Archive | 4:03 pm

Wild Things

27 Jul

One evening, I looked out my window and saw a raccoon running along the fence in my yard.  Now I am perfectly fine with raccoons living out in pasture. That’s where they belong.  They do not belong in my yard or barnyard.  Because I hate what they do to chickens.  My nephew just lost all but three of his chickens to a raccoon earlier in the summer.

Staring at my chickens in their pen.

I’ve worked on my pen and I try to keep them secure, but it would be completely possible for one to dig under and the kill my birds.  This thing needs to go away.  In the meantime, I’m back to shutting the birds in the building at night.  Thank goodness, we’ve cooled down some.

The peacock and chickens

While my dad and I were scooping in the barn (I was amazed and thankful that he came and helped), I noticed we had someone in the barn with us.

rat snake

I am guessing s/he was looking for a nice snack of baby barn swallow.

barn swallow

I have to say, there does not seem to be any little ones in the nests right now.  I’m not sure if it is just a lull in the season or if the snake already managed to clear the nests.

I do discourage such behavior because the barn swallows help with eating a lot of insects, so I suggested he try hunting mice instead.

Tasting an old peacock feather

After all, it is a rat snake (more specifically a western fox snake).

A good three feet in length.

This dude was constantly with us slithering up and down the walls.  Finally, I had to catch it and move it into another section of the barn.

Of course, when I picked it up, it had to shake its tail like it was some kind of rattle snake to try and scare me.  I was not impressed.  But I did tell him, he would prefer not to have me step on him while I was scooping manure and didn’t see him.

I was truly impressed with the self-restraint my dad showed by not using the potato fork on the snake.  He does. not. like. snakes.  At all.  But I’m good with it hunting mice in the barn.

Finally, when I let my dog out to go to the bathroom before bed last night, he went crazy, and then I heard it too.  Mewing.  I don’t know how I got him to come back in the house, but I did.  Now my dog loves my cats, but if a stray shows up in the yard, he’ll kill them.  I didn’t really want to have to remove a kitten body.

Sky, Salem, and Tiger

So I got food, and as I came back out with it, he was munching on a bug.  Bob came and was his usual ambassador of ill will.  There was hissing, so I put Bob in the house.

After letting it eat and hovering a hand over it for a few minutes, I struck.  I grabbed the little furball by the scruff of the neck, and he fought like I was the German shepherd grabbing him.  But, I got him into the soap room.

Now I’m trying to get him tame and healthy so that I can hopefully find a good home for him.