Monday, July 11, 2011

Come outta there!

Yesterday Emma and Jack found a turtle in the yard. Jack got bored real quick since he couldn't see any sign of feathers. But Emma thought it was very interesting and since it would peek out from time to time she knew somebody was living inside. I was afraid she'd flip it onto its back or start chewing its carapace so I took it away and put it somewhere safe. She forgave me. After a while.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Emma gets bitten

Late in the afternoon yesterday as I was putting equipment back in the shop I noticed a large bull snake lying on the apron in front of one of the overhead doors. I tried to shoo him OUT but of course he decided to go IN. Rather than search for him I decided to leave him for the night and deal with him the next day. Besides, a night in the shop was sure to result in a reduction in the mouse demographic.

I didn't see him again until I was putting the Rhino away tonight, with dogs aboard. The next thing I knew Jack and Emma were deeply interested in something under one of the downspouts. Emma reached in and pulled out the snake. She shook it and tossed it into the grass in front of the shop and they both went for it. It was medium sized, about four feet, and plenty mad.

I was yelling at both dogs and Jack was mostly paying attention. (All that "Get back!" training had an effect.) Not Em of course, who hates snakes above all things. Jack would do a feint and the snake would strike, missing him, but he would jump back and be reluctant to move in again. Smart boy! Emma dived in and got it by the tail and flung it again, but this time when it hit the ground she was in range and it nailed her on the butt. She jumped and moved away and THEN started to listen to my "EMMA, NO!" I managed to get them away from it and inside. There appeared to be some minor laceration back toward the tail but nothing that looked really serious. I'm hoping he wasn't badly injured.

Emma might have learned something. I dunno. The combination of seeing Jack back off and then getting bitten may have given her something to think about. Not that Em thinks too much when she sees snakes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrating the Fourth

Went down to the country seat yesterday to help out with a community project and stayed for a while to watch the annual parade. The gentleman on the right of the color guard is no spring chicken, but the fellow on the left is 90 years old. He and that Garand he's toting (or one just like it) did some good work on our behalf a long, long time ago.

As good as it gets

About once a month the county runs the "maintainer" back and forth on my little road. For a day or two it looks pretty spiffy. This shot is on the widest section not too long after it ran through. In two days it will be back to buffalo-wallow condition. Between the turn-off into my place and the next autogate (1 mile) towards the two-track there are 12 "lakes" that form when it rains. Don't like the looks of that puddle? No problem. There's plenty of prairie to drive around it, plus a couple of places where you can get over that high bank. Who says we have a problem with infrastructure in this country?