I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, August 23, 2012


It's still dry and hot here.The wild animals are all desperate for food and water. We have a big river nearby, but for some reason, we had become the oasis in the foothills for a small group of "regulars". I think that the word is out. We do fill a stock bucket with water and we do have a pile of garden clippings etc that must look pretty good to these critters right now.
So, the animals arrived everyday looking for water and whatever Farmlady has thrown on the pile beside the road... from tasty rose clippings to grape and tomato vines. I try to throw something out there every day.
The deer come morning and evening. One young buck, that has been coming here for quite a while, had a good rack started. He's the one in the back.
 They are lovely animals.
The turkey were gone for a while and now they are back. Here are "mom" and her babies... no... they are more like teenagers. I can tell because of the harried look on mom's face.
And yesterday we had two surprise visits. One was a Pigeon.
The pigeon, somehow, got stuck inside the garage and the Prospector had to do a catch and release maneuver with it. He said it had a band on its leg but didn't remember the numbers... only the letters CAL.
I look up pigeons on the computer and there are whole organizations that do nothing but deal with pigeons. They keep them, give information about them, look for lost Pigeons and even race them. It's a big deal. They even have pigeon rescues. We'll see if the pigeon sticks around or moves on in the next few days. Right now it seems happy to be here.
When Annie, our cat, walked back to see what I was doing... the Pigeon flew to the roof of the house from the potting shed.
It's a very pretty bird. We thought it might be lost or hurt, but it flies well and doesn't seem to be in distress. It does keep its distance from the cat though. Birds instinctively  know about cats. Anniecat catches doves in mid air. She's a force to be reckoned with.
I walked back behind the house and Annie stayed near the potting shed watching the pigeon. As I went through the gate something caught my eye, under the electric box, against the house.
It was our first Rattlesnake of the year. It appeared to be sleeping. I had walked by two times and never noticed it, but there it was not four feet from the gate. I went to the backdoor and called the Prospector to leave the dogs in and bring the handgun with him. He came out and killed the snake.
A young one... but no less dangerous. I don't like killing them but when they come into our yard they make a fatal mistake. I think that we are accumulating some bad karma with each one that we kill, but it has to be. They are dangerous reptiles and we can't have them near the house.
Their markings are beautiful.
These venomous pitvipers are amazing creatures that eat boat loads of mice, gophers and other rodents... and probably a frog or two. They are part of the delicate balance of nature.
 This one only had three small rattles but it was almost two feet long. We killed one a few years ago with 13 rattles on it. That was a BIG snake.
So we are on high alert from now until the first really cold stretch of weather, when they move their slithery little bodies back into the earth for the winter. Where there is one, there will be others. And you wonder why I don't like summer?
I have created a computer generated photo of this beautiful predator to honor its death.


  1. i am glad you honor him..but i would def kill him as well....shivers...the turkeys are cool...we will get a ton of them here as well...and the deer...well they live in my yard...eat my pears and grapes...figure i am doing my part to help...smiles.

  2. Did you have him for dinner? They are a bit of a pain, but they taste good. We don't have rattlers here, thank heavens! We might not be high enough here in the valley, I'm not sure. Or maybe they are not fond of ag land? We have our share of racers and gopher snakes, though. I like knowing they are here, helping to take care of the rodent population.

  3. Here's hoping you have calmed the Rattler deity with your tribute. .....Odd how something with "beauty" can be so bad...

  4. Love all your photos of the wild life that visits your home except the rattlesnake. The deer are so cute as is the pigeon and the turkey and her children. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

  5. You have some beautiful visitors. The rattler proves that beauty is not always a good thing. Keep a sharp eye out for its mates!

  6. So far this year I have only seen one King Snake out on the lawn next to my truck in the driveway. If you want to see a hilarious picture of a snake go to Sand Flat Farm blog and check out their Aug. 15th post. Snake got into their henhouse and swallowed 6 golf balls that were used in the hens nests. Made it a bit sluggish.

  7. oh dear, sorry you had tokill him...but you had to
    honoring him was wonderful
    could you post the pigeon site?
    sounds interesting for this old lady to read....
    get mind off of wheat

  8. Knowing what little I do about my beloved pigeons, I think you've got a new friend. Probably got off course during a race (smoke?).


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