This morning I was going about a few Monday morning chores, even though this is Tuesday. Rather than posting a pretty or interesting photo, I will tell you about the past week.
About a week ago, we were invaded by Earwigs, aka pincher bugs. Do you have those where you live? We have them in abundance and they are a favorite snack of the chickens. Every time we move a rock or planter or storage bin, the chickens swarm and eat the thousands of pincher bugs found underneath. Last year we discovered they were nesting in the bark of our Eucalyptus tree. Peel back the bark and you can find millions of them. They are also in the bark of the redwood tree. They don't kill the trees and provide a feast for any birds that like to dig for their dinner.
About 5-6 years ago, I noticed that in the evening there were gazillions of pincher bugs crawling up the side of the house. They were looking for a way in, which they can find in any little crack. That was when I brought home my first chickens. They made short order of the bugs. The present day flock of hens does not have access to the perimeter on two sides of the house. Therein lies a big problem.
The pincher bugs began their invasion into the house. Little cracks, electrical outlets, plumbing....they found a way inside and it was mayhem beginning about 9PM. We don't have a regular pest control service because I have some concerns with chemicals being sprayed in the house and outside. So I went to the farm supply store and bought some diatomaceous earth for earwig control. I dusted the doorways. And it has done a pretty good job of killing the invasive pincher bugs. They are still not 100% under control, but it's manageable.
On Thursday, about noon, I looked outside the kitchen window and saw a snake!!! I have a very intense fear of snakes, and this one was a rattlesnake. Although young and not yet having rattles, it was about 3 feet long and right in front of the steps. The chickens were standing around watching it. Erik was gone to the Bay Area and wouldn't be home until evening. OMG, WTH should I do???? It appeared pretty sluggish and not moving so I carefully went outside (always with boots), walked around it, and tried to consider my options. I had no idea where the hoe or shovel were and I wanted to do something quickly to contain it. So....not the brightest idea....I got a large heavy rubber tub and tried to cover the snake. Yep, you guessed it. It escaped and slithered (ewwwww, I hate that image) into a very large evergreen bush. The EXACT bush where two of my hens lay their daily eggs that I retrieve. I had noticed over the previous few days that an egg in the adjacent bush was broken every day. I guess we know who was responsible for that.
So I texted Erik....."Snake in the front yard, went into the bush. Rattlesnake" That would give him at least four hours to plan his attack upon arrival. I went on with the day, carrying the shovel with me that I since found nearby. I retrieved the egg in the adjacent bush, very very carefully. Later on, I looked into the bush where the hen lays her egg. I saw the egg and the snake, just about to take the egg. Freaked me out all over again. I took the shovel and scooted the egg out of the bush so as not to let the snake have a reward. Keep in mind, I hate snakes. I don't know where I gathered the nerve, but when I fear my animals are threatened I go into protection mode.
Erik came home and immediately started hacking down the bush. The next morning we both went out, heavily armed with a big lopping tool and my trusty shovel. After about a half hour of cutting back the beast of a bush, he found the snake. He snagged it with the lopping tool and we then pinned it down with the shovel. That snake was probably dinner for the neighborhood turkey vultures. And the next day the remains of the bush were cut down. It's all in the landfill and will no longer house snakes in front of our house.
Then on Saturday, one of the donkeys accidentally stepped back and onto a chicken's leg. She can't walk and is living in a small coop within the larger coop. I am not sure she will be able to walk on that leg and it makes me sad for her. I hope she heals in time and is back out with her sissies.
The same morning, driving back from town, there were two dogs walking down the middle of the road. They weren't moving to the side so I pulled over to offer assistance. With cars starting to approach from both directions, I motioned for them to stop. The dogs would not come to the side of the road, just kept walking down the center. They were obviously tired. Before long, we had 5 vehicles stopped when a woman drove up in her car, got out and put the dogs in her car. Erik heard her say, "They're mine." She lives not too far from our place so I know the dogs had walked a mile or two. I was so relieved they were okay.
And now this morning I am scrubbing the kitchen sink, cleaning out the refrigerator, and hoping that we have less to deal with this week. I wish you all a nice week with no drama. And aren't you glad I didn't post photos today?
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