Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shuffle Loudly and Carry a Big Stick

Vinca. Colourful but losing the run of themselves among the bushes.

Came home mid-afternoon one day last week. With one leg out of the car, I gathered up all the debris, water bottle, purse, books from the library, the mail, and milk from the grocery store --- what my father would call "the lazy man's load!"  All set to stagger into the house when something in the driveway behind the car caught my eye --- a snake! Winding lazily across the sun-warmed concrete towards the shrubs. I stared. How had I not run over him? Then movement returned to my feet and I galloped, fully laden, into the garage, burst through the door to the house, dumped everything on the kitchen table, grabbed my camera and dashed back outside, hoping he would still be there. The driveway was empty but I was just in time to spot his tail slithering in among the bushes where he paused in a sunny patch of dead leaves. He seemed in no hurry as I zoomed in on him for a couple of shots from the safety of the concrete. He very obligingly stayed still, watching me with his beady black eye as I snapped away.

Maybe the reason he acted so docile and moved so lazily was that he'd recently had a satisfying feed. Look at the width of that belly!

I emailed the photos to the Bean, very chuffed with myself at having identified him (I thought!) I was pretty sure he was a hog nose snake, reputed, by Wikipedia, to be harmless and un-aggressive. The Bean telephoned me....

"I hope you're not thinking of picking that snake up Mom."

Pick him up? Has he lost his mind? Does he think I've lost mine? Does he know his mother?  Granted, I no longer sprint in the opposite direction every time I see a snake, as I would have done years ago, but I could live a hundred lifetimes and never, ever, even once, be tempted to pick one up! No matter how harmless.... I've only calmed down enough about them to where I can get close enough to take pictures, from years of Bean talk about how there's nothing to freak out about, a snake is just another creature doing his job, keeping the vermin in check, keeping balance in nature.

"That's no hog-nose Mom. It's a juvenile diamond back rattler!"

Egads! And I was how close to him??

So what to do now about thinning out those vinca (top photo) that are taking over in that shrubbery bed where Mother Nature's rodent control workers are possibly lying low, staying warm among the dead leaves? Hip boots and the thick leather gloves I guess.

 Enough to freak a person out.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Earth Moved...Did You Feel It?

There's been some seismic activity across the water. Unusual, I know, for Ireland, but then the weather is changing everywhere...

The Little Blister wrote a blog post!

This is proof that there is a God.

I've been badgering her to write, all to no avail. It's been more than a year. I knew the impetus would have to come from her, but I was growing old waiting! And now the great event has happened and I think you should all go over and visit, and gush and coo and cajole, praise and critique --- whatever you think will encourage her to do it again.....before next May.

I've been in a bit of a slump myself. Not a year-long one, mind you, but a bit of a slump nevertheless. Too many voices arguing in my head. Resulting in immobility, indecision --- and no blog posts. But if the Beloved Blister can move herself to action so must I!

The above has been languishing in my drafts for a few days. I planned to come back and doll it up some, make it make sense.....and in the meantime, while I was deliberating,  she posted again! 

I am delighted, and guardedly optimistic that two posts in a couple of days indicates a trend. The only slight worry I have is that all these temblors might cause panic among my countrymen who can handle rain, sure. But earthquakes?

In other tidbits, Friko finally got around to doing a post on "Where I'm From." It is well worth the wait. Pay her a visit. You'll be glad you did.

And the largest tidbit ---- California Girl is coming to visit. Leaving her four legged ones in the care of friends for a week and winging her way to see her aged mother! And not only that, the OC will arrive home for a visit while she's here.....

Talk about seismic activity!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Newest Grandchild.....Mostly Legs

Here's Maggie with a nice round belly. Daughter was thrilled --- a new baby in the family, the sire no less a personage (horseonage? studsonage?) than her beloved Rooster! But then Maggie, even after the vet said "any minute now!" took her time, so much so that California Girl, having slept several nights at the barn in anticipation of the Great Event, decided that it must all be a hoax and went home to sleep in her bed for a change......And so wasn't on hand when the little filly made her entrance...... 

But drove down to the barn like a mad woman when she heard!

Here's Rooster, begetter of beautiful colts and fillies...

And here's their brand new baby girl....

taking her first, wobbly steps!

Here she is with Maggie, her proud mama...

Having a snack...

...then a cuddle...

...and then a lie down...

...because being born is exhausting work!