stomach to feed?)
Oops ... that just slipped out.


Aunty Belle said...

Nice tie in--mantle and mantle. So fine to read how ya take the time to akshully look a thangs--has ya read Annie Dillard's PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK?

I read backwards in heah too--yore great time in BR--but...but...ya din't ride the train??? Get a little button? Drat.

Know ya had grand time, but home is sweet, ain't it?

(Oh, an iffin' a have time, read backwards on the Front Porch about the Backroads Afternoon--cain't have been too fer from yore territory.)

Anonymous said...

a welth of knolage and insite to your world.I do so enjoy Thanks FC S T E B

Anonymous said...

Warming up for the new school year, are ya? I bet the kids really love being in your class. You really have a way making learning new things interesting. To bad there aren't more teachers like you out there. Can't wait to see the finished fire place. Sounds like ya got a good plan goin. "Mrs, FC's idea?"
Bro J

Sandcastle Momma said...

Very few people could actually say "seastars extrude their stomachs to eat" and make that sound interesting LOL I would love to sit in on some of your classes. How lucky those kids are to have someone who can make things so interesting! We've been finding some land snail shells washed up on the beach lately. I've never seen that before and have no idea where they're coming from. Odd but interesting.

Just the Right Size said...

FC, we bought that book yesterday. Thanks for the heads-up!

I am soooooo sore today! Tiling is hard work, but it is comeing along slow but sure.

SophieMae said...

Terrific teaching technique! Not sure what kinda snail you found. Take a look at
I just did a quick scan, but the first pic looks a lot like it... yes-no-maybe?

Deb said...

You just can't get away from the classroom, can you? :)

I enjoy all things molluscan, even though I don't encounter them too often. And, we're not too far apart in home building/improvements either. The grout is waiting for me.

MyamuhNative said...

Chinese garden snail?
I think that's what we are supposed to call our garden pests here in SoFla.

Miz S said...

I love that perfect spiral on the snail's shell.

And I am truly impressed with how handy you are. Have you picked up your carpentry/tiling skills along the way or did you learn at the knee of someone like your dad?

Floridacracker said...

No, but I need to do so.
That was about an hour away from PFHQ. Beautiful place tho!

Thanks Steb!

Bro J,
Isn't everything?

SC Momma,
That is weird. Around here, I'm used to very small land snails, but not these substantial ones.

Just Right,
Glad to be of service. I bought the cheapo $88 tile saw too and it has been wonderful.
It is hard work, but satisfying like painting. You can see your progress.
I knew you could do it.

Thanks! I'll check that link after this commenting session!

It's in me I guess.
Good luck with your tiling too!

Sounds good to me.
Easy come, escargot!

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
My Dad is really handy, but like most teens, I didn't pay close attention at the time, so now I learn from good how to books.
The first step is overcoming the belief that only a hired professional can do plumbing, tiling, carpentry,tree trimming, nuclear fusion, etc.
Right book + right tools + sense of adventure = success.

Just the Right Size said...

FC, we bought that SAME saw! I'm actually impressed by how it's done.

What a co-inky-dink!

We're not out of the dark yet. Still have to actually CEMENT the tiles in place, but put the baseboards up first. All the tiles are cut and we did a dry run of the layout. It looked great so far.

Floridacracker said...

Just Right,
My big mistake the first time was mixing too much thinset and then having it begin to set up in the bucket before I could get the tiles in.
Moderation in all things.

That is a funny coinkydink.

Laura said...

Want to come down here and tile our bathroom? I can find a bunch of snails for you .... ;)

And only you could tie in a snail post with a tile post and make it sound interesting!

The cypress mantel sounds like the perfect fit for your house, from what I've seen of it! Bet it looks great when it's all done. Hang in there, and good luck! You're right about the home depot book. The more info, the better!

Loved the cabin/vacation post below! Bet the girls had a great time, too! :)

Anonymous said...

I do so enjoy looking at your blogg and they say you learn something new every day and with you we do so thank you for posting they are always so intersting to read about. thanks Jabo