"On grass, it can be the small things that decide a match." Caroline Wozniacki was of course, talking about tennis, but she could also be talking about snails, for all we know. As a wildlife biologist, it always amazes me how something so small could wreak such havoc-- take viruses for example. I've seen what these pesky little (since they don't really grow as big in the Philippines) animals can do-- conspicuous bald patches in the vast expanse of rice fields in northern Luzon, and a substantial reduction in potential yield for our farmer-collaborators in Laguna.
It was of course, never without mishaps. I lost footing, and my bottom met the wet mud... I was never well-coordinated to begin with. So much for the paddy boots!
The second picking (two days prior to transplanting) was not as productive as the first. Perhaps it was because the water was too murky, so we had to resort to feeling for the snails underwater with our hands. Perhaps we didn't flood the field enough for all the snails to come out of hiding. Perhaps the rest of them heard through the snail grapevine that picking's going on. Whatever the the reason might be, I'm sure it's not because there was much less of them in our plot.