I'm a city girl grown up to be a country girl. I dreamed about this ALL. MY. LIFE. And I love it. I love looking out and seeing animals all around me. I love seeing the trees bloom. I love my herb garden, such as it is. I love going to the feed store and see the autistic man who runs it, and filling my car with feed while the dog that's been there forever lets me scratch his head. Today, on the way to the feed store, which is WAY off the beaten path, we even saw a deer. I love my big Pyrenees dogs who guard us from coyotes. I love the cows that live across the street and sometimes come and watch us. I love being able to run outside in my PJ's if I need something quick off the clothes line or out of my car. I especially love it that my children are growing up in a place where you can throw a baseball without hitting someone's window (unless it's our own), where they can run and play and ride their bikes and I don't have to worry about them getting in the street. There are endless places to explore and learn, and the boys at least have no desire to be in the house from the time they get up in the morning until I wash the dirt off them so they can go to bed at night.
There is only one drawback to living in this wonderful place - SNAKES!
Oh, I can live with the worms and the tiny snakes Tommy and Luke love to catch and carry around. What I can't live with is the heart stopping shock of going into my chicken coop, reaching into a nesting box, and finding a HUGE snake curled up in there, usually with several of my eggs in his belly:
I informed Beau this morning that he absolutely may NOT move out of the house until Luke is old enough to kill big snakes for me. He said he'll just teach me to shoot a .22. Yeah, sure he will. The only thing that gives me heart attacks quicker than a snake is a gun. I'm going to hobble Beau and keep him here until Luke is twelve years old.
So it happened today, I innocently go in to get eggs and find above snake in my nesting box. Thankfully, he had not devoured any eggs yet, although having several of them throughout their body does tend to slow them down when you try and kill them. And yes, we kill chicken snakes. Otherwise, there would be no reason for me to have chickens...
ALL my guys, except Dad, who conveniently wasn't home, trooped down to the barn to get the snake:
Handsome son Beau said no pictures when he saw me grab my camera, so you'll notice that I don't have any pictures of his face. Too bad. He's pretty cute!
But camera shy or not, he was brave, and got the snake out of the nesting box and onto the ground, where he grabbed it with clippers and almost cut it in half:
That snake was taller than me!!
Luke was in heaven. Of all the pictures we've taken of him, I think this one will rank right up there as a favorite. That smile is pure Luke, and one of the best things about my life!
And of course, this one would be pure sweetness if Tommy weren't petting a dead snake:
Right when I was thinking little boys are amazing creatures, wanting to touch that nasty thing, my dainty daughter gets into the act:
By the way, she dressed herself today, I have no part of that get up. Although Mary Susannah will be quick to tell you that Angel-Leah got her fashion sense from mom, who regularly embarrasses Mary Susannah...
So the dead snake is now in the dumpster, and for the moment the chicken coop is snake free. But I will be watching carefully before I stick my hand into a nesting box, you can be sure!
And look! My magnolia tree blossoms just get bigger and bigger!
Have I mentioned how much I love living in the country?