After finding a nearly 6 foot snake in our home…each of us reacted in our own way. Mountain played the role of the strong, capable husband…reaassuring the kids and I that all was well. Ary, our youngest daughter, and Eden, our teenage daughter who discovered the snake were both terrified. The boys joked around, telling stories that did not improve the mood or lessen our fear. I…wondered what the hell I had done. I felt a deep sense of inner responsibility for the potential danger I had placed my children in.
We moved back outside into our tents…at least we were able to ensure that nothing could enter without us knowing (as long as the kids remember to always close their tent zippers, that is)…Luckily, after two local neighbours yielding guns, equipped with snake sticks and more…we came to a wonderful realization…what Eden had seen was NOT a rattlesnake…it was what is called a bull snake. Their bit still hurts, and as we recently learned, they would love to make snacks out of our 4 week old puppies, but they aren’t poisonous.
In fact, bull snakes fight for food with rattlesnakes and generally clear a wide land range of any rattlers that may be present. According to local legends…if you have multiple bull snakes on your land, it is highly unlikely that you will ever encounter a rattlesnake! YAY! Whoosh! Sigh of relief…still we are careful, but so far we have only seen bull snakes, lizards, coyotes, javalinas, prairie dogs, birds I have never seen and a plethora of intriguing insects.
Being new comers means that we are learning so much! We did almost lose our pack of tiny pups (4 puppies we are fostering who were found in a dumpster)…but Mountain saw the offender just as he was about to strike! Thank goodness he is so alert! The snake was slinking right through our sons legs…on his way to making a meal out of our four puppies! I guess we’re not all as aware as we might like to think:-) I couldn’t believe he got so close without any of us noticing him…especially considering he was 5 feet long!
The monsoons have gone easy on us so far…we experienced a gentle sprinkle…then a down pour, but not enough rain to create the intense flash flooding that will sweep through our ranch at some point during the season. We have our water storage tower erected…water cisterns filled…we are now cooking by propane, but hope to finish our cob oven this weekend…we finished the flooring and blocked up any potential snake entrances in our home…so far we have not seen a single snake in the house…not since our first terrifying encounter with what we had thought was a rattlesnake…
We are quite honestly feeling the pinch of the economy…Mountain’s work has dried up and I am not yet set up with a healing space, so things are intense….but it is all worth it…the sweat equity and suffering we are enduring will pass…and we will relax into our ranch life… Beyond our 8, yes you read that right, 8 dogs (a total of 5 rescue puppies and 3 rescue dogs), 2 cats and 2 rabbits, we are planning on getting 12 chickens, one rooster, a couple of milking goats and a few mustangs for riding! Although challenging….life is never boring…from my heart to yours, Joy