We took a run out to the Camp yesterday, it was such lovely weather. It hasn’t been hot though, and although our wild strawberries are turning red, they were not yet sweet.
So far all the leaves are still on the trees, the Gypsy Moths have not devoured the forest yet this year, and we haven’t seen any. Neither are there Army Worms, thank goodness.
As we were sitting under the trees enjoying the breeze and dappled sunshine, three young woodpeckers landed in the tree over our heads, chattering and feeding on something. They took absolutely no notice of us at all, as if we were inanimate objects. They were such fun to watch. They were either Downy or Hairy Woodpeckers, I could not make out which. They were back later in the day, but only two of them, the third was missing.
The big event of the day came when I spotted a four foot long thick black stick in the woods, where I had cleared branches to be burned in the camp fire. I thought to myself that it must have just fallen out of the tree. Then it moved. Ohhhh.
It was a huge rat snake. This is the first snake I’ve encountered at the Camp. This was the largest snake I’ve seen in the wild. I am not fond of snakes, not at all. They headed for Grace the trailer, probably drawn to the distinct scent of mice. It traveled under the trailer and we though it was heading off into the bush, but it circled back and decided it had to get into the trailer. It began to climb up the side of the trailer. NO. NO. NO. It took us over 30 minutes to gently persuade it to travel on into the bush. It was an aggressive snake, not one bit afraid of humans. Rat snakes climb trees. They eat mice, rats, eggs, baby birds, and small birds.
I suspect the missing young woodpecker provided a meal for the rat snake. The rat snake may also be the reason we see few birds at the Camp these days.
This incident is a great incentive to get our mouse problem under control. I am hoping we can do that this summer, but probably not. Attila wants to tear the bottom covering off the bottom of the trailer, gut it, seal the whole thing thoroughly with hardware cloth, then re-insulate with metal thermal bubble roll. That should work but what a job! This isn’t something that he can do in bits and pieces, he needs a good go at it. I don’t think we have enough vacation time to actually take a week vacation, so perhaps next year.
We have many new neighbours at the Camp. Our next door neighbour sold her property and moved away, hoping for good neighbours there! Another property on the other side of her sold to new owners. And three different nearby bush lots sold and are being developed. Perhaps that is why we were seeing the rat snake, its natural home may have been disturbed or destroyed at one of the three constructions sites.
Today we are busy with food, as usual. Attila planted 37 plant starts, and still has about 40 that will need to go into the ground. He harvested quite a bit of rhubarb, once I had cleaned and diced it there were just over eight cups. Two cups were transformed into rhubarb squares for Attila’s lunches this week. Three two cup packages were frozen to be enjoyed this winter. Also, a loaf of bread is baking as I write.
We are going to have a first green salad from our garden, lettuce and spinach, for our dinner tonight!
Updated on Sun, Jun 12, 7:05 PM
FEELS LIKE 27
Wind 11 SW km/h
Humidity 64 %
Visibility 27 km
Sunrise 5:23 AM
Wind gust 17 km/h
Pressure 100.9 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:51 PM
“Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.”
1672 – 1719