Last night I came home from moth watch at CAT (which was great – photos to follow), hit the sack at about 1.30 in the morning and for some reason couldn’t sleep. Then I remembered I hadn’t gone on slug patrol. It was a dry night and I hesitated before removing my duvet. I’ve got the kind of mind that wont keep quiet if there’s something on it, so knowing I wouldn’t get any sleep anyway I slipped back into my clothes and clambered up the slope to the garden. I swept the beam from the torch around the beds, first starting with the piles of comfrey, which were all alive with slugs, then across the border. Bingo – a toad. On patrol. Great work. Past the toad, over no mans land, through the broad beans, the salad, the tomatoes, the peas, the spinach and there back on the same French bean plant was a solitary out of place and presumably thoroughly self satisfied slug. Which I quickly removed and with a good flick of the wrist propelled to safe quarters. Job done. But the interesting question is why the slug had gone back to the same bean and not to any of the others. One explanation is that at night the bean leaves droop on to the bean pole and the slug can climb on top of the leaf easily. The second is that slugs like to eat plants whose defences have already been weakened. Two good lessons to learn.