Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Oak Tree

We've been busy on the ranch.  Blogging pretty far from our minds. My uncle,  my dad's only brother, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He's been my stand in dad since mine passed away last fall.  He's helped me tremendously in coping with my mom with Alzheimers and the decisions to be made.  Him and his wife,  my mom's sister, have visited my mother faithfully each week.  He's a good man.  He isn't going to fight the cancer.  He's 82 and sees no need.  He's going to enjoy the life that left.  Life is good isn't it?

  Oak Mid Day

Oak at sunset


Mighty Oak

© Kathy J Parenteau
Stand tall oh mighty oak, for all the world to see,
your strength and undying beauty forever amazes me.
Though storm clouds hover above you,
your branches span the sky,
in search of the radiant sunlight you
count on to survive.
When the winds are high and restless and
you lose a limb or two,
it only makes you stronger, we
could learn so much from you.
Though generations have come and gone
and brought about such change,
quietly you've watched them all yet still
remained the same.
I only pray God give to me the strength he's
given you,
to face each day with hope, whether
skies are black or blue,
Life on earth is truly a gift
every moment we must treasure,
it's the simple things we take for granted
that become our ultimate pleasures.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Rattler

Closing the yard gate, I stepped forward past the parked quad to head out on a hike with our dog Shadow.  Something caught my eye under the quad.  A huge gopher snake was my first thought, and then I looked again and realized it was a  rattlesnake with about 7 rattles on the end of its tail.  I walked on by and picked up my dog and went back into our yard through the vehicle gate which allowed a wide berth around that rattler that was laying out almost the full length of our quad.  It was big.

Normally if we see a rattlesnake in the woods we just walk around, but around our home, Mark usually kills them.  But I never had.  Mark was unavailable to help so I called then next snake handler I knew.  Johanna, my daughter in law.  She can kill and clean a snake quicker than I can get up the nerve to look at it.  So, I went into the house and called her to get advice on the proper way to dispose of the 4 foot sleeping viper.

"Does a shovel work?" I asked.

 "Sure", she said.  "Just whack it good."

So, I had to find a shovel.  Which took some time as it wasn't in the garage, or the shed, or anywhere else I thought it should be.  I peeked once or twice in my search to see if the snake was still there and he was.

Shovel was eventually found and I carefully exited the yard on tiptoes with shovel held out in front of me.  You never know the snake might be tricking me and was now hiding behind the gate ready to strike.  I looked pretty ridiculous and I was shaking in my boots.  The snake slithered a few feet further under the quad and I "whacked" the shovel down on the last 12 inches of him and he slithered a little further and I whacked the last 2 inches of him then he slithered a little further and his head  was sticking out of the front of the quad.  Oh dear.  The head.   The tail was no longer visible, so I couldn't 'whack' there.  I thought of starting the quad and just running the poor devil over, but then I just bit the bullet and gave it my best 'whack' and the snake nonchalantly slithered under our fence and into the thick ivy.

 I now consider him my yard snake and haven't seen near as many gophers as before.  He might need a name. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Backpedaling Quickly

 1.  Las Vegas for 10 days enjoying the record highs (not) and the new grandson and the old grandson (yes)

2.  Lots and lots of cattle work.   Gather, sort, sell the weanlings, then pregnancy checks for all the cows (they loved that), and butchering of 17 month olds for freezer beef.  

 3.  Quick overnight backpack trip right out our front door over the hill and into Humboldt Redwoods State Park. You can check out our hike here.

4.  Enjoyed the redwood lillies.