Friday, 3 February 2012

Vinegar Walkers

Ever since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by Vinegar Walkers.  We used to find them on our playground at school(our playground was sand) and on the beach.  When we had a few of them saved up, we would take them to our teachers and they would pull out a flat plate, a few tablespoons of white vinegar and a hush would descend upon the gathered children as the little guys did their things.  Occasionally there would be oohs, and aahs as a few Vinegar Walkers made spectacular jerky movements across the plate.  It was a magical and thrilling moment every time it happened, and it is one that I have shared with my children many times over.  

So, what ARE Vinegar Walkers?  I had no idea exactly what they were until a few days ago.  Imagine, 30+ years of not knowing something, not knowing where to turn, and most of all, being ok with my ignorance.  Turns out that Vinegar Walkers actually have a very cool Latin name: Operculums. 

Operculum means little lids.  Apparently these semi-rounded coin shaped things with a beautiful spiral pattern on the flat side is a type of door that small mollusks or snails close when they are exposed to air.  Pretty cool, huh? Thanks Deborah for the links and info.  Without you, it might have been another 30+ years before I got that info.

For cheap thrills, go out to your local beach, find a few Operculums, head back home, grab some vinegar, and sit back and enjoy the simple joys of life. It is an experience that you and your kids will remember for a long time to come. Simple, pure fun.

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