The temperature was a hot 87 degrees Fahrenheit with a ‘feels like 109 degree Fahrenheit’! I don’t know why they just don’t say it’s a hot 109’F but, then again, we live in a world where there are not enough buns to hot-dogs ratio. So I guess with that, it should make all the sense in this world, right?
Not in my world! If it is a ‘feels like 109’F then it IS 109’F, end of story! And in my world what do you do on a very hot day? Why, you go to the beach, Water Park, or go swimming in the back-yard pool of course!
Here on the Heart of the BottomsUp 2/3 Acre, we were blessed this spring to up-grade our blow up ring, Intex pool to a solid steel frame pool. With temperatures like that being the lowest prediction for the week, I’m very glad we did up-grade!
Beau, Bubba and myself spent 2 hours in the pool yesterday. The guys with their Super-Soaker sprayers of course, and me well, I was just floating around trying not to get swamped by them. I was completely content and relaxing in the back of my mind while hearing the sounds of chickens and ducks near by, the guys were laughing and splashing and the birds in the tree next to us squawking an awful racket!
What? (turning my head to the side to hear better)
I slowly rolled over onto my side, shading my eyes from the glare of the sun and squinted up into the tree. ‘What kind of birds are those that are making that awful squawking sound? They sure are loud!’ I wonder out loud. “Hey, Bubba do you know what kind of birds those are?” (I asked Bubba because he loves to studied birds.)
Well with the sun being so bright, and the birds flitting about so much in amongst the branches and leaves, we could not get a good look at them. But, we did notice that there were at least a dozen birds, which struck me kind of odd… but not really odd. After all, we do get a lot of birds out here, and especially after a good rain. With that being said, things did not really seem out of the ordinary, so I rolled back over to retreat to the peaceful contentment of the back of mind. The guys went back to their Water-Wars of blasting each other with their Super-Soakers.
It wasn’t but a mere measly two minutes of riding the waves of Water-Wars that my serenity was shattered by the urgency in Bubba’s voice when he shouted, “Ma, look! There’s a snake up in the tree by my Bird Inn!”
WHOA! That snapped me into reality! That one word! That one word that springs me into action, no time flat! SNAKE!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of snakes. I just don’t like them at all! I have never met a good one yet! (not that I go looking either)
When I heard what Bubba said, I quite literally flipped off my air mattress onto my feet in the pool, and looked up. Sure enough, there was a 3 foot snake slithering along a branch heading straight for the Bird Inn which we all knew had a nest of baby birds in it!
I was one pissed off Mammy at the sight of this! Water-War games had instantly changed to Mammy on the warpath!
(Just so you don’t worry, I do have ‘snake rules’. If the snake is not bothering anything, then I will relocate it, but if it looks like it is a threat to anything, or anybody then forget it. And this most definitely was about to be a very dangerous threat to a nest of babies. But not on my watch!)
As I was climbing out of the pool, I hollered, “Beau, go get me the long-handled shovel.”
I reached the tree keeping my eyes on the snake, just as Beau reach the garden shed, opened the door and…”WHOOOOA!” He hollered, running back out with at least 3 hornets chasing after him!
Are you kidding me!! He’s allergic to bees and hornets! Those hornets were supposed to be gone yesterday! Pappy had sprayed that area and knocked down the nest!
I hollered at Bubba to get out of the pool and keep watch on this snake while I help Beau!
When Beau had jumped back out of the garden shed, the door had swung closed again, so I had to reopen the door…cautiously. After waiting longer than I liked (because of the vision in my mind’s eye of the snake nearing the baby birds), I then, crouched low while opening the door wide and braced it with a chunk of broken cedar block. The hornets flew off and Beau reached in quickly grabbing the long-handled shovel for me. We both ran to the tree where Bubba stood hollering about how close the snake was to our precious songbirds.
All the birds that were in the tree squawking flew away seeing us arrive. I could imagine their thoughts of, “Well it’s about time woman!”
I wasted no time.
WHACK! I struck it right in the middle with the edge of the shovel. It fell and landed in the V of the tree about 5’ off the ground. “Go get the pitch fork for me,” I hollered.
With that brought back, I picked out of the tree a very pissed off, trying to dart at me, snake. Trying… but unsuccessful, because I knew where to strike to greatly limit its movements .
Now, knowing the ground was still too soft from all the rains we’ve had, I sent Beau to quickly get me a chunk of wood from the near by winter woodpile. And, I sent Bubba to get me the axe. You see, I don’t like snakes, not one bit, but…I do not like anything to suffer even more. This is one of the jobs that is to be done quickly. And we did just that.
Earlier this spring, some of you readers might remember the GIANT discovery Beau had when he opened up the garden shed to get the push-mower and found a huge snake wrapped around the full length push-mower handle. I said then, “ Where there’s one, there will be more.”
The second snake I found in May was a fair size. It was in my chicken coop curled up near a broody hen on her nest. That one got away. The third one, just last week, I spotted slithering quickly away from the black-berry bush where there is another bird nest with four eggs in it. That snake got under the barn before I could get back in time with the tool to do the job. This third one was the second biggest. Since then, today’s snake is number 4. It is the second one we got rid of and it was the smallest.
So I guess the person on my fb page who said, “This is the year of the snake” was right! No doubt about it.
But where did all these snakes come from? These are not our ‘normal’ Garter snakes which I normally just have to relocate. I have not even seen any of those ones. And these particular snakes this summer have always been in a threatening state. Well, our guess, and it is a very good guess, is that all these snakes came from the abandon house across the street, whose owners burned down this spring. Oh, Joy! (tongue in cheek of course) Now the snakes come here.
So, with the war of ‘Mammy on the warpath’ ending in victory for the birds, we all retreated ourselves back to the pool to resume our positions. The guys picked up where they left off, playing Water-Wars of blasting each other with Super-Soakers and me floating back into the serenity of my thoughts all the while keeping the inner ear open and my eyes checking in now and then on the tree.
Within, 5 minutes the tree had at least half a dozen Finches chattering and singing. And there was one Finch that kept flying really low, back and forth directly over us. I guess it was saying thank you.