Monday, August 24, 2009

August 23rd ZOMG Chickens!

Our team's new pasttime consists of running up and down the fence yelling "Chickens! ZOMG Chickens!" every time the neighbor's chickens come across the road and down the hill on our property to feed on the river bugs.

I swear they can hear the quiet 'cluck, cluck' of the mother hen herding her pack of nearly grown chicks to the best feeding spot while the dogs are in my livingroom enjoying a nice movie. I'm lucky to hear my son sneaking another bite of leftovers in the kitchen less than thirty feet from me, yet our pups can hear the quiet foraging of the chicken family that is outside and almost 200 yards from the back door.

They scramble to their feet, howling something about "I'm going to catch them this time!" even though they know the chickens are on the wrong side of the fence. I have to scramble to open the door for them before they decide to make short work of the plate glass. And off they go! Good thing we have reinforced that leg of fence and plugged nearly every spot of fence that might possibly bend enough to emit a dog. I dread the day that one gets loose and has a chicken dinner.

I took the camera out there to try to get some pics of the chickens, just to prove they were on my property in case the dreaded event occurs. Got some great pics of the dogs, but the birds moved too fast for my focusing mechanism, so I wasn't able to get any clear shots. Hopefully I scared them off enough so they won't come back. I doubt it though.

While mowing the lawn yesterday, I was cutting down the path next to the one I just carved out by the river when I saw a writhing brown mass. A closer examination showed the body of a cotton mouth sans head. Yikes! I've run up and down this stretch of bank with the dogs on numerous occasions and hadn't seen hide nor scale of cotton mouth or water moccasin. I'd been reassured by the guys I work with that they don't live near where we are. Apparently nobody told the cotton mouth. Good thing I found it before it found me or the dogs.

I picked it up with a long stick and carried it up the hill to show Jim and James what to watch out for. The fat brown body with the lighter mottled patterns and the white belly were quite plainly seen. There was no sign of the head though, which is probably a good thing. Even dead snakes can bite.

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