Sunday, April 26, 2020


goes on and I'm fine. After a cold, windy and overcast spring the sun came out the day after I posted about Errol. In the summer, I get very tired of the constant sunshine here, but I must admit I welcomed how it warmed my spirit.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on that post. 

Errol was in ICU from February 14 to April 22nd that year. One hundred miles from home, part of the drive on the worst LA freeway ever. I drove it about three times a week. 

I don't quite understand why I begin to think back as soon as April arrives. I've now done this for five years. Writing a little piece to honor my husband helps every year. Thanks for reading it and for caring.

Then things go back to normal. 


Last year, I didn't see a single snake here. This never happened before.

Yesterday, Samson came in the house and approached me. I petted him, thinking he needed some human company

Then I heard Faith barking an unfamiliar bark. That insecure bark a dog lets out when it is unsure about something. I knew what it was and rushed outside in the dog run. I yelled, "SNAKE BAD" several time as I told Faith to go in the house. 

This may seem like a strange way to condition a dog, but Faith has a memory for human vocabulary like no other dog I've ever known. 

That, and the fact she knew this was something unusual, maybe dangerous, was a good beginning. Evidently Samson knew this as well. 

After both dogs were in the house, I went to the fence to look over it to see if I could see the snake. I turned my head, this way and that, but didn't see a thing. Thinking I was mistaken, I stepped back. And there it was, stretched out on one of the wood bars of the fence. I had almost leaned against it.

It was on one of the bars of my fence. 

It was a rattle snake. It was small. In my somewhat younger days, when I could move better, if  a rattle snake came too close to my dogs or our house, I would put on my boots, pick it up with my flat shovel and take it across my field and let it loose. I would go pretty far away. Sometimes they would fall off the shovel, but I always managed. 

I haven't had to do this for many years. 

This one came at the wrong time, I was exhausted, my legs were shaky, it was late, I'm older now. The snake was too small to just leave on the other side of the fence and not worry about it coming back. Making it in through the small holes in the snake protection mesh Errol put up. 

So I killed it and put it out for the ravens to eat. 

I feel terrible about it, but it was a rattle snake, it could have bitten Faith or me. Or maybe it was too young to bite, I thought afterwards. This didn't make me feel any better. 

So life goes one, the sun shines, it's 80 degrees all of a sudden, and tomorrow I will take Faith to the vet for her rattle snake vaccine. 


  1. you did the right thing, i just read an article last week about the baby rattlers are more deadly than the big because they can't control their venom, don't know how yet and they bite and put it all out at one time.. where you live you need to be careful of dogs and yourself.. thank goodness both dogs warned you and you did not lean on the fence. what a wonderful sky to greet you the day after the post.

  2. The one snake I fear, though in general I like snakes, is the rattler. We have them in NJ, surprisingly, but in the nw corner, where I used to tentcamp years ago. The ranger gave us instructions about them. He had live ones to show us, a little scary!

  3. I have a friend who lived in Costa Mesa for a few years and she told me that she got tired of sunshiny days every day. As a life long Michigander I can't imagine! I'm sorry you had to kill the snake but I think you did the right thing to protect you and your dogs. Better to be safe than sorry.

  4. I am like you with most snakes but poisonous ones I am afraid don't get mercy. I have to protect my animals. You did what you had to.

  5. Self preservation, for you and your doggies too, is so important, vaccines, blood tests, for us, just staying home for the last 5 weeks, and maybe lots more, we have all had to adjust hugely lately, You were so right to end that life, meaning you three could be safe. Sunshine, we had some yesterday, and I am thankful for every day in our autumn when it shines.

  6. Each year has its hazards, and we must be on the alert.
    I too prefer the sunshine to the overcast sky. It definitely lifts my spirit.

  7. i would have killed it also. YOu are there alone with the dogs and thank God they understand you - at least Faith ..and she didn't go for it I hope you have a nice spring doing whatever it is you enjoy before the summer heat sets in although according to reports looks like there will be a lot of spring heat. I always enjoy your photos and reading about you.

  8. I would like a few more nice sunny days. :)
    Good job with the snake!
    The sky is beautiful and what a pretty dish the vase of flowers is sitting in.

  9. When you are at the vet, it wouldn't hurt to have her checked for bites. You were brave to even kill it! I would have run for the hills, never to return!! Screaming as I ran. Your sky photo is gorgeous!!

  10. I would have done the same with the snake. Don't feel bad. I know you love nature, and respect it, but you need to keep your pups and you safe!

  11. It may have been only a small rattle snake but you are brave just the same. I don't like snakes, poisonous or not. Yes, you did the right thing. I'm sure there are others out there or maybe a nest near by so be careful.
    Hugs, Julia

  12. You did the right thing!! Thirty five years ago we lived waaaaay out on 5 acres and our three boys were all under 6yo. Every few weeks I came across a rattler within 20 feet of the house. I killed every one of those suckers! They ranged from 1 foot to 5 feet. I'd slam the shovel on their head and then chop the head off. I don't care how much people said I shouldn't.....I was protecting my sons. We moved after 4 years because my nerves just couldn't take seeing another rattler. Still live on 2 acres closer to town and haven't seen a rattler. We've had red racers, gopher snakes, rosy boas, and lots of king snakes. Never hurt one of to see them. Patty McDonald

  13. Doğru olanı yapmışsın. Yılanlar tehlikelidir.

  14. I admire you. but I just couldn't live there.
    I would move. love nature. and yet can't abide snakes or tarantulas.
    there are all sizes of rattlers here. but we have pygmy rattlers that
    are small. and their bites are just as lethal as the others!

  15. Most snakes are okay, but this one? Good job.

    Glad your puppies were obedient.

  16. Hi Inger - I'd struggle if a rattler was around ... and I'd be really worried for the dogs - glad all are safe, though sorry for the rattler, but understand totally ... take care ... and stay safe - Hilary


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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