Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No Snakes in the House!

Yesterday, Keith and I were getting ready to go to the T Bones Baseball game, and I stepped into the shower to get the grunge off. 
I heard Keith say in a steady voice: 
"Mary Ann, come here and look at this". 

I called out 

"Keith, I am in the shower", 

I heard him say again: 

"Mary Ann, you MUST come here and look"

So, I got out of the shower, grabbed a towel, and went out into the kitchen, dripping. 

I peeked out the door, to see a big snake slithering away across the porch. 

Keith said:

"I opened the door to go out, and he raised his head on the threshold, and started to come IN". 


He took several pictures on the porch: 

You can just see the snake along the bottom of the wall, sorry, there are a bunch of tools there right now. 

Here he goes away through the grass, under the car, in the direction of the old henhouse.  It looked like the smaller of the two males, NOT Mr. T, who is truly huge. 

It looked like this one: 

Yes, that's he wound up in the water bowl I keep on top of the closet of the old henhouse.  Chris was quick to see him up there last week, on Wednesday, when it was so hot, when we went in to do chores.  Thank heavens he saw him before I reached for the bowl. 

I have been sleeping with the window in the bedroom cracked and I told Keith that two nights ago, I heard strange noises in the bedroom.  Now I'm shuddering, (laugh).... and wondering. 

This looks like a pretty innocuous stand of weeds outside the goat yard.  I am trying to keep a path through there mowed, so we can get to the mulberries easily, the goats have discovered that they taste good. 

Look what I found behind the weeds! 

13 eggs!

They are going down to the bottom of the pasture for the wild things today.  
I know the snakes are bothering the hens, because they are all looking for a place to lay outside the old henhouse. 

In the meantime, the henspa yard is slowing drying out, now that the ducks have been moved. 
I also am finally ready to write about something that happened a week ago... on Sunday morning that week, I got a call from our neighbor Troy.  
He said there were some folks in his driveway who wanted to talk to us. 
Keith and I both went out. 
It was two families who were looking to buy some chickens, so we sold them six hens and two roosters, two of the little bantams.   They took two beautiful ones, but remember... we had 16 roosters. 
The two families were from Mexico, and only one man and two boys spoke English.  Keith got into conversation with the man while I went with the boys to get the birds.  He was told that the family had a small farm "at home" where they could no longer go... it was too dangerous.  The man said that his boys would be kidnapped and made to work for the drug cartels if they dared visit their home, and they missed it. He was looking for a small place here, and in fact, asked Keith if he would consider selling.  We couldn't imagine what it would be like to be cast out and afraid to come to our own home again. 

The upshot is, with the departure of the six hens, the death of Mabel two weeks ago, and Suzie, the week before, the henspa group has really settled down to a manageable number.  I am getting about 12-15 eggs from there daily, most days. 

We are able to donate 8 dozen per week, and last week also gave 18 to Kathy and 18 to Chris and Hayleigh to take home for themselves, so the reduced numbers have not hurt production. 

It's good to be King. 

I'm trimming in there today, in hopes of reducing some of the muck.  One of you kind commenters said yesterday to put some gravel down, but I think this is a combination of changing out the waterers frequently, and the strong cover of the saplings, so I am going in there today and trimming.  In my muck boots.  

It also rained yesterday, so just imagine the mosquitos.  

The ducks, however, are LOVING it and terrorizing the chickens. 


  1. Well, so busy you are.
    The story about the man and
    his kids was so sad. So hard to
    know that people have to leave
    their homeland to be safe!

    I think the gravel is great idea!
    it would help the muck.


  2. Give those darn snakes an inch & they just move right in;) Are you going to name their babies? Hope you know where Mr. T. is.

    So sad about the family. I hear the same thing from some of the migrant workers near the City House. Some haven't been able to bring their families yet & are very frantic to hurry & them out of Mexico

  3. If I woke up with a snake in the bedroom, game over for ME or the snake!

    King duck is the size of the pool!

  4. You are being overrun there with those snakes. Maybe the cutting back will help with that too. Mind those mosquitoes. Wear long sleeves and pants there. I always spray myself with repellant when they get bad. A friend of ours had that west nile virus that mosquitoes carry last summer. That is a distressing story about the family. Glad you could help them with the chickens.

  5. So sad that people have to leave their homeland to keep their families safe. I hope they find a little piece of land to make their own. I hear you on the mosquitoes. We are in northwest Missouri. Had lots of rain, and the mosquitoes are huge. Cutting the brush back to where the sun can get in to the pool area will help a lot, both, with drying out and the mosquitoes. Your male duck really does look like the king of the pool. Glad you were able to get a male.

  6. You've got to be kidding! Eeeekk! I'm really not sure what I'd do if I found a snake anywhere near my house...it's a true phobia! Glad he slithered the right direction. :)

  7. I get woozy just looking at the photos of the snake. I would just flat out faint I think. Those snakes are so huge. I will just put up with my little gopher snakes. I feel so sorry for that family. My goodness, I knew it was bad but had no idea it was that bad.
    What a bunch of eggs. I am glad you were able to get rid of some of your chickens. I will be singing the tune because I am sure I have lots of roosters.
    I think I let too many sit this year.
    Have a nice day,

  8. You really need a mongoose...or two! Maybe even one that is house-broken!

  9. You are very very brave about that snake, i would be looking over my shoulder each and everyday cos our mom is a big chicken. How nice of you to help that family, we do often at time forget how lucky and blessed we are to have what we have.
    stella rose

  10. Yeah, I draw the line at snakes in the house as well. A few years ago, I found a tiny gardener snake in my bathroom, I don't think I could handle getting up in the wee hours and tripping over one of your monsters:)

  11. Ugh! I probably would have fainted if I had seen that thing in the house. You're a much braver woman than I am!

  12. I like snakes too, but agree - no snakes in the house!
    How sad that children are in danger. All the drug stuff makes me sick. And mad.

  13. Although it's an egg eater at least it's not poison.

    Have a great evening.

  14. Oh the snake stories just keep coming. And I can't help but click on 'em ;-).

  15. I believe this is the first time I have ever commented on this blog, although I have been here more than once. I like snakes, but like most others prefer not to have them running loose through my house. Even the non-poisonous ones will bite and it does hurt like hell.

    I was really touched by the story of the family. You hear so much in the news about imigration, and how terrible the folks are coming across the border. In some cases what we hear is true. There are some very bad people coming into the US. But I think it is sad that the majority of the folks are just trying to stay alive and safe, and can no longer do so in their home land. Mean while the very people they are running from are giving all a really bad name. It is just a bad deal all the way around.

  16. I love snakes, but of course outside and away from my things.

    I didn't know that ducks can be little menacing until my sister bought hers. They look cute and cuddly to me.

    That's a lot of eggs. Nice.

  17. Oh and I wanted to say about the Mexican family that we have no idea what they go through. We are a blessed country indeed. I'm glad you sold them the chickens.

  18. Love that Keith made you come right NOW - and you did it : ) I also love that the family shared their troubles with you and then you with us. I think better things will come their way. I would have wanted to take them under wing. It does feel good to have the animal numbers come under control. I learned the hard way what enough was. I have to reteach myself every year.


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