Saturday, May 31, 2014

A TWO-RATTLER DAY



Ken called Tuesday (May 27). An emergency had necessitated the removal of some raspberry canes, he said, and I went to get them. It was great timing. At the farm on Wednesday, I continued to weed the raspberry patch and then I set what looked to be the best of the canes. I didn’t have a lot of room since the patch is coming back better than I anticipated.

It’s been cool here at the farm. Mike lit a fire Wednesday afternoon (May 28) and I baked cookies – just for heat from the oven, of course. Thursday, the day was a little warmer. My laundry dried on the line, but we were cold overnight. So, I fixed the bed with covers and we were too warm last night. That’s spring in the Inland Northwest.

We note that Bess and Nellie seem now to enjoy companionship here at the farm. Often I see them standing shoulder to shoulder at a safe distance watching Mike work. When Mike cut down the beautiful little pine tree that died at the pond, Bess played close by while Nellie kept her distance. But, if Bess is outside, Nellie wants to be out, too, and they play together for hours at the pond.

Here’s a picture of them digging in a dirt mound near the grove where a rodent has taken up residence. I wish the mound weren’t there, so I don’t mind if they take it down.

Yesterday afternoon (Friday, May 30), Mike left for a bike ride to Nezperce, and that means that the dogs and I take a walk. Actually, after playing all morning, the dogs were tired and not too interested in walking, but when I appeared in my visor, Nellie got to her feet and Bess came from the doghouse where she had been napping.

My inner voice spoke: “It’s almost the first of June and time to be watching for snakes.” I can’t be paranoid about the snakes or I’d never leave the house, but it’s good to be watchful.

We walked all the way to the mailbox without seeing anything other than beautiful green fields, spirea in bloom, and snow-capped mountains in the distance.

We were halfway on the return when once again I thought of the warning to be watchful.

In the lane, little Bess went on point. “Aw, Bess, there’s nothing there,” said Nellie, as she turned her back and went to investigate the trees above the road.

Persistent Bess was not to be deterred, but she did eventually give up on whatever had piqued her scent buds.

Lost in thought, I climbed that last pitch into the yard. The dogs had already disappeared into the yard. Suddenly, I was startled by the buzz of a coiled rattlesnake just steps ahead of me -- not close enough to strike, though – and not as close as the picture makes it appear.

The dogs apparently took no notice of the snakes. I think Bess was traveling in the field, and Nellie must have skirted around it. Nevertheless, I was hurrying to find them when I came to a second snake on the other side of the road – this one moving along but ready to coil. I took my cue and left.
 
I was relieved to see both dogs at the house drinking water as if nothing were amiss. Mike was home within minutes but naturally when we went back to the lane, the rattlesnakes were nowhere to be seen. My dad would have searched for them, hoe in hand. KW


4 comments:

Chris said...

Yikes!!! Again, you are so brave!

Hallie said...

Those are some SERIOUS rattles on that second one! I really worry about this sometimes...we should research rattlesnake antidote and keep it on hand at the farm.

The doggies are so cute digging side by side!

Kathy said...

Actually Mike did call the vet the other day to discuss vaccination for the dogs. I'll ask him to comment as to what he learned.

They have been sticking together -- and really cute. I took some of the dirt they loosened and put it in the raised bed.

Mike said...

The vet office said that there really is no antidote. The shots just delay the reaction until you can get them to the vet. I asked him what the vet did then. The helper said he wasn't sure but he thought they cleaned the wound, gave antibiotics and vitamins.