Friday, May 16, 2014

I've had it with these mother-effing snakes on this mother-effing plane! (okay, no, not really)

We've only had two snakes in our yard...actually, only one was in the yard.  The other was in the house.  I'm still not sure how that happened.  And Shawn was the one to find both of them (some unknown one [the outside one] and a brown ground snake [the house snake]).  So you can imagine my surprise when I more than doubled that number on Saturday. 

I was working on my grass bed area - pulling weeds, spreading mulch, you know, the usual.  I went and picked up a handful of leaves (since the area is also where we keep our pre-shredded leaves) and I felt something larger than the normal bugs and what have you leave my hand as I was picking up the leaves.  I just figured it was a lizard and went on my way moving some leaves and spreading mulch.  At one point, I realized that the leaf pile was moving...and it was something decidedly bigger than a lizard (insert graphic of Smaug waking from a long slumber under gold coins).  Then I noticed a tail of a snake heading under the newspapers I just laid out.

I did one of those Officer Brody moves - the move when he first sees Jaws after chumming the water, and walked back to the house to tell my husband that he had to come out and catch the snake I just found because I didn't want to step on it.

He followed me back out and I gingerly stepped over to where I last saw the snake, and then very carefully started lifting up the newspapers.  Only to not find the snake at all.  Shawn asked if I thought it was one of the venomous snakes (you would have figured he would have asked this BEFORE agreeing to come out to catch said snake - but also notice how he let me walk over to where I had just seen the snake before asking that question as well) - I said no, it had looked like some type of garden snake, like a racer of some kind.  Then he told me that it probably slithered away when I went into the house to get him and I should just continue on my merry way.

Needless to say, as soon as he left, I picked up another pile of leaves, and there was the snake.  It came out of it's hiding spot and immediately tried to get away from me as quickly as it could.  It was about a foot long, dark on top, lighter on the bottom, and most likely a Rough Earthsnake.  I'm at least assuming it was the same snake as before - but I suppose it could have been a different one.  I breathed a sigh of relief and went to pick up another pile of leaves.  Only to find a 3" snake who buried itself deeper in the leaf pile.

I pretty much decided to call it a day at that point. 

I'm happy there are snakes in my yard (and have even gone so far as to put out a saucer of water in the area for them), but at the same time, I think we need to work out some time-share deal so that I can go mess around in the area where the leaves are because I really need to start working on Bermuda Grass removal which is going to require moving the pile of leaves - and I really don't want the snakes to leave because I'm sure they're doing good things by just being around (or bad things if they're eating all my lizards).  At the very least it makes me feel like I'm doing something right in my yard.

But still! YAY! Snakes!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

As if I didn't already have enough to do

I apparently decided that I had a bunch of extra time on my hands, so I decided to start fostering kittens.

The shelter, as of this morning, had 71 kittens that required foster in their nursery (there are countless kittens already in foster).  We have two of them - Butter and Sugar.  Sugar already has someone who has decided to adopt her, but Butter is still looking for a home.

Kitten season, has finally started so if you want to do something good without the lifetime commitment of adoption, seriously think about kitten fostering.  The shelter has everything from mom cats with kittens, to single kittens who require a week or two of fostering before they can get fixed so they can be adopted.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Wide Angles

Welcome to our monthly tour of the yard:

The tree in the pot is the avocado tree which managed to come back from the roots.
The hell strip is looking pretty nice...

A closer look at the rose bed - the Dr. Huey is going crazy, as it usually does around this time of year.

Back by the gate:

The panoramic of the side yard:

The panoramic from the back door:

The veggie and grass beds:

And finally, the World Photo:
World Photo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Inside Austin Garden Tour: This Saturday, May 3

Inside Austin Garden Tour
Saturday May 3
9am - 4pm
Tickets available at each garden
$15 for all gardens, or $5 for each garden
The demo garden and children under 16 are free

In case you didn't already know it by reading everyone else's garden blogs, the Travis County Master Gardeners are hosting a garden tour this weekend.

The tour is held every year and a half, and this is the first time I've actually taken off of work to participate in the Garden Blogger Pre-Tour day.  Naturally, I took enough pictures that I could do an entire post on each garden, but instead I shall just tease you with a picture from each garden so you will know what you have to look forward to on the tour without giving away everything.

Dugie and David Graham Garden, 1817 Canonero Drive

Austin Neal's Garden, 1106 Northwestern Ave

AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Road

Jerry Nasier's Garden, 7103 Montana Norte

Lori Daul's Garden, 3231 Oak Alley

Ken and Robin Howard's Garden, 3305 Big Bend Drive