"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Friday, July 11, 2008

7:00 a.m. in the morning

I was eating breakfast this morning and I heard the dogs barking. When Maggie barks it's usually the buzzards. She hates them and when they fly low over the house she has a fit. Moke, on the other hand hardly ever barks, unless it's something really bad. Well they were both behind the house and they started barking. I call it the "fear bark". It's different than any other. It's sporatic and in between barks they whine or growl.
I went over to the sliding door and listened to them. That's when I heard the rattle. I don't move very fast, anymore, but I think I broke my own land speed record . I ran out out the door and saw the dogs moving back and forth, barking ferociously. I couldn't see the snake but I sure could hear it. I screamed at Moke a few times and thanks to the training he got before we found him, he came to me. I grabbed his collar and took him into the house.
Then I flew back outside to get Maggie. All this time, in between calling the dogs, I'm screaming "SNAKE" to the Prospector( who was in the chicken house). " Snake..., get the gun." I got close enough to Maggie and she backed away at the same time. I was able to grab her collar and pull her away. As I came around to the front of the house, the Prospector comes out with my hand gun and says, of all things, "Stop yelling." I save the dogs and he says "Stop yelling"? Men.....
He killed the Rattler. It was over 4 feet long and had 12 rattles on it's tail. That's one big snake. The good news is that neither of the dogs got bit. Thank God! No horrendous vet bill this time and the dogs are ok.
I wish they wouldn't come into the yard but they do; looking for water and rodents. "I'm sorry you beautiful creature. I respect your being and your death will not be forgotten."

(All these photos were taken after the snakes demise. )
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Hummingbird in the Heat


This was the temperature on our front porch yesterday. I went out to water some plants that were looking desperate and while I was watering the containers this little hummingbird flew over and perched himself on the edge of the blue planter. We feed these little guys with a hanging feeder on the other end of the porch, so I'm use to having them fly around us when we're out there. I'm sure it was the water, trickling out of the hose, that caught his attention. But then he landed right nearby , which kind of surprised me.
I think it's an Anna's hummer. They are prevalent around here, but he seemed so small and lackluster. Maybe the smoke was cramping his style too. Maybe he was a young one.
Then he did the most amazing thing. He started drinking the water from the hose nozzle. He must have been dying for something cool to drink. He didn't even seem to mind when it splashed on him. He was having a good time..., enjoying the water that had finally come his way. The feeder that we fill every morning was almost empty and the water was very warm, even though it was under the porch eaves. Well, this little bird just decided to take matters into his own hands.
I love it when these things happen. He (or maybe it was a "she"; I'm not sure) took full advantage of the situation even though a human was standing over him. He must have been nervous about being so close to me but he went ahead and took the drink anyway. What bravery!..., and I got the photo shoot of the summer.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Goat house rises and the fires spread


This morning


Tonight

About the Fires
It was 108 degrees on the front porch today. There is very little wind and lots of smoke. We have no fires that are close to us right now. Thanks to people being careful, I hope. Most of the big fires are south, along the coast and in Northern California. A friend of mine spent the 4th of July weekend in Santa Barbara and she said she could see the fires from the plane as they flew down the Coast range. She said it was frightening.
We called a friend of ours this afternoon. He lives in Magalia near Paradise, which is east of Chico. They are ready to be evacuated at any time. The fire is in the canyon on the north fork of the Feather river and moving in their direction. I hope that they will be all right.

It's all so sad. So many folks have lost their homes. The fires seem uncontrollable. Please think about us here in California. We love this state and it's on fire. We live in fear of a lightening strike, a campfire left to smolder or a lit cigarette thrown from a car.

We are so appreciative of all the fire resources ,from other states, who have come to help us. They are all out there fighting these fires as if it were their own places, but even with all the help..., a prayer or two won't hurt . This is going to be a long summer.
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Squeeky; at it again

Uh oh! Someone has broken through our blockade. I guess I know who that would be. All the tell tale signs are here.

Look at her with some other hen's egg sticking out from under her.

"Squeeky, what I'm I going to do with you. These eggs are not your's. When are you going to get this fact into your little chichen head."

Poor thing! Do you suppose that she is symbolic of all the people in the world who repeat the same behavior ,over and over again, with the same results and wonder why nothing ever changes? With Squeeky, the answer lies in ancient genetic behavior. What's my excuse?
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Dance Party?


We were thinking that we should put some music on and do some dancing here before the goats sleep in it. A few strings of lights, after the sun goes down, and a glass of Merlot. Yea!
But, the reality is that we're both so tired at the end of the day that we haven't yet gone back out there and "cut the rug" That expression is for the over 60 folks. (That's different than "cut the cheese" young'uns: you need to know these things.) Anyway, I think it would be fun to turn on the radio and dance out there after dark. Nobody is going to complain about the noise; not with a buffer zone of 42 acres. The animals might get a bit confused but, knowing the goats, they'll probably join us.
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