Monday, June 9, 2008

Wildlife at Hope Farms

Most days the only "Wildlife" we see here at Hope Farms consists of a nearly-three-year old boy racing around, four goats getting loose and wreaking havoc in the garden and of course, our ten chickens who feel the need to annihilate my Nasturtium plants. Don't forget the territorial hummingbirds, the bluebird making a nest in a little terra-cotta birdhouse, and a tree-frog that made it's debut by somehow getting up on TOP of the window sill. But! Some days are more exciting than others. Here's why;

King Snake, or Eastern King snake, or Chain Snake. Whatever you want to call him (or her!) is fine by me. Scary is a good term to use in my book. It slithered out from the back of the garage wall, seemingly from no-where and just....blended in with the grass. Mr. Fix-it caught it with a leaf rake and managed to get it to slither into a feed bag and we kept it in a barrel for about an hour while deliberating on whether to let it go, or sell it. Yes, I said sell it. Apparently, they are in high demand as they are noted for their immunity to pit-venom, which would emcompass Copperheads or Rattlesnakes. So, they get bit by the above-mentioned reptiles, then sqeeze them to death and then ingest them. In addition, they are valuable for eradicating mice and rodents, therefore, we decided to keep him (her?) and let it go. It slithered off into the corn field as though it had had a nice nap in the feed bag and was never bothered by the interruption of it's original destination. (My garden?) (EEEKKK!!)

It was a good chance to get Eddie to see what a real, live snake looked and acted like without the danger of a bite, or ultimately, a visit to the hospital (which I will touch on in another post). Now he goes around shouting "Snake, Snake!!" at every twig, branch or long leaf on the ground. I suppose it's time to introduce the story of "Cry Wolf" to him.

The 'other' wildlife we encounter around Hope Farms are a wee bit less stressful.
For some reason, I had this locked away in a pile of "drafts" - so, I released its wild-self.
Hope you enjoyed!

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