Friday, 12 September 2014

A Good Year for Snakes (Among Other Things)

Living in the country has its uneasy moments too.
 I told you about the startling wasps' nest on the eave of the far wall of the house. I still go out to gaze at in a kind of horrified awe; everything we've read says they will soon be abandoning it so we will remove it then.  And I've talked about the possibility of being bitten by a tick.  
 I am now back to doing battle with the little mice that want to over winter in my kitchen cupboards so must remember to set the old traps each night.  I think the mice are getting wilier because I have caught just one and there are signs of more to be vacuumed up each morning, if you get my drift.  I have been using peanut butter but may have to rethink that as it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.
Hubby just called my attention to something in the garage.  This is the way we go in and out of the house and one wall is where we store our wood for the winter.  As I've mentioned before, hubby has been cutting off and on so there is a good head start on our winter wood supply already.  He showed me a very long sloughed off snake skin stretching amongst the wood stack.  Also, he pointed out a little snake face looking at us from beneath a piece of lifted bark on one of the wood chunks.  Normally this is not that big a deal, but his concern is that snakes have made a more permanent home in the wood stack.  We have both noticed this is a good year for snakes and they often are seen sliding around the open garage door especially on sunny days.  His real concern is that as we use up the wood and their home gradually disappears, where would the snakes go, especially if the snowy ground is still frozen.  Okay, not sure about that. Will have to give it some thought.
On a second thought,  I wonder will the presence of more snakes in the garage keep away some of the mice...but then, they are just garden snakes so maybe not.  
This morning, Murphy and I set out on what has become what I think of as an idyllic walk up the long country road in front of our property.  We didn't get far today before we had to hightail it back home.  The fields on both sides of us have been manured since yesterday.  For those of you who have not experienced this, I don't know how to describe it.  I have no idea what kind of manure is used but the smell is very intense and unpleasant.  The process must add needed nutrients back into the soil somehow because it is a common practice around here at this time of year.
 Murphy didn't like it one bit, no not because of the smell but because she lost her walk. It's supposed to rain tonight so maybe that will dampen down the aroma.  Fingers crossed.