Once, a long while ago, my friends John and Bernadette and I were in Louisiana and went to Avery Island (where they make Tobasco) to go onto the wildlife preserve. When you get there, you go to a toll-house to pay your day use fee; they give you a pass and a “caution”. They literally say, “Here’s your pass and here’s your caution.” The caution says something like, “Alligators are dangerous. Do not picnic along the banks. Do not feed the alligators.” If you ask, they will tell you horrible things that have happened. They serve as cautionary tales for the stupid tourists who are just not wise enough to stay away from wildlife. Well, I may have a couple tales for you – maybe a bit on the cautionary side – maybe just a bit of silliness.
Let’s start small and get bigger. Our first tale has to do with an update on our quail – I call him Little Man Tate. He is getting bigger and bigger every day. He had grown so big, we really needed to get him into a larger area before we’re able to get him to a more permanent situation. We decided to set up one side of the double brooder that Sue made, for him to use for a couple of weeks. It seems like a small space, but for him – it is huge. We put in a bucket full of straw for his bed, added his little stuffed tiger for comfort and even placed the mirror there so he wouldn’t feel all alone. Little bitty perch for him to jump up and down on, food, water, some naturally occurring grasses, sun, shade… what more could a baby quail want? Here’s your caution: when releasing a very small quail into a larger space, make sure that all the small spaces leading to the great outdoors are covered. Also, don’t expect to keep very good track of him. The minute we let him loose in there, he started jumping up to the roof and trying wriggle out of cracks. We had to close them up before he actually made it through the largest gaps. Silly little man. We know he’s in there still because we see him streak away when we peek in on him. How will we ever catch him to take him to his permanent home??? We didn’t try to tame him in the hopes that he’d be able to go back to the wild eventually. Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
We have some great bees around here. We have honey bees, carpenter bees, and several different types of honey bees. We have never had any problems, on this property, with Africanized Honey Bees. Usually when I water and they are around, we don’t have any problems. Yesterday morning though, we were having some difficulties in communication. I was watering the pots in the nursery, the trees that we recently brought home, I had to right quite a few of them and didn’t realize I was covered in pollen from the all the grasses and I ended up with several bees following me around. I kept telling them that I wasn’t a flower. They didn’t listen. One was caught under my armpit and just lashed out. I feel badly because he gave his life unnecessarily, even after several warnings. Here’s your caution: when working among the pollens, do not wear a brightly flowered blouse and ignore the fact that the bees are stalking you.
On perhaps a more serious note…. While watering the animals, it often takes quite a bit of time to fill up the trough, so you look around at the animals, the sky, the clouds, the bugs. If there are big, good looking bugs we’ll through them to the chickens to eat. It’s important to pay close attention because, early in the morning, when you’re still feeling sleepy, things can look like bugs, but they are not. Case in point: Sue was filling the Goat Boy’s water trough yesterday morning and saw this bug, I’ve circled it in yellow. She thought it looked like something the chickens might like, so she reached down and just kind of flicked it. It was stuck under the board. She couldn’t really see under it so held her camera down there and took a photo to examine later. As I was making breakfast for Sweet Pea, Sue says, “Take a look at this bug, actually, it may not be a bug.” and she shows me the photo on the left. Can you tell what this is? It’s a rattle, attached to a tail, that is attached to a snake! She had reached down and flicked it!!!! There was no reaction from the snake at all, luckily. Here’s your caution: make sure you very aware what it is you are flicking, and to what it is attached! That was the closest call that she didn’t even know about.
Lest I should leave you with your heart pumping, let me share with you this last word of caution. If you leave on vacation be careful who you ask to keep an eye on the pool. If you ask us, we may bring our geese to swim. Or at least threaten to bring them and then send you a poorly photo-shopped image to tease you. Oh, and just to let you know, chlorine helps bee stings quite a bit.
Let me end this by sending our thanks to all of you who helped us by praying for rain! It worked wonderfully and we had a great monsoon yesterday evening. So, thank you very, very much and keep up the good work! We always appreciate your support. I wish you all the very best this week! It’ll be as interesting as always to see what we get up to this coming week. We’ll share it all with you. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!