Where we are located in the extreme southeast of Arizona, there are many natural predators and threats to our animals and ourselves. Just around us we have, Pumas, Bears, Javalina, Coyote. It’s something that I guess you get used to. I grew up with some of those as well, so sometimes I get lax in my vigilance. Sue had other types of threats in her life (you know – Navy), but I think she’s more aware of the dangers around here. Maybe aware isn’t the correct word, its more to front of her thoughts than with me. But there are two dangers that still unnerve me, and I’m always looking out for them. The biggest for me is Fire, the second is rattlesnakes.

fireWe had a fire a few miles from us yesterday, as I drove by, I started having that weird pounding in my chest, blood pressure rising, panic setting in. For those reading this from Ramona, you know why and you know exactly the feeling I’m describing. For me, it is not a rational thing, but purely reactionary. Even just typing this and seeing this photo makes it start. At least now I know how to talk myself down from it. The photo was taken by our local newspaper. The fire burned approximately 300 acres yesterday afternoon. Luckily the winds were slight and the humidity had risen quite a bit yesterday. Even thought weather conditions weren’t that bad, there were still 7 fire crews working it, plus forestry service, plus Fort Huachuca soldiers. They got it under control before sundown, but when I drove by this morning, there were still small spots burning. Sue and I experienced two firestorms while we were in California and so this is a big concern for us. We were just talking about how we would be able to evacuate all the animals should the need arise. I’m so grateful that the RCW is almost completed, we could put all the chickens, ducks and goose in there along with the goat boys if we needed to. Then the cats, dogs, and hedgehog could go in our cars with us and any important papers. These are things that we seriously discuss because you’ve got to have an evacuation plan!  Sue saw an article about a couple who had to evacuate with all their chickens and they wrapped them in towels and stacked them in the car. That would be very easy to do and you could probably pack quite a few in a relatively small space. We’d have to see, if we had enough time.

IMG_2668Rattlesnakes. Yikes! I believe that they have their place in nature and that they do serve us well in keeping down the rodent population – but we do not want them around the chicken pen, or in the areas where the animals could get bit. Please pardon the gore in this photo, but I wanted to show you this particular type of rattler that our neighbors dispatched this afternoon. It is a Mohave Rattlesnake (notice the black and white stripes at the tail end) and was in their yard where the dogs run around. George walked down and caught me while I was out picking herbs to ask if we wanted to snake train the dogs with it. I went to get Sue, since they’re her dogs. We weren’t sure what that would entail, but George explained and we said, “Let’s try it.”  George went back to get the snake and also brought Donna with him. He placed the snake by the drive and he had me walk each dog past the snake and then back. When they saw the snake and started to get interested in it, I pulled hard on their leash and yelled “LEAVE IT!”.  Sweet Pea only went through it once before she didn’t want anything to do with the snake, Bob we had to do twice because I wasn’t really firm enough, but he got it too. They learned really quickly. When we were done and we walked by it one more time to go home – neither dog even looked at it… and they walked way around where it was.  Donna gave us the rattle to do the same kind of training with the sound. They also suggested that we do this whenever we kill one, or see one dead on the road.  It was a difficult thing to do with them, for me, but Sue is right in saying that it’s way better than having them get bit.

Well, that’s all the excitement for today! We’re prepped for the Farmer’s Market in Bisbee tomorrow. If anything cool happens there, I’ll post on FB tomorrow. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s weather: Very warm. Some mild winds… looks like around 17 mph. It is 9:02 pm and it’s a beautiful 74°. Tomorrow’s high is 84°, overnight low at 55°, we still even have 5% chance of rain! We’re at 22% humidity. Can’t wait for those monsoons to start.

Egg Report: 1 goose – looks like Roma’s wanting to go broody a bit, we’re thinking we may give her some duck eggs to hatch – zero duck, 36 chicken eggs.