It’s been a busy couple of weeks!
Harvest time. Just the words equate “BUSY” in my mind! It’s a good time and a blessed time, though.
My cousin and her husband and four daughters and two sons were here for the first week of harvest. My cousin’s husband helped out in the fields and my cousin and I cooked and chatted and cared for kiddos. (Well, she did most of the caring for kiddos since she has three little ones that are pretty attached to their mama. 🙂 )
My kiddos and my cousin’s two oldest daughters had a good time playing. We put our pop-up pool up right before they got here, so they spent several afternoons splashing in it. We also seemed to have cops and robbers running around our homestead fairly often towards the end of the week. Thankfully, the robbers didn’t seem to do too much damage. The police did a good job of corralling them! And part of the time the cop/robber ratio was 1:3!
I think we’re living on a wildlife refuge. Or an animal farm. Or a small zoo.
First, we have just the normal animals that are supposed to be around our place. My husband’s brother has a few cattle in our pasture. I enjoy seeing them as they circle through, grazing. Peaceful, placid, black cows munching away and making their way continuously around the pasture and woods.
Then there’s our various cats and the two cute, cuddly kittens that are residing in the old garage building. I am not a cat lover, but I like having some around to keep the population of mice and snakes at bay. And kittens are so adorable!! I’m not an animal lover, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do really like baby animals. Almost any baby animal is absolutely adorable.
And our two baby calves on the farm right now.
A bit earlier, Frisky was here to stay. My daughter mourned his leaving and really missed him for a few days. I understand why. She really bonded with him. She would baaa at him and he would answer her. It was pretty cute to watch. He certainly didn’t respond that way to the other three of us. A couple of days before Frisky left, my daughter’s daddy told her that he never thought that he would be a father to a mother sheep!
Now, for the rest of our animal population that has cropped up recently.
On the second afternoon that my cousin and her family were here, I had gone over to our shed for something. I don’t remember if I needed to tell Matthew something or if I was going after life vests or if I was taking trash over or what I was doing. The afternoon was kind of crazy, especially when the men realized it was dry enough to get in the field and harvest!!
Anyhoo-on my return to the house from the shed, my cousin informed that there was a snake under their van. Not happy news. I am not fond of snakes. My cousin was outside watching the kiddos splash and play in the pool and in the water. She had decided to walk over to the hydrant and turn the hose off. When she got almost to the hydrant, she heard an odd sound. Looking around, she spied a bullsnake under their van with one of our cats close by. The snake was hissing at the cat in great fury. Oh, shudder!!
I whipped out my cell phone and speed dialed my man, who was over at the farm preparing to head to the field to harvest wheat. He answered fairly promptly and I informed him that there was a snake that he could please come kill for me. He agreed, but added that “He might be a little, because he was getting his truck out of the shed.”
I thought he’d never get here. For one thing, the cat got tired of holding the snake at bay and wandered off. I was watching from a safe distance. After the cat disappeared, the snake settled down, sat for a little, and then started to slither away. I’m pretty sure it would’ve gone its way and we wouldn’t have seen it again, but this girl doesn’t take stupid chances. My son rushed a shovel over to me and I walked close enough to the snake to upset it and make it stop. So, there I stood wearing flip-flops and holding a shovel, waiting for my knight to arrive. Mr. Snake didn’t like it and he had no idea that my bark was much worse than my bite. Even if I’d have had boots on, I don’t think I’d have been brave enough to try to chop him with my shovel. If I had been on my mower, he would have had much more cause to be upset. The older kids got out of the pool and came running over to look at the snake closer. I kept telling them to stay back. They thought it was grand and gross and glorious. Me-not so much. Except, maybe the gross.
I have never been more happy to see our old, red, junker Toyota pickup coming down the lane. I very, very gladly handed the shovel off to my capable husband when he entered the scene. He picked on Mr. Bullsnake for a little, while the kids watched with excitement. The snake would strike at the shovel, and even though he knew the snake was going to strike, my husband would jump and then laugh. That was kind of funny to watch!
My good man did dispose of the snake for me then. My kids both touched it after it was dead. NOT ME! I felt like I was in too close proximity when my husband carried it by on the shovel.
Fast forward to the end of the week and find us at the harvest field one evening. My daughter and I found a tiny turtle in the grass. He was very cute! He had a piece of sticker grass up in his neck kind of inside his shell. She wanted to get it out and worked on it at the field, but without success. So, we took the turtle home with us. She kept deliberating over whether or not she should keep him. When we got home, she found some tweezers and got the grass out of his neck. She decided to go put him in the woods by the creek. I thought this was a good idea, too. The next morning she went down to see if he was still in the area. When she caught a glimpse of him, he was on his back and she thought, “Poor guy!” When she went to turn him over she realized he was dead. 🙁 Something had poked through his shell. I was dismayed and sad for her. I really though he’d be ok. I thought turtles were pretty tough and pretty safe. Would you have thought that?! I don’t like stories with sad endings. He was such a cute little turtle, too.
Finally, on Wednesday afternoon the kids were moving some stuff for me through the back yard. They started hollering and I couldn’t figure out what the deal was. Unfortunately, they had rolled their wagon right across a baby bunny nest and there were baby bunnies going in every direction. They caught two and our mama cat caught one and she was not at all kind to it. My son was not very happy with her, but we told him that is just the way nature is and she was just trying to care for her two baby kittens! It wasn’t fun to see her with the baby bunny, though. There’s just something about babies that makes you want to defend them. Later on, one of our other cats had another bunny. It wasn’t hurt at all and the kiddos rescued it from him. We didn’t want to put them back in the nest, since the cats now knew right where it was. I was pretty sure if we just put them out in the woods, the cats would get them there too. So, my daughter is now mother to three baby bunnies. I don’t know if their chance of survival is much higher with us than with the cats, but it won’t be because of lack of trying. She has been caring for them faithfully. They are very darling! I wish we would have avoided the nest, because I know nothing can compare with their mother’s care.
We read about bunny care online. It sounds like survival rate isn’t real high, so we’ll see. One piece of info said to feed them dandelions and clover. Not having a beautiful, lush yard is a benefit right now! My girlie has been picking clover and dandelions for her three babies!
Whew! I’m quite fine with a break from animal stories for a while! Although, I do really like watching my daughter with all the animal babies!