I was down in the rice paddy (again!) degunking. I'm sure that's not the technical term for it but you have to remove all the flotsam and jetsam from the top of the water. I don't know where it comes from, I guess some was buried and we churned it up with the tractor and others floated in from the inlet pipe. Anyway, you scoop it off. It's not a hard job but time consuming with such a large paddy.
I went down to de-gunk with my net and bucket and hat and ipod (Aerosmith and Shakira for paddy work) and took off my shoes and socks and was just getting set up when I realised that the paddy was at low tide making scooping difficult. Not sure if there wasn't a very good reason the water was turned off I rang our co-farmers before I let the water in.
I was wandering around the grass barrier between our paddy and the soba field to the North as I talked.
"So, you think it's best to leave the water at low ti- Aghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!"
Poor co-farmer copped quite the ear splitting scream.
A Japanese four lined rat snake (not the same one I saw as obviously I was jumping and running and screaming and turning all at the same time so in no state to take a picture. I don't actually mind snakes. So long as they stay in their place and that's not near mine. It was just the shock, the size 'about 120cm) and the fact that it escaped me by slither-swimming through the paddy.
I keep thinking of all those wee ducklings that will be here soon. How are we going to keep them safe??? It seems impossible when we have to protect them from foxes, cats, ferrets, snakes and who knows if wild boar eat ducks but we've got those, too....