The morning was dry, but the skies were not overcast, and I think the air temperature was a bit warmer than yesterday morning.
Because today, there were babies.
Most of them were very well hidden — almost undetectable unless your eye has been trained by twenty-odd days of patrolling for gastropods. But there they were near the base of the rosemary, on the tiny stems of the lemon thyme, on the slender leaves on the society garlic, looking almost like grains of sand or tiny blobs of animal poo: tiny snails and slugs that I suspect hatched in response to the downpours a few days ago.
There were also some more mature specimens. Rather than being on the periphery of the yard, most of them were sheltering well underneath the plants on which I found them. I suspect they may have been hiding in underground lairs before coming up to stem and leaf level.
I’m thinking I need to get a thermometer set up outside so I can track the temperature during each foray and see whether there’s any correlation with gastropod numbers. Also, I’m tempted to bring out a scale so I can weigh the Soapy Bucket of Merciful Deliverance before and after patrol; possibly the average weight per gastropod taken will give some useful insight to the effect I’m having on the local population’s reproductive prospects.
Today’s take: 43 slugs and 27 snails.