Sunday, June 13, 2010

Buzz Worm aka Rattlesnake

Today's post has nothing to do with herbs nor does it have anything to do with dreams. If anything, this is more the stuff of nightmares.

While I was out back hanging a load of laundry in the warm Sonoran Desert sun our dogs were out and about inspecting the yard as they often do. Suddenly I heard "The Noise", the one we desert dwellers become accustomed to listening for as it signals danger. I dropped the laundry and ran screaming toward the dogs. One of them had her nose almost touching the 2.5 foot rattler. The other one was moving ever closer. I was screaming at them to get away and finally managed to get both overly curious dogs into the house with no bites.  We have spent hundreds of dollars on our dogs sending them to rattlesnake school to teach them to stay away from this danger.  We take them to our vet. every spring for a "rattlesnake" shot to help ward off the most serious effects of a bite should the worst happen. Unfortunately the vaccine does no good against the bite of a Mohave. Also unfortunately, the schooling did no good either since both dogs had more curiosity than either fear or sense.

What to do? I couldn't just leave it in the yard. It might leave the fenced in portion of our 5 acres and crawl back into the open desert.  However, on the other hand, it might find a cool and shady niche somewhere inside the fence and none of us would have any idea where it was hiding. I had no choice, I had to kill it. Wielding a large square shovel, a heavy brick and more guts than I thought I had I managed to kill the snake. It took a long time to die; just like a chicken with its head cut off the thing wriggled and squirmed for what seemed like forever but probably didn't take more than 5 minutes. I shook far longer than that after it was over.

Judging from the tail I think this fellow might be a Mohave, considered to be the most toxic rattlesnake in the US there is no known anti-toxin for a bite from a Mohave. Unfortunately we happen to have quite a few here in the western part of the Sonoran Desert.

Needless to say, I can hardly wait to get back to northern Michigan. There are timber rattlers (eastern diamondbacks) in far southern Michigan but no poisonous snakes of any kind Up North, at least not yet.   Global warming might change all that but for now . . . 


Monday, June 7, 2010

Another Big Day

 Friday, May 21, 2010

Today is my retirement day from teaching elementary education in a public school. My brother flew out from MI (to AZ) to celebrate. Saturday my husband, brother and I went to Prescott. The first thing we did was visit a wonderful jewelry store. Mike said he wanted to buy his wife a piece of jewelry and he wanted my opinion. We decided on a beautiful little pendant - a Zuni bear (about 3/8" diameter)with amethyst and turquoise stones inset into a solid silver base. The back of the pendant is finished with the arrow to the heart symbol. The pendant can be worn on either side. The little bear hangs from a slender sterling silver chain. I was confident my sister-in-law would love her new piece of jewelry.  My husband then took us to one of my favorite places for dinner - Prescott Brewery where we all stuffed ourselves on their terrific Spinach Enchiladas and microbrews.

After arriving home Mike called his wife, Dianna, and immediately after the phone call told me to sit down and wait for him. He went into the guest room and emerged with the lovely gift bag the pendant was packaged in. The Zuni bear was for me. I could not have been more surprised. What a wonderful retirement gift to be cherished always. 

Flowers from some of the staff and students:

Doe and Her New Fawn

Connie Kroll, realtor extraordinare, new friend:) and neighbor (about 4.5 miles down the road apiece), sent this picture. The Whitetail doe and her newborn fawn were in the Kroll's backyard. Connie was fortunate enough to be at home and able to get this great picture. We are fortunate to be one of the recipients of this wonderful photo.

Always curious about cameras people use I asked Connie:

Canon Rebel T2l 550 with a built in video camera, wide angle lens which Connie calls her "reach out and touch someone" lens, and many other goodies.