Sunday, July 19, 2015


[The pictures here were taken last week when it was cooler and we enjoyed some interesting skies. They are not especially illustrative of this post.]

I haven’t been telling you about the rattlesnakes for fear that someone would ask, “Why don’t you move from that awful place?” Or, “why don’t you exterminate those rattlers?”

We saw the first rattlesnake of the season on Sunday, May 10 (Mothers’ Day) – several weeks earlier than usual, and it has proven to be a summer of “snakes aplenty.” Mike encourages Bess to bark when she sees them, and then he makes much of keeping her back and away. We hope she understands. Nellie doesn’t hear them and seems oblivious to the danger.

The snake raced into the shed.
Thursday’s sighting (July 16), was #18 for this season and happened near the maple tree where Mike had been lubing the chain of his dirt bike. From the house I heard Bess’ sharp bark and looking out, I saw Mike marching to the woodshed for his snake-getting tools with businesslike Bess marching along beside him. I joined the party. Nellie watched from under the tree.

The snake was noticed midway between the tree and Mike’s storage shed, and as luck would have it, it raced into the little shed where it took shelter in the front left corner under shelving. It was a trial getting it out. We couldn’t leave it there, of course. We had to know the situation was resolved. But killing and/or capturing it was problematic.

It buzzed continuously. Finally, after repeated attempts, Mike was able to grab it with his snake tongs. Bess and I took a couple of steps back while Mike finagled it into his pail and put the lid on. He then drove it off for dumping.
Now #17 was a different story altogether. We ran over it in the lane as we drove in on Monday, July 13.

Well, I’ve done some research on the matter of rattlesnakes. If you have them, you just have to be careful. There’s no eliminating them. Personally, I think that the lack of a good, hard winter doesn’t help the pest situation. People think it’s wonderful when we escape without snow and cold temps, but we do pay a price for that in pest population, lack of water, etc. – not that there’s anything we can do about it.
The girls got their anti-venom booster shots Friday afternoon – for what it’s worth.

Speaking of pests, when we left the farmhouse on Friday, I insisted we re-set the mousetraps. We’ve been a little lax with that lately, and it pays to be vigilant. I watched as Mike placed a trap at the pocket door, and we remember discussing that that was a good place to set one. Well, that trap is missing. KW


Chris said...

Well, that's indeed life in the country. And it could be worse, I guess. I have a blog friend who now lives in the country in Texas and she has rattlers, scorpions, brown recluse spiders, and the list goes on. I guess up here in the Pacific NW, we can count our blessings. (Also no tornadoes here.) Here's one of Judy's posts on the hazards of her life:

She has to search their bed each night for scorpions before they go to bed! Yikes!

And I think you're correct about the mild winters and rodents. We have TONS of rabbits and mice this year. Buddy is in heaven.

Kathy said...

I never slept outside, but back in the day, my older siblings did, and Mother insisted that cots be used because of the snakes. She said she was afraid the rattlesnakes would crawl into the sleeping bags. Possibly, I suppose. I've seen them dive down the rodent holes.

Thanks for the link -- I'll check it out.