"But," asked Peggy Ann, "how can you tell the age of a tree
"By the number of 'sleeping periods." If you look closely at your
shell you will notice that there is a little line or ridge going up and down
on each whorl. For each sleeping period one of these ridges is formed."
"What else do the snails do?"
"During the late summer and fall the tree snails come down from
the trees and lay their eggs under the fallen leaves or in the soft earth at
the foot of the trees. These eggs are about a quarter of an inch in size,
and have soft grayish shell. It takes eight months for the tiny snails to
hatch from the eggs, and this always happens in the spring. Immediately,
the baby snails go up the trunks of the trees, feeding on fungi, or tiny
plant life found on the trunks. They also feed upon the leaves of the
trees which they inhabit."
"Well, I should think the snails would get tired of living on the
same trees all the time. Don't they ever visit snails on other trees?"
"No, Peggy Ann. Snails leave their homes only to lay eggs or
two start new colonies or families; but if they have to cross over mud or
water, or the trees are too far apart, their little journies [sic] often have a
sad ending. At times, however, they do reach new trees and are able to
start their new colonies.