A Sluggish Approach To Winter

December Slug 2017 DSC_1475

SLOW NEWS: An overnight low of 22 degrees and a 42-degree dawn in Washington, D.C., on December 12, did not deter a slug from its rounds in the alley behind my house, proving the creature can take the cold. Apparently, slugs can survive winter in all stages of their life cycle, including eggs laid in fall, according to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. Might a mid-December slug sighting predict the type of winter to come? Punxsutawney Slug? The day’s temperatures for D.C. stopped well short of historical extremes, with the National Weather Service citing a record high in 1873 of 71 degrees and a most recent record low of 13 degrees in 1988. Normal maximum and minimum temperatures for December in Washington, based on 1981-2010 information, range from 46.8 degrees to 32.5 degrees, according to the weather agency. Maybe adult slug activity heading into winter this year includes mating that will produce a bumper crop of young in the spring to feed on tender gardens. Photo Credit: John A. Bray