Saturday, June 29

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #32

Welcome to the Friday Farm Fix, a sporadic series where I share a random sampling of what's been happening around the farm during the past week (sometimes actually on Friday). Just joining us? You'll find all the previous Friday Farm Fix posts here and here.

(32-1) Marta and Daisy snoozing in the creekbed shade -
Marta and Daisy snoozing in the creek bed shade during the heat of the day.

Wondering what was happening on the farm this time last year? Check out the Friday Farm Fix #16. (It's so nice to still have grass in the fields this year!)

Hot, hot, hot. That pretty much sums up the first week of summer on the farm, with each day hotter and more humid than the next. We all spent the week just trying to beat the heat.

Thursday night a huge thunderstorm crashed and boomed around us for most of the early morning hours, bringing high winds and a much needed 1½ inches of rain. Thankfully it's a little cooler today, and there's a gorgeous breeze blowing. We may even get some more rain tonight.

After 18½ years in Missouri, this San Francisco Bay Area girl still isn't used to the noise and ferocity of thunderstorms, especially at night. A few years ago I learned that the Pacific coast is one of the few places that doesn't regularly experience thunderstorms. The rare appearance of thunder and lighting was always a big deal when I was a kid. Now I just whimper and snuggle up to my hunky farmguy Joe, then lie awake worrying about things like big trees falling over and how badly (and in how many places) it's raining inside The Shack.

The best part of the week was the daily sightings of a young doe and her spotted twin fawns in the hayfield. This graceful trio has been coming out of the woods near the house each evening, but now we're seeing them in the afternoons too. Mama strolls through the grass, alert at all times, while the babies scamper and play around her.

All week we've been calling each other on the radio announcing "Doe and twins alert! Doe and twins alert!" (These handy little two-way radios are one of our best farm purchases ever; we've been using them every day for years.)

In other (much less cute) wildlife news. . .

18 more farm photos and the rest of the weekly recap below (hover your cursor over each image for a description). . .

Yesterday morning a several-foot-long black snake bit me on the hand. Ouch. Thankfully black snakes aren't poisonous, just big and creepy. This one had been stealing eggs from one of the chicken pens and got caught in the deer netting we have strung around the perimeter while trying to make its escape. At first I thought it was dead, but then it moved. Great.

It had obviously been stuck for a while and didn't look very good, but rather than kill it, I figured I would try to cut it free, then lock it in a cooler and transport it to the other side of the farm, which is what we did with the pair of black snakes we found curled up together in a nesting box a few weeks ago.

After being bitten twice by a copperhead snake three years ago (which are poisonous), I usually let Joe handle all the snake stuff. He got to finish this job too—and used a much longer pair of scissors than I did (I also wasn't holding the snake in the right place, obviously). I hid in the house and covered my bite wounds with Redmond Clay, which we've been using to treat all sorts of things (it also makes a great detox bath or foot soak).

I did ride along with him in our little Suzuki Sidekick on the snake release mission, though I nearly jumped out of my seat when we hit a bump and a loud thumping sound started coming from the back. Joe said it was just the handle banging against the side of the cooler.

Nobody ever claimed farm life was dull, but I'd definitely prefer more cute little baby deer and fewer giant snakes.

(32-2) Sea of snoozing sheep in the front field -

(32-3) Jasper in a sliver of shade - and for once not in the garden bed -

(32-4) The bigger the water bowl, the happier the beagle -

(32-5) The echinacea has started blooming -

(32-6) We all appreciate this heat tolerant, no maintenance, long flowering perennial in our own way -

(32-7) Snuffling up some diatomaceous earth, a great natural wormer and health supplement, but no nearly as tasty as donkey treats -

(32-8) Lokey finally stopped being broody and Tuffy immediately took her place -

(32-9) It's not like anybody's forcing them to double up -

(32-10) One of our resident does and her twin fawns in the hayfield -

(32-11) Mama keeps her babies close -

(32-12) The twins can already leap right over the hayfield fence into the woods -

(32-13) First green beans of the season, Maxibel, a longtime favorite in my kitchen garden -

(32-14) After sheep working Sunday we decided to let the flock spend the week in the open area between the house and barn -

(32-15) Jasper trying to take a shady cat nap -

(32-16) Trying to get the sliding gate on the rusted old stock rack, which was falling apart when I bought it 18 years ago, to work - - Copy - Copy

(32-17) Trying to get Dee Dee to chase him some more - Bert LOVES to be chased -

(32-18) Still so light at half past eight at night -

(32-19) Lucky Cherry making good use of her yearling daughter, Isabel -

Stay cool and rest easy this weekend.

Want a bigger farm fix?
(click here  and here to see all these posts on two long pages)
Friday Farm Fix #1
Friday Farm Fix #31

©, where bouncing around the farm in our rattling little '93 soft top Suzuki Sidekick (which is much more useful than an ATV four-wheeler) always makes me feel like I'm on a jungle safari ride at Disneyland. But having snakes right in the vehicle with you is a little too much jungle adventure.


  1. Of all the photos, it was the green beans that made me swoon today! You guys work your butts off and, because of that, I'm SO glad you eat so well!! I wish I would have thought ahead and made a "patch" for beans...but it sounded like a lot of work to keep it away all the local creatures. Maybe next year... (Chris in Indiana)

  2. Swoon indeed--those beans look SO PERFECT I can practically taste them. My kids love them raw, not cooked, and I must say they are right--raw, fresh green beans are absolutely delicious. Enjoy the fruits (vegetables?) of your labors!


  3. oh Susan - stay away from those snakes! I recall too clearly your summer of misery from copperhead strikes -- Hunky Farm Guy needs some of those blueberry peach bars for his snake handler payment! shuddering thinking of you near yet another reptile -- you make me go all southern protective mama on you!!!

  4. No pictures of the snake? I'm really ok with that though, just curious! Things sure look much better this summer than they did last summer. We've been in a nice cooling trend here in the Denver area. Hopefully it will make it to you in Missouri.

  5. 'Love the deer photos. Thank you so much for not showing the snake. Just thinking about them makes me shiver! A couple of years ago, a garter snake wanted to live in one of our flower beds. I actually sat down and visited with her. ('Don't know if it was female, but I think girls are less scary) I told her she could stay as long as she didn't sneak up on me. From time to time, I could hear her moving, but she never surprised me. WHEW! Have a great week! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  6. Beautiful week. Those green beans are gorgeous. Soooo sorry about your snake bite, but am grateful it wasn't one of those icky copperheads. That was a lousy summer! Stay cool, kiddo!

  7. We own a piece of property where snakes are in abundance. I told myself a couple of years ago that I wasn't going to be afraid of them any more. As I was cleaning out a brick pile, I kept that in mind. Sure enough, a big fat garter was under the bricks. I think it was because it didn't startle me was the only reason it didn't make me want to pee my pants. The element of surprise when it comes to snakes is the really bad part. And their bite, of course.

  8. Suzanne, your pictures are sweetness incarnate. I observed that Bert loves to be chased and how cool is it for him-but he looks very ‘chesty’ in that photo. Is her getting overweight, and if so, how on this earth can he be gaining too much weight. I must be seeing an angle of him that is unusual or ...

    We love to snuggle, we hens, ya know? It keeps our eggs warm and toasty. No, I’m not hot, are you ~!~


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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