Friday, March 27, 2015

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, with the possible exception of rattlesnakes

This comment came in from reader Maggy: I consider you fearless, since you're living on your own
in the middle of nowhere! As another single female (who's not nearly as fearless as you), 
how do you manage in times of trouble? (Illness, power outage, pet emergency, yada yada ...)

The short answer is: as best I can. Mercifully, there haven't been too many "times of trouble" 
while living here. Power outages are easy – I have a backup generator. With one notable exception
I never get sick, but when I did, reinforcements arrived from near and far to help me. 
The pet emergencies are tough, but each one gets a little easier – experience is a great teacher.

If there's one thing I've learned from a decade of living alone in the middle of nowhere it's that
worrying and being fearful are big wastes of energy. Whatever is going to happen will happen 
no matter what I do, so it's best to just figure out a way to deal with it and move on.

And it's also helpful to always be mindful of one's surroundings. 
See my footprints at the bottom of the picture? I was walking across an area 
where some industrious critters had burrowed tunnels in the ground. 
I've watched all sorts of creatures disappear into these tunnels: turtles, bunny rabbits, 
jack rabbits, kangaroo rats, squirrels...there's an entire community down there.
One of its members climbed out of his hole to catch a little sun. 
See him up there in the top left? 

Let me zoom in for you:

Lesson learned: steer clear of the soft dirt in the springtime when rattlesnakes
are waking up from their winter hibernation.






27 comments:

  1. OMG. So I'm going to believe with all my heart that you know what to do about snakebite...for yourself and the critters. I know you have to live amongst them, but, oh, I get the shivers just looking at this picture. Be safe this spring.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Girl.....you be careful. Smooch can't drive you to the hospital.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG. I mean...OMG. I would freak. I know I would. You are amazing, that you were: A) Keen-eyed enough to see the sinister beast in the first place, and B) Cool-headed enough to take a picture! We're just waiting for you to share an image of your cape...:)

    PS - I was gravely concerned as I was reading, because I was thinking you were about to say those footprints were: A) new, and B) unknown to you. THAT, I guess, would be much more terrifying than an encounter with a coiled rattlesnake!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love seeing photos of your world every morning, but I would feel a lot better if you had one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" necklaces.

    ReplyDelete
  5. i think of all the things you have dealt with in the couple of years i have followed you, the rattlesnakes are the one thing that scare me.. i am glad you learned that lesson...

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are so lucky to have nature that comfortable around you. I agree with Anonymous. It would be far more worrisome if those footprints hadn't been yours.

    Emily in NC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thought exactly. "For the deadliest beast of all is man." Thank goodness Carson has such competent Ranch Security--we don't need to worry. (Is what I keep telling myself... ;-)) Having said that, Carson--please do wear your Rancher Woman boots when you step out, OK?!?

      Delete
  7. I know our viewpoints are different. I was raised in my early years by my grandmother -- who was raised and lived in rattlesnake country all her life -- in Southern New Mexico. To leave a rattlesnake alive -- is to issue an invitation for a snake bite on one of your faithful herd. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oohh, sh-t !!! You need some platform shoes :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rattlesnakes are still the badass outlaws of the west. With all the lush growth last summer they should find plenty to eat. I guess that is the surest sign of spring in the wild out there. Sleepy but present snakes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now I don't need any caffeine after viewing that wakeup photo!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here in Arizona there have been more rattlesnake bites already than in in other years. They seem to be plentiful this year for some reason. We just found one Saturday that was hit by a car. We took it home to skin it and after its head was cut off, my husband picked up the body and it still wrapped itself around his arm! Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wonder if the collective shivers you've sent around the world this morning will rate on someone seismic reader! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Serious critters but they have a job to do just like everything else. Different parts of the country view them differently, back in Minnesota they are protected, here in CA they are often killed on sight. I prefer to have them relocated and have learned from an early age in the dry high elevation SoCal mountains to be aware of where they may be.

    Beautiful, fascinating critters...and I'm not a snake lover, ha!

    I want to see a live, wild Gila Monster once before I die.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh stars, LC...............
    I know you know what you are doing, but good golly Miss Molly, snakes just do me in....even groggy ones.

    ReplyDelete
  15. He looks like he hasn't had his first cup of coffee yet, don't cross him!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful but scary! I'm glad I don't have to be on the lookout for anything smaller than bears and cougars when I hike. They are so much easier to spot and steer clear of. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like being single and fearless too! You have rattlesnakes (no can do) and I have loose pitbulls with spike collars roaming my front yard....thankfully there has not been any parolees with the pitbulls. Actually I don't feel fearless at all when these strays come into my yard and I have a blind 13 pound weiner dog on a leash. Lets just say panic insued a couple of times and I have scars from trying to escape my own yard...except the fencing that I tore into was quite rusty...it was a bloody mess on my part. I hate feeling so panicky around stray dogs!
    Happy Friday. I have a nice long weekend due to a government holiday.....guess which one? Cesar Chavez! Oy Vey...only in California.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Too bad your Ranch Security can't walk everywhere with you. She'd have seen that snake before you did. It helps to know when to be on the lookout for snakes on the move. Warm Spring days around here are the worst.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Eeek! I can't even imagine! One funny thing, though...when I read through the list of critters you've seen disappear into the tunnels, at first I didn't notice there was no comma between kangaroo and rats... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so stinkin' funny.

      Delete
    2. haha! I didn't either. And the even funnier part is that I didn't even pause to notice.

      Delete
  20. I think of you often, out there in the middle of nowhere, and I use you as inspiration. My husband travels on business a lot, weeks at a time sometimes, and there are times when I have to do difficult things by myself or they don't get done. Whenever one of these instances comes along, I tell myself, "Self, how would Carson handle this?" ... then I press onward.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Whenever someone speaks of animals underground, I can't help but think of the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox! =o) Time to dust off the snake pole...I however, would be more afraid of the scorpions and tarantulas.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Are you going to relocate that snake? There might be another one in its hole...shudder...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh crap. That's very scary to me. Spiders and snakes are not my friend.
    Stay safe

    ReplyDelete
  24. An American in Tokyo3/30/15, 8:33 PM

    Omigod!!! Stay safe!!!

    ReplyDelete