Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wildlife Update

Sooo, living on 1.5 acres in the city...We have quite a variety of wildlife. Some welcome, some not. All lovely in their own particular way.

Let's start the run down with the ringneck snake that the SB and I found while moving a large stack of bricks. Lovely. This isn't the one we saw, but it is close. Ours was a little more orange. If you flip them over, their bellies are the same color as the ring around the neck. It is pretty outrageous. Have I mentioned that I love snakes?

Also while the SB was home, we discovered the 3 baby groundhogs living in the bank along the driveway. Let me tell you, those little critters are cute, but they don't go anywhere near smart. The SB was practically able to pick one up. Their presence makes me REALLY glad we got up the garden fence.

Next in the list is the grizzly discovery last Thursday of the very fresh rabbit in the jaws of Kitty kins. Luckily, the rabbit had been dispatched already, though quite recently. It looked all the world like the rabbit was a victim of the bunny mob, and had been buried to his neck in concrete, but no. The head was resting on the concrete of the porch watching while the body was gnawed on. Who else do you know that has a sociopath for a cat? So I had to use the Scoop of Death to remove the body. The Scoop of Death is a trowel/soil scoop that I got as a present. It stays on the porch for these occasions. Though this time, I think we all would have been better served by a shovel. And a barf bag.

Today I was out mowing when the rain started and I dashed for cover, dragging the mower. I was about to bound in the back door when I caught sight of the tail. A sizable black rat snake was on top of the stack of window frames we have by our back door. I dashed in for my camera, but by the time I got back, I caught only the last part of the body disappearing into a hole in the basement wall. Luckily, I think it is just open between the walls, no direct line to the interior. But even if there were, I wouldn't worry. The cat keeps the rodents out, so I don't expect Mr. Ratsnake to find any treats there. He'll just move along. Anyway, here he is. Look beyond the spray nozzle and the black curve is him. The perspective is a little off here. He was about 3 1/2 feet long.

After THAT excitement, I was sitting on the porch just an hour or so ago having dinner when I watched two sizable white tailed deer bound through the back yard. They have been eating the tops off all my sunflowers. And my rose. BASTARDS.

Also, The Bee Guy came to mentor me today. He says my bees are doing well *blush**grin* and that I should put another box on and see if I can get some honey this year. We'll see if I can get the equipment together in time. He also had some ideas for correcting some of the problems relating to the bees making their own comb in the hive. We'll be fixing that next weekend I think. He is a saint, I am certain. He goes around removing bees from houses and collecting swarms. He rocks.

Today I pulled/harvested the spinach that was beginning to bolt. I made a bacon, lentil, spinach stew-ish sort of thing to put on rice. I think yogurt is my new favorite garnish to just about everything. It is delicious on this.

Cut about 5 strips of bacon into 3/4 inch lengths. Saute for a few minutes and add a whole chopped onion. Saute until the onion is beginning to brown. Add about 3/4 cup lentils and a quart of chicken stock and a bay leaf, some chili flakes and pepper. Cook until the lentils are done and then add about 6 cups of spinach leaves. Cook to wilt. Serve over rice with a dollop of yogurt.

UPDATED 6/2: add to the wildlife excitement the tortured screams of something in the night. I might be down to 2 baby groundhogs from the sound of things last night. Yeee.


cho-girl said...

you are full of news and life and death!
I do need to come out and spend a while at your place.
I have a good backyard critter story myself I will share sometime.
Oh, and can you get me the bee guy's name - I have someone with a hive in their clapboard siding.
ta dear

Elsie said...

Is she ready to have him cut into her wall? they don't come out otherwise!